Russia warns citizens and accuses Tbilisi of provocations
The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged its citizens to accurately assess the risks associated with traveling to Georgia. In the absence of diplomatic relations, the Russian section of the Swiss Embassy has a limited opportunity to protect its citizens.
The statement relates to the inclusion by the Georgian authorities of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov in the list of undesirable persons. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Tbilisi proceeds with provocations that undermine the process of improving relations with Moscow.
“It’s difficult to rationally explain such a move, as the normalization of ties between Georgia and Russia has the potential to significantly benefit the economy and citizens of Georgia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The Georgian side in turn responded to the statement. According to Zviad Kvachantiradze, an MP from the ruling Georgian Dream party, the Georgian side demands respect for the law from Russia and its citizens. Kvachantiradze added that Luzhkov’s visit was a provocation, and he would be denied future entry to Georgia. “The fact that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is showing interest in the fate of Luzhkov is additional proof that the former Moscow mayor didn’t arrive merely in a private capacity. His visit had clearly implied provocation.
“We demand respect for the law and not statements such as the one made by Luzhkov: “I understand that I have breached the law, but don’t give a damn.” That was simply outrageous. He will in all likelihood not be able to come back to Georgia anymore,” Zviad Kvachantiradze said.
Yuri Luzhkov paid a visit to Georgia a week ago,with his arrival causing turmoil in Tbilisi due to him visiting Abkhazia and violating the law of occupation. However, the Georgian authorities haven’t imposed sanctions against him.