Putin canceled the visa regime for citizens of Georgia and allowed direct flights to the country

11:55, May 10, 2023Source: Meduza

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the abolition of the visa regime for Georgian citizens from May 15, 2023.

According to the document, the exception is “citizens entering the Russian Federation in order to carry out labor activities or for a period of more than 90 days, including for the purpose of obtaining education.”

In another decree , Putin lifted the ban on air travel from Russia to Georgia, which had been in effect since June 2019.

A representative of the Russian Ministry of Transport  told Interfax that the carriers are already preparing to resume flights and intend to operate seven direct flights from Moscow to Tbilisi and back every week.

Following the publication of Putin’s decrees, the Russian Foreign Ministry canceled its recommendation for Russians to refrain from traveling to Georgia. “At the same time, when visiting this country, security aspects should be taken into account, exercising caution,” the diplomatic department said .

“The decisions taken by the President of the Russian Federation to resume flights and introduce a visa-free regime for short-term trips of Georgian citizens to Russia are in line with our principled approach to consistently facilitate communication and contacts between citizens of Russia and Georgia, despite the absence of diplomatic relations,” the statement also says. press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia were severed in September 2008, when, following a five-day Russian-Georgian war, Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and stationed its troops there. After the termination of relations in Moscow and Tbilisi, sections of the interests of the Russian Federation and Georgia were opened at the Swiss Embassy. In recent years, the Russian authorities have repeatedly used bans on direct communication and the introduction of a visa regime as an instrument of political pressure on Georgia.

(C)MEDUZA 2023

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