President calls on gov't to convene public SC meeting, introduce 3-month visas with Russia
President calls on gov't to convene public SC meeting, introduce 3-month visas with Russia

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili urged the government to publicly convene the National Security Council and debate the imposition of 3-month visas with Russia.

At the briefing to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move exempting Georgian citizens from visa requirements and lifting a ban on direct flights, President Zourabichvili said Russia’s decision is unacceptable as long as Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine and “occupies our territory.”

Salome Zourabichvili termed the move as “another provocation” that challenged Georgian society and the government.

“This is a direct provocation to society, and it poses a significant challenge to our government. This will surely induce some form of strain between the parties, but I am confident that it will not cause conflict in society. It will, however, cause a reaction from society, which realizes that when Russia takes similar moves, it is doing so to advance its own interests. It is unfortunate that our government has not yet fully grasped and did not consider our history and present examples, that Russia never responds to the government’s concessions with concessions,” Salome Zourabichvili stated.

She went on to say, “This is utterly unacceptable, inappropriate, and untimely in my opinion. We need neither a visa waiver nor reinstatement of flights because Russia is an aggressor for the entire globe and an occupant of our territories. Such a gesture is untimely and unacceptable.”

According to Salome Zourabichvili, Georgia is a highly tolerant country, as seen by recent developments, but some things are not acceptable in the country. She stated that Russian-language kindergartens should not be created in Georgia and that other restrictions, such as licensing, should be imposed on various professions, including taxi drivers, guides, and many others.

“I urge the government to make its stance clear. It is time, as I have consistently demanded, for the Security Council to convene in public and address the imposition of three-month visas for Russian citizens, which is important for us owing to domestic challenges. Greater official supervision over Russians who arrive and stay in the country is required, as are certain steps to ensure that everything fits into a legitimate, civilized framework,” the President stated.

The president believes that the government should listen to the voice of the people rather than the People’s Power party.