File image for representation. The second decree lifts a ban on flights to Georgia that Russia imposed unilaterally in 2019 Photo credit: Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree ending visas for Georgian citizens and lifting a 2019 ban on direct flights to the South Caucasus nation.
According to the documents, from May 15, Georgian citizens will be allowed to enter Russia without a visa – unless they are coming to work or stay in Russia for more than 90 days.
The second decree lifts a ban on flights to Georgia that Russia imposed unilaterally in 2019.
Following Mr. Putin’s decrees, Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement withdrawing a 2019 recommendation for Russian citizens to avoid traveling to Georgia.
Russia–Georgia relations have been rocky and complicated since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. The two countries fought a short war in 2008 that ended with Georgia losing control of two separatist regions friendly to Russia.
Tbilisi broke off diplomatic ties with Moscow, and the issue of the regions’ status remains a major stumbling block, even though relations have improved somewhat.