Georgian Prime Minister Georgy Gaharia said that he welcomes all the changes aimed at improving relations with the Russian Federation, including the possible resumption of flights.
Earlier, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, a meeting of Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and David Zalkaliani took place. The meeting was organized with the assistance of Switzerland, representing in the absence of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Tbilisi the interests of Russia in Georgia and Georgia in Russia. The parties discussed topical issues on the bilateral agenda, an exchange of views on regional security issues took place. According to its results, the Georgian Foreign Ministry stated that “at the meeting, the Georgian side raised the issue of de-occupation of Georgian territories”.
“This meeting took place in full synchronization with our international friends. Georgia must do everything to ensure that the grave and most acute problems between the two countries are resolved. We must realize one thing: it is absolutely pragmatic that we will take all steps in this direction, with a cold mind, synchronized with our international partners”, – Gaharia told reporters, commenting on the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries.
According to him, in order to achieve progress, the Georgian side must take steps independently.
“What we are supposed to tell us, we must say for ourselves. Where it is possible to achieve certain progress and relieve tension, of course, we should do it”, – the Prime Minister added.
Gaharia also welcomes the possibility of resuming direct flights from Russia.
“I welcome all the changes that can be aimed at improving the situation, for example, the restoration of flights. When we realize that the restoration of flights will help tourism, as well as the thousands of citizens who have encountered problems in certain mobility, we certainly welcome”, – the Head of the government pointed out.
Georgian-Russian relations escalated after Tbilisi protested the visit of Russian deputies who took part in the international conference of Orthodoxy. On June 20, the capital of Georgia was overwhelmed by protests. The radicals captured the parliament building, where Russian representatives were located. The special forces dispersed the rally, but on June 21 the protests continued. 240 people were injured, more than 300 were detained. Against the backdrop of these events, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning Russian airlines from airfaring citizens from Russia to Georgia from July 8 and recommending tour operators and agents not to sell tickets to this country.
There are no diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia, the dialogue between the countries was maintained in the framework of the Geneva discussions and at the Prague talks held since 2012. Relations between the two countries were broken by the Georgian side after Moscow recognized the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on August 26, 2008. Russian leaders have repeatedly stated that recognition of the independence of the two former Georgian autonomies reflects existing realities and is not subject to revision.