Russian deputy FM: we were ready to abolish visa requirements for Georgia, but now postponed

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister says that the negative mood against Russia amongst the younger generation in the Tbilisi rallies is the result of the influence of destructive forces. Photo:, 02 Jul 2019 - 12:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin says that the Russian government was ready to abolish visa requirements for Georgia. 

However, the protests in Tbilisi, which were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament, postponed the possibility, he said. 

Indeed, we were discussing the issue and we were ready for this,” Karasin told Kommersant.

A journalist said that the reason for the negative attitude of the Georgian youth against Russia could also be the visa regime, “which prevents  them from visiting the country [Russia].”

However, Karasin responded that Russia has significantly simplified the visa regime with Georgia and the reason for the negative mood against Russia amongst the demonstrators “was because of the influence of destructive forces.”

Karasin explained why the Georgian youth has a negative mood to Russia. Photo: Nino Alavidze/ 

The youth were influenced by such forces. However, now I believe that Tbilisi understood everything and the [negative] emotions are gradually diminishing,” Karasin says.

Karasin says that Russia's ban on direct flights to Georgia in response to forcing our Russian MPs of Georgia was a right step. 

Protests in Tbilisi were triggered after Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov took the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker on June 20, during the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, an international forum being held in Tbilisi.

Gavrilov is the president of the assembly.

Currently Russian citizens do not need to have a visa to come to Georgia, while Georgians need to obtain a visa to cross the Russian border. 

Georgia unilaterally abolished visa requirements for Russian citizens in 2011, which was followed by Russia simplifying its visa requirements for Georgia in 2013.