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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 15:10 GMT
Mikhail Saakashvili
Presidents Saakashvili and Putin
Russia is keen to build good relations with Georgia

In a HARDtalk interview on 8 March, Tim Sebastian meets Georgia's new President, Mikhail Saakashvili and questions his country's relations with Russia and America.

In January, Georgians inaugurated their new 36-year-old president, Mikhail Saakashvili, as Europe's youngest head of state.

Outspoken, energetic and known to Georgians as Misha, Mr Saakashvili led the Rose Revolution that ousted President Eduard Shevardnadze.

He tells HARDtalk that his government's priority is to expand democracy and introduce market reforms.

But after years of corruption in Georgia, how far will the West listen to the appeal he is making this week for financial aid for his impoverished country?

HARDtalk can be seen on BBC World at 04:30 GMT, 11:30 GMT, 15:30 GMT, 19:30 GMT and 00:30 GMT

It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 04:30 and 23:30


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