US promises sanctions against Georgian companies if flights with Russia restored
Georgia and flights to Russia
According to the US State Department, if flights between Georgia and Russia are resumed, companies that cooperate with Russian companies in Georgia will be subject to sanctions, as reported by Voice of America.
“Many Western countries, including the United States, prohibit Russian aircraft from entering their airspace. We would be concerned about the resumption of flights between Russia and Georgia, given that companies at Georgian airports could be subject to sanctions if they serve aircraft subject to additional import and export controls,” the State Department writes. “The entire Western community has distanced itself from this brutal regime, and now is not the time to expand engagement with Russia.”
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On February 2, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again praised the Georgian government for resisting “unprecedented pressure from the West.” According to him, the West wants to “turn Georgia into an irritant for Russia.”
Moscow is increasingly discussing the possibility of resuming flights with Georgia, as evidenced by numerous statements. Grigory Karasin, head of the committee of the Council of the Russian Federation on International Affairs, also said this and added that Moscow is ready, but Tbilisi is still hesitating.
Earlier, at a press conference held on January 18, Sergei Lavrov, summing up the work of the Russian diplomatic service in 2022, among other things, spoke in detail about Georgia.
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Even Russian Duma deputy Sergei Gavrilov, who caused Russia to unilaterally stop flights to Georgia on July 8, 2019, could not hide his admiration for Georgia’s foreign policy. “Given the position of Georgia towards Ukraine and the fight against sanctions against Russia, it is necessary to restore not only air traffic, but also diplomatic relations between our countries,” Gavrilov says.
In response to Lavrov’s comment, Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, welcomed the possible resumption of flights.
Despite calls from the opposition and civil activists, Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili has never been to Kyiv, as other European leaders have done, because according to him going to Kyiv with a visit of support “does nothing”.