Russia has long demonstrated its commitment and political will to deepen relations with the Georgian side, said member of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Vasily Likhachev.
MOSCOW, 17 Dec. The statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the readiness to cancel the visa regime with Georgia will certainly be supported by the Georgian population, but can cause a number of political issues on the part of official Tbilisi, says member of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Vasily Likhachev.
Now Russians can visit Georgia without visas, but citizens of the Republic must obtain a visa to visit Russia.
“This proposal Putin, probably, will be the maximum approved by the Georgian population”, — said Likhachev.
“I think Putin this sentence asked a very good puzzle home for official Tbilisi and for the President and the Prime Minister. We have long show their readiness and political will to deepen relations with the Georgian side. They have a number of serious issues. About all I will not say it, but many of them are associated with the status of South Ossetia, the status of Abkhazia”, — he added.
In his opinion, relations between Russia and Georgia should move to a more honest, fruitful and most importantly a more responsible way.
“If Tbilisi will go on this way, Russia will be a fully-fledged strategic partner for Georgia,” he added.
However, he doubts that the return of the visa-free regime with Georgia will happen in the shortest possible time. “It won’t be close, because the proposal would have repercussions in the Georgian performance on the production of a number of issues not only technical, but also political”, — said the MP.
He is convinced that the proposal on the abolition of visas with Georgia is a step in the right direction.
“The agenda of Russian-Georgian relations is really big. We need to align political issues, require new incentives trade and economic relations”, — said Likhachev.
However, he indicated that, going towards the abolition of visas, it is necessary to consider issues including national security.
Russia introduced a visa regime with Georgia in December 2000 because of the threat of falling into its territory of terrorists from the Pankisi gorge. Subsequently, however, Moscow has significantly liberalized the procedure for issuing visas to Georgian citizens. Georgia abolished the visa regime for visiting the country of Russian citizens on 29 February 2012.
Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia in response to Moscow’s recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008 after the armed aggression of Tbilisi against Tskhinvali. Representatives of the new Georgian government that came to power after the elections in October 2012, was named one of the top priorities of foreign policy normalization of relations with Russia.
Critical questions, key statements, photos from the event and video — online-a report from the press conference of Vladimir Putin on ria.ru >>