10 May 2023 16:25

Georgian president proposes introducing visas for Russians

TBILISI. May 10 (Interfax) - Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili believes that Georgia's government should make its position clear following the Russian authorities' decision to resume air traffic with Georgia and lift visa requirements for Georgian citizens.

"I propose convening the National Security Council and considering the introduction of visas for Russian citizens for three months, a move that is necessary to us given internal challenges. There is a need for greater control by the state over Russians who arrive in our country. Therefore, it is necessary to take some measures to ensure that all this stays within the normal civilized framework," Zourabichvili said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

"Georgia does not need any alleged concessions from Russia," she said.

Zourabichvili believes that the Russian leadership's decision "runs counter to the interests of Georgia."

Presently, Russian citizens do not need visas to visit Georgia.

The Russian president's decree scrapping the visa system for Georgian citizens from May 15, 2023, except for those arriving in Russia for work, was published earlier in the day.

Another decree signed by the Russian president lifted restrictions on flights between Russia and Georgia. Direct flights between these two countries were suspended in July 2019.