MOSCOW, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Russia and Georgia have made "breakthroughs" in their relations over recent months, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
The remarks came after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin met with Zurab Abashidze, Georgian prime minister's special envoy to Russia on Friday in Prague on a series of bilateral issues.
Both sides were satisfied with the results of the meeting, said Karasin.He described the meeting as "constructive" and said the two sides have agreed to hold the next unofficial meeting in May.
Recent months have witnessed several high-level contacts between Moscow and Tbilisi, such as the Davos meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Georgian counterpart Bidzina Ivanishvili in Switzerland and inter-parliamentary exchanges in Strasbourg, France.
All these contacts "created the necessary positive atmosphere for tackling practical issues in certain areas," said the ministry in a statement.
Besides political contacts, the two sides have also strengthened economic and humanitarian ties, said the ministry, citing a recent tour by experts from the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor to Georgia as an example.
Meanwhile, the two countries agreed to reopen the Verkhny Lars-Kazbegi border checkpoint, and vowed to facilitate the existing visa regime, it said.
Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia after a brief armed conflict in August 2008 over the control of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The meeting in Prague was the second between the two diplomats since December last year, after Georgia's new government expressed its willingness to mend ties with Russia.
President Vladimir Putin said in December that Moscow had no ready-tailored proposal on how to normalize relations with Tbilisi and couldn't retreat from the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But he believed the two countries should resume their relations.