Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, on Wednesday, responded to the Russian Government lifting its ban on flights with Georgia and visa requirements for citizens of the country by saying it was a “sole decision” of official Moscow and the Georgian side “could not have any influence” on it.
Imposing and removing sanctions [on Georgia] are Russia's matter and we [Georgia] could not have any influence in this regard”, Papuashvili noted, stressing Georgia “has been fulfilling its promise” not to become the territory used by Russia to circumvent international sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.
The Parliament Speaker said the country was also “loyal” to its statements that it would not impose bilateral sanctions on Russia, proceeding from the national interests of our citizens, “not to escalate” relations with the latter, as “Georgia is still under the increased risk of possible military conflict with Russia”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier today, published decrees introducing 90-day visa-free travel for Georgian citizens starting from May 15 and resuming air travel between the two countries.
Flights between Russia and Georgia had been suspended by the former in response to rallies in the Georgian capital in 2019, sparked by the incident in which a Russian MP took the seat of the Georgian Parliament Speaker in the lawmaking body during an international religious conference, amid the ongoing occupation of Georgian territories by Russia.
The previous Georgian Government introduced a visa regime with Russia following the latter’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, before former President Mikheil Saakashvili revoked it unilaterally in 2012.