The State Duma believes that Georgia did not ensure the safety of Russian tourists
According to Anton Morozov, a member of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, there are no sufficient security guarantees for Russian tourists in Georgia and therefore there are no reasons for resuming flights there. He announced this, commenting the statement of Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, who called for the early resumption of direct flights to Russia.
According to the deputy, the change of rhetoric of the Georgian authorities and the transition to constructive cooperation can move things off the ground. “Unfortunately, the current leadership of Georgia by its actions does not contribute to the restoration of full-format relations between our states. Only after that, we will be able to consider some specific steps to develop bilateral relations, including the tourism sector,” Morozov said.
Earlier, the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili said that the country is ready to build a dialogue with Russia. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also called for the restoration of air links between Russia and Georgia. However, the Kremlin believes that in order to resolve this issue we should arm with patience. As the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said, firstly we need to achieve certainty in the relations between the two countries, excluding the return to the "aggressive and anti-Russian position."
Observers believe that, judging by the stated position, the resumption of flights between the two countries should not be expected in the near future. There is a version that this will not happen before the parliamentary elections in the Republic, which will be held in October 2020.
Despite the ban of flights, Russian tourists continue to actively visit Georgia. So, according to the National Tourism Administration, in September 147,4 thousand tourists from Russia visited the country, which is only 20,6% less than a year earlier.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.