Gov’t to protect sovereignty, citizens’ economic welfare amid Russian response to Tbilisi protests

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered a ban on flights to Georgia after July 8 as part of Russian state reaction to protest in Tbilisi. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 22 Jun 2019 - 16:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia will be utmost principled and protect the country’s sovereignty as well as the economic welfare of its citizens, Irakli Chikovani, Strategic Communication Advisor to the Prime Minister stated.

Chikovani made the statement on behalf of the government amid the official Russian reaction to developments in Tbilisi to boycott tourism and trade goods with Georgia.

He believes that a radical political agenda, both domestic and foreign, equally damages the country’s sovereignty and citizens’ welfare.

The discontent with the June 20 appearance of a Russian Duma MP Sergei Gavrilov in the chair of the Georgian Parliament Speaker transformed into a general expression of anger for the occupation. Photo Nino Alavidze/

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered a ban on flights to Georgia as part of Russian state reaction to protest in Tbilisi following a Duma MP's appearance in the Tbilisi parliament on June 20.

Putin ordered cessation of flights after a date of July 8 while also tasking his government with returning Russian citizens on temporary stay in Georgia and prohibiting Russian tour agencies from organising travels to the country.

Messages directed against the policy of the Kremlin in relation to Georgia were brought to the June 21 rally in front of the parliament of Georgia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Economic expert Akaki Tsomaia believes Georgia will lose up to $1 billion due to Putin’s decision to ban flights, as based on unofficial information around 25% of tourists in Georgia are Russian citizens.

He said, apart from tourism, the two countries enjoyed improved trade relations in recent years and this decision will now overall affect Georgian economy.

Both people and government should understand that we should not depend on the Russian economy. This country is not trustworthy and uses everything – tourists, agricultural products, natural resources - for its political reasons”, Tsomaia stated.

For Georgia's further progress and economic development  Tsomaia suggests that it should diversify the economy.