"We are on the verge of restoring direct flights with Georgia" - Russian state Duma deputy
Duma on flights with Georgia
Russia and Georgia are on the verge of restoring direct flights and canceling visas, said Russian State Duma deputy Leonid Kalashnikov. Kalashnikov is chairman of the committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations.
“I spoke with many officials of the highest level […] Very sensitive issues that we need to resolve are air travel and the abolition of visas in Russia. I can say that we are on the verge of these decisions,” Kalashnikov said at the economic forum “Prospects for the development of economic relations between Russia and Georgia”.
According to the deputy, it is difficult for him to assess when and in what order these decisions will be made.
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- US promises sanctions against Georgian companies if flights with Russia restored
On January 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope for a speedy restoration of direct flights with Georgia and said that the 10% growth of the Georgian economy was largely due to ties with Russia.
Sergei Lavrov said that there are necessary mechanisms for a dialogue between Georgia, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, in which “Russia also participates.” According to him, Moscow is in favor of building relations between Georgia and the occupied territories. Lavrov spoke about this at the final press conference in 2022.
Lavrov also notes that Western countries and institutions are trying to “hold hostage” the events taking place in Ukraine in the Geneva format, which, in his opinion, “is caused by political grievances and whims.”
At a 2022 final press conference, Sergey Lavrov praised the Georgian government, saying that the country is “resisting pressure from the West.”
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Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili does not welcome the resumption of flights with Russia.
“At a time when all our partner countries, in word or deed, express maximum solidarity with the selfless struggle of Ukraine, for me and I am sure the majority of society, the position of the government and the ruling parties is, to put it mildly, incomprehensible,” Zurabishvili wrote.
This is not the first time that high-ranking officials of the Russian Federation have praised the Georgian authorities for their attitude towards Ukraine and the West.
On March 25, 2022, Karasin praised them for their position on the Ukrainian issue. Karasin called Georgia’s reaction to the anti-Russian sanctions of the West “balanced” and said that “this fact will not go unnoticed” in Russia.
Karasin also said that after 2012, when the Georgian Dream party came to power, Russia became Georgia’s second most important trading partner, all restrictions on Georgian goods have been lifted and Georgia’s exports to Russia have increased fourteen times.