Dec 24, 2012, 10:14 AM EDT
While the former Georgian Prime Minister was considering a boycott of the Sochi Games in neighboring Russia, the new Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, assured his country and his athletes Monday that they plan to compete.
“Of course we will take part in the Olympics,” Ivanishvili told reporters in the capital of Tbilisi. “If we want normal relations with Russia, then we will certainly participate. We shouldn’t reject it.”
Ivanishvili added that he hopes his country’s peaceful participation in Sochi, which sits about eight miles from the Georgian border, will help in “streamlining” relations with Russia.
Russia suffered through a boycott at their last hometown Games when 65 countries, including the United States, sat out the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest.
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