The Speaker of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, answered questions about the large number of Russian tourists entering the country and the registration of Russian companies, noting that “nothing has changed either in terms of the number of arrivals or in relation to visas.”
“It is irrelevant to make a comparison with 2020-2021 because there was a pandemic and at that time it was difficult to move around the world. As for the number, nothing special is happening. This campaign is not new. In March we saw how far this [propaganda] campaign led us. It has turned into a xenophobic campaign, it has turned into the fact of someone throwing a stone at a Russian citizen in the middle of Chavchavadze. This campaign is the new source of xenophobia,” Papuashvili said.
He added that people coming from Russia are mostly young people with good incomes.
“This is the middle class that came from Russia because they want stability, democracy, freedom, which is in this country. Therefore, this campaign is also a part of the hybrid war, which implies that the Georgian authorities should be blamed for some trends,” said the speaker.