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"If there is a political decision on the part of Russia, we are ready to restore direct flights" - Zurab Abashidze

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“Our position is that if the Russian side is ready and wants to resume air traffic with Georgia, nothing will prevent this, because we were ready and are now ready to resume direct air traffic,” - an adviser to the Prime Minister told Georgian Public Broadcaster on the regulation of relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze.

Zurab Abashidze responded to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which discussed the possibility of restoring air communication with Georgia.

He stated that the suspension of flights is Russia's decision, and it is unreasonable to raise the issue of the safety of its citizens in Georgia.

“The suspension of direct flights was the decision of the Russian side. So this issue is on their conscience and if the decision is positive, despite the pandemic, we can consider this issue at the working level and take concrete steps to resume flights as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

As for the arguments that we hear from Russia that Russian citizens and Russian tourists have some security problems in Georgia, we tell them that over the years a large number of Russian citizens have come to Georgia. and they don't have security issues. The discussion of the question of security is devoid of any grounds. In addition, Moscow mentions anti-Russian rhetoric. Our answer is that we cannot ban criticism here, especially if there are grounds for criticism,” - said Zurab Abashidze.

For reference, air traffic between Georgia and Russia was suspended on July 8, 2019 after the decree of the President of Russia.