Printed By: Paras Yadav
Final Up to date: Could 11, 2023, 11:08 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday abolished visas for Georgian nationals and lifted a 2019 ban on direct flights to the South Caucasus nation, a transfer that comes amid rocky relations between the 2 international locations and that was shortly denounced by Georgia’s president as a “provocation.”
In line with a decree Putin signed, ranging from Could 15, Georgian nationals will probably be allowed to enter Russia with out visas — until they’re coming to Russia to work or to remain for longer than 90 days.
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One other presidential decree lifts a ban on direct flights by Russian airways to Georgia. Russia unilaterally imposed the ban in 2019 after a wave of anti-Kremlin protests in Georgia.
The decrees come a day after leaders of a number of Central Asian and South Caucasus nations stood beside Putin at a army parade marking the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat in World Warfare II, in what regarded just like the Kremlin looking for to point out that Russia nonetheless had allies and was not fully remoted.
Following Putin’s decrees, Russia’s International Ministry issued a press release lifting its 2019 advice for Russian residents to keep away from touring to Georgia.
Putin’s decrees, the assertion mentioned, “are according to our principled strategy of constantly facilitating the situations for communication and contacts between the residents of Russia and Georgia, regardless of the absence of diplomatic relations.”
Russia-Georgia relations have been difficult because the Soviet Union’s collapse within the early Nineteen Nineties. The 2 international locations fought a brief warfare in 2008 that ended with Georgia dropping management of two Russia-friendly separatist areas.
Within the aftermath, Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Moscow, and the problem of the areas’ standing stays a key irritant, at the same time as relations have considerably improved.
Starting in 2000, Georgia and Russia applied a visa regime. Nonetheless, in 2012 Tbilisi unilaterally abolished visas for Russians, who’re at the moment allowed to remain in Georgia visa-free for as much as a yr.
After Moscow despatched troops into Ukraine final yr, Georgia joined all worldwide resolutions condemning the army motion, whereas additionally offering Ukraine with humanitarian support and taking in hundreds of warfare refugees. Its authorities stopped in need of supplying Kyiv with army help, nonetheless, citing the necessity to keep neutrality and never get dragged into the battle.
On the similar time, the Black Sea nation of three.7 million grew to become one of many most important locations for Russians fleeing the crackdown and the partial mobilization into the military Putin introduced in September 2022.
Georgia’s President Salome Zourabichvili has mentioned that greater than 700,000 Russians crossed into Georgia after the Kremlin began drafting males to battle in Ukraine. Whereas 600,000 moved on to different international locations, about 100,000 stayed in Georgia, she mentioned.
Zourabichvili tweeted Wednesday that Putin’s decrees had been “one other Russian provocation.” “Resuming direct flights and lifting visa ban with Georgia is unacceptable so long as Russia continues its aggression on Ukraine and occupies our territory!” she mentioned.
(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)