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Georgian president: drop visas for Russians

Feb. 28: Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili delivers his annual state of the nation address to the Parliament in Tbilisi.Reuters

Georgia's president says he wants to drop visa requirements for Russians, aiming for an improvement in relations that disintegrated after the countries fought a brief war in 2008.

In his annual address to parliament on Tuesday, President Mikhail Saakashvili proposed unilaterally dropping the visa requirement. There was no immediate comment from Moscow, but Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last year that Russia has no intention of dropping its visa requirement.

"It's necessary that every Russian businessman know that he can come to Georgia, spend money, take money out, do business," Saakashvili said. "A more convenient regime for this will be created."

Georgia and Russia broke off diplomatic relations after Russia recognized the independence of two Georgian separatist regions that split off after the 5-day war.