Zurabishvili about "a million Georgians": The ruling party appealing to pseudo-patriotic feelings
Zurabishvili about “a million Georgians”
According to Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, members of the Georgian Dream party “falsely appeal to some kind of humanistic, pseudo-patriotic feelings.” In her view, this whole issue is a result of Kremlin manipulation.
Zurabishvili says that if the state is so worried about the fate of Georgians living abroad, then “why have four years of negotiations with the Ministry of Justice to simplify the granting of citizenship come to nothing?”
What else did Salome Zurabishvili say?
● As for difficulties with arrival in Georgia, let us recall that they arrive from Russia without any problems via Minsk, Yerevan, Baku and Turkey, or crossing the land border in Upper Lars. There were no problems with the visa.
● The arrival in Georgia of over 700,000 Russian citizens (including citizens of Georgian origin) and the departure of 600,000 prove that moving between the two countries is easy.
● Those who are concerned about the fate of our citizens living in Russia, at the same time do not care about the fate of our citizens living in America or Europe, who cannot use direct flights and have difficulty arriving at home.
● In the end, we should think about the fact that for three years now our compatriots have not been able to cross the land border with Azerbaijan, because it is still closed due to “COVID”. People from the border region have to make a long journey to Baku and fly from there, which exceeds the financial means of most.
● We must take care of our citizens or former citizens living abroad, this should be one of the priorities of a state like ours, we should make it a comprehensive strategy for the diaspora, and not dance to the music chosen by the Kremlin.
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According to the Russian census data for 2020, 113,687 ethnic Georgians live in the Russian Federation. The Rosstat website separately lists people from the occupied regions – 8,177 Abkhazians and 323 Ossetians. However, the Georgian Dream party claims that the visa regime and the lack of direct flights to Russia “were a punishment for about a million people,” and Putin’s decrees of May 10 lifted this punishment.
The description posted on the Rosstat website mentions that only 3,045 people in Russia are citizens of Georgia. And in this case, citizens from Abkhazia – 644 and the Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) – 333 are also singled out separately.
The census counted 196,610 people born in Georgia and living in Russia (regardless of nationality).
On May 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a document on the abolition of the visa regime for Georgian citizens and lifted the ban on direct flights from Russia to Georgia.