POLITICS
Russia bans flights to Georgia from July 8
22 June, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree yesterday prohibiting Russian airlines from carrying Russian citizens to Georgia from July 8. Putin has ordered the Cabinet of Ministers to help the citizens of Russia, who are travelling to Georgia, to return to Russia. Moreover, some recommendations have been issued for Russian tour operators, calling on them to refrain from selling tours in Georgia.

Subsequently, Russian airlines will stop selling air tickets to Georgia from July 8. According to Russian media, Smart,
Pabeda, Red Drive and S 7 have already stopped selling tickets.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin’s move to ban flights to Georgia was intended to protect Russian citizens' security.

“The situation in Georgia should be normalized and any threats to the security of our citizens should vanish,” he told the RBC news website.

Chairman of the Russian Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, told reporters that The Government of Georgia should guarantee that security of Russians will be protected in the country, otherwise there will not be any tourism development.

According to him, Russia should protect its citizens and until they do not have a relevant guarantee, it is not recommended to develop tourism, and especially to stimulate it, for example by abolishing visas.

Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze has commented on Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to suspend flights to Georgia.

As Abashidze told InterPressNews, at this stage they are collecting information to make relevant analysis and conclusions.

"At this stage we are trying to get full information about this decision, in order to make relevant analysis and conclusions. After that, we will make more detailed comment. Of course, our main task is to defend the country's sovereignty and the interests of every citizen, and to prevent hasty decisions on serious issues’, Abashidze said.

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