The Georgian president called for limiting the rights of emigrants from Russia

Georgian authorities should impose restrictions on Russians who came to the country over the past year, said the President of the Republic Salome Zurabishvili during a speech on the occasion of Independence Day, reports the Novosti-Georgia portal.

“The independence we celebrate today means protecting our citizens. Statehood means that the country is governed by rules and laws. This is a state approach that should apply to everyone. It is therefore not clear why no legal measures and regulations have been introduced against and in relation to the Russians arriving en masse in Georgia and in connection with their activities, especially in areas such as healthcare, education or even buying real estate and not paying taxes,” Zurabishvili said.

She also criticized the Georgian government for its decision to resume direct flights to Russia. According to the president, the republic is increasingly moving away from the course of European integration due to its “incomprehensible” foreign policy and is in danger of being isolated.

“It is incomprehensible and offensive when we think today how many millions the “gift” of flights will bring us [в Россию]. Has our dignity been sold for 200 or 300 million? Zurabishvili remarked.

He also believes that the government should not justify its pro-Russian decisions with manipulation the threat of war. “Inspiring fear in a country that remembers so many invasions and conquests cannot be a recipe for successful governance,” the president stressed.

Zurabishvili also appealed to those who believe that “in exchange for concessions” Russia will return its territories to Georgia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. According to the head of state, such people “learned nothing from the history” of the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on flights of Russian airlines to Georgia from May 15 and at the same time lifted the visa regime for citizens of the republic. Zurabishvili named this decision is a “provocation” that will cause “political tensions” and he suggested introduce visas for Russians.

Flights to Georgia are operated by Azimuth, Red Wings and Georgian Airways. The latter announced the launch of transit flights for Russians to Europe via Tbilisi from June 15.

In response, Zurabishvili announced a boycott of Georgian Airways and called on citizens to follow her example. After that, the airline announced that it would not let the president on board, until he “apologizes to the Georgian people.”

A month after the announcement of the mobilization in the Russian Federation, Zurabishvili said that a total of over 700,000 had entered Georgia. Russians, and over 100 thousand. left to live there; The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia then reported that 112,733 Russian citizens have moved into the country since the beginning of the year. Russians last year opened 110,000 accounts in Georgian banks. There are still no diplomatic relations between the countries.


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