Russia Accuses Georgia of Undermining Mutual Relations

MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the recent decision by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to blacklist former Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, who visited Georgia around a week ago.

"We took notice of the statement by the Georgian authorities on putting Moscow’s former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov on the persona non grata list after his visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As we can see, official Tbilisi continues systemic provocations that undermine the process of normalization of relations with Russia,” the statement of Russian MFA reads.

The Russian Foreign Ministry asked its citizens to pay attention to the necessity of weighing all the risks linked with trips to Georgia. "It is difficult to find a reasonable explanation for such behavior as normalization of bilateral relations brings about visible benefits to the Georgian economy and its citizens," the ministry said.

"It should be noted that in the absence of diplomatic relations, that were severed by the Georgian side, the section of Russian interests under the Swiss embassy in Tbilisi has very limited possibilities to protect Russian compatriots from arbitrariness,” the statement reads.

Georgia’s Deputy Interior Minister, Shalva Khutsishvili, stated last week that Luzhkov, who visited Georgia without any problems at the border, would be blacklisted because he violated Georgian occupation laws. He visited occupied Sokhumi in 2006 and 2009 without Georgian authorities’ consent. "We will include him on the list, and he will not be able to visit Georgia in the future,” Khutsishvili stated.

Luzhkov said this was a "senseless and incomprehensible" action.


By Thea Morrison

16 May 2017 14:53