In Georgia, they called such actions by Moscow a provocation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has lifted the ban on flights to Georgia for airlines. The corresponding decree was signed by the Head of State on May 10. In addition, he canceled the visa regime for Georgian citizens from May 15. Now they can come to Russia without papers for 90 days.
According to the presidential decree, tour sales in Georgia will resume in Russia. In this context, the Russian Foreign Ministry canceled the recommendation to the citizens of the country to refrain from traveling to Georgia.
The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation notes that seven direct flights from Moscow to Tbilisi and back are being prepared. The aircraft will be operated by domestic aircraft. However, a source of RIA Novosti in one of the airlines claims that it is too early to talk about the launch of flights from Russia to Georgia – you must first obtain permission from local authorities.
For its part, the association of tour operators estimates that the first flights to Georgia can be launched before the end of May: “There is a demand for circuits to this country”.
In addition, by his decree, the President canceled the visa regime for Georgian citizens from May 15. Now Georgian tourists arriving in Russia for up to 90 days will no longer need to apply for a visa.
“To establish that from May 15, 2023, Georgian citizens enter and leave the Russian Federation without issuing visas on the basis of valid documents proving their identity,” the document reads.
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, explained that the restoration of air links with Georgia and the introduction of a visa-free regime “are in line with Moscow’s principled approach to facilitating contacts and the interaction between the citizens of the countries”.
Salome Zurabishvili. However, not everyone in Georgia liked the decision of the Russian authorities. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili criticized the abolition of the visa regime. She called Russia’s actions a provocation in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.
In February, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said Ukraine was trying to drag his country into hostilities against Russia and open a second front at his expense. According to him, he and his team saw such attempts by Kyiv and were able to prevent the country from being drawn into an armed conflict with Moscow.
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