Ukrainian President’s Office reacts to Georgia’s decision to allow another airline to operate direct flights to Russia

16 May, 07:26 PM
Flag of Georgia (Photo:FOTOGRAFIN / pixabay)

Flag of Georgia (Photo:FOTOGRAFIN / pixabay)

After Georgian airline Georgian Airways was granted permission to establish direct air travel with Russia, Andriy Yermak, Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, criticized Tbilisi’s decision on May 16 in a Telegram post, calling it a “misguided stance” and saying that history will ultimately “set things right.”

The Georgian regulator announced on Facebook on May 16 that the airline would operate flights to Moscow seven times a week, starting from May 20.

“Georgian Airways will commence regular flights on the Tbilisi-Moscow-Tbilisi route. According to the airline’s application to the State Aviation Agency, flights will be operated seven times a week, starting from May 20,” the announcement said.

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Yermak shared his thoughts on the Georgian authorities’ decision through Telegram.

“History always remembers those who pretend not to notice genocide, Nazism, and its perpetrators. This historical memory is unlikely to be appreciated by anyone. Georgia has allowed another airline, Georgian Airways, and previously ‘Azimuth,’ to operate direct flights to Russia,” he wrote.

Yermak noted that the Georgian people constantly demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine.

Nevertheless, he observed that “some seem to be trying not to notice the missile attacks on Kyiv, the destruction of Maryinka, the deaths in Bucha, Irpin, Izyum, and the abductions of children,” while also neglecting the tragedy that took place in the Georgian city of Gori.

“Perhaps, some believe that these matters do not concern them. And interaction with terrorists and murderers is considered normal. It is a misguided stance, but history will eventually set things right, and people will undoubtedly do the same,” Yermak added.

On May 10, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin unexpectedly lifted the visa requirement for Georgian citizens and permitted direct flights to Russia. The Association of Russian Tour Operators stated that the first flights could be launched by the end of May. Direct air communication between the two countries had been suspended since 2019.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili referred to Russia’s cancellation of the longstanding visa regime for Georgian citizens and the ban on air travel as a provocation.

Since the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Georgia has maintained a neutral position, refusing to impose sanctions against the Kremlin regime or provide military assistance to Kyiv. Meanwhile, Tbilisi has extended humanitarian support and welcomed Ukrainian refugees.

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