Georgia’s Response to Russia’s Visa Abolishment Decision

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has spoken out against Russia’s decision to abolish visas for Georgian citizens. In a statement on social media, Zurabishvili claimed that “as long as Russia occupies the territory of [Georgia], the abolition of the visa application with Georgia is unacceptable.” She described the decision as “provocative” and argued that it could create tensions between political parties in Georgia. Zurabishvili called for the Georgian government to hold a security council meeting and consider imposing three-month visas on Russian citizens due to concerns about national security. The move followed a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 19 April to remove visa requirements for Georgian citizens from 15 May, as well as lifting flight and tourism restrictions. The decision had been temporarily reversed in 2019 following anti-Russia protests in Georgia. Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Russia after the 2008 “South Ossetia War.”


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