Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

Russia bans Georgia airline flights as tensions rise over protests

  • Mon, 24 Jun 2019 04:54
Author: 
AFP
ID: 
1561250607348109300
Sat, 2019-06-22 19:44

MOSCOW: Russia’s government on Saturday banned Georgian airlines from flying into its territory, extending restrictions imposed by President Vladimir Putin as part of growing tensions between Moscow and its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Putin had signed a decree late Friday banning Russian airlines from flying to pro-Western Georgia from July 8 in response to anti-Moscow rallies in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
The protests broke out after a Russian lawmaker addressed parliament from the speaker’s seat earlier this week, a hugely sensitive move for two countries whose relations remain tense after a brief war in 2008.
The rallies have morphed into a broader movement against the Georgian authorities while the Kremlin has branded them a “Russophobic provocation.”
On Saturday, protesters took to the streets of the Georgian capital for a third day of rallies, with some 3,000 demanding snap elections and electoral reform.
The crowd sang a profanity-laced, anti-Putin chant and some of the demonstrators held up placards insulting the Russian president.
Demonstrators also shot paper airplanes into the sky in response to the Russian bans.
Russia’s transportation ministry said that from July 8 two Georgian airlines would be banned from flying to Russia, citing the need to ensure “aviation safety” and debt owned by the Georgian companies.
The Kremlin has said the ban against travel to Georgia was to “ensure Russia’s national security and protect Russian nationals from criminal and other unlawful activities.”
Authorities recommended travel companies stop selling holiday packages to Georgia and advised Russian tourists to return home.
Russia’s travel industry and ordinary Russians hit out at the decision by the Kremlin, saying it was a politically motivated move that has little to do with safety concerns.
“Tourism in Georgia is on the rise, and the decision has shocked the whole industry,” Aleksan Mkrtchyan, head of Pink Elephant, a chain of travel agencies, said in a statement.

The ban during high season is expected to hit the travel industry in both countries hard and become a major nuisance for Russian holidaymakers.
Russia and Georgia fought a brief but bloody war in 2008 and tensions between the two governments remain high.
But Georgia — known for its picturesque Black Sea resorts, rich national cuisine and generous hospitality — has emerged as one of the most popular destinations for Russian tourists over the past few years, with more than 1.3 million visiting last year.
Irina Tyurina, a spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Union, said that most in the industry believed that Georgia was not a dangerous destination.
“Georgians have traditionally treated Russians well,” Tyurina told AFP.
It was too early to estimate potential industry losses from the ban, she said.
More than 7,000 people have signed a petition calling on Moscow to resume flights.
Russian tourists in Tbilisi expressed regret at the restrictions.
“We are against the ban,” Nina Guseva told AFP in the Georgian capital. “We are not guilty and we do not have to suffer.”
Fellow traveler Mikhail Strelkov added: “This is politics and has nothing to do with people on holidays.”
In Russia, many struck a similar note.
Elena Chekalova, a prominent chef and culinary blogger, said the latest Kremlin move “shocked” her.
“Why are they deciding for us what we cannot eat, where we cannot fly, who we cannot be friends with?” she wrote on Facebook.

Moscow has suspended flights to Georgia before — during a spike in tensions in October 2006 and in August 2008 following the outbreak of the five-day war over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“Putin decided to punish Georgia because there are street protests there,” opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on Twitter.
A senior government official in Tbilisi said the Kremlin ban was politically motivated.
“Putin’s decision is of course political and has nothing to do with safety concerns,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Analysts say the latest restrictions may further fuel simmering discontent with Kremlin policies.
Since 2014, Russians have been chafing under numerous rounds of Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in Ukraine and other crises, with real incomes falling for the fifth year in a row.
During an annual phone-in with Russians this week, Putin dismissed calls to “reconcile” with the West to alleviate economic hardship, saying Moscow needed to protect its interests and “nothing” would change anyway.

Main category: 
Georgia parliament head quits after 240 injured in crackdownThousands of protesters try to storm Georgia parliament World

Tags


Popular Science

Related Stories

Sikinos 11am by Georgia Karababa
  • Tue, 17 Sep 2019 23:46

Sikinos 11am by Georgia Karababa Georgia Karababa: Photos 500px:

No SuEñEs QuE sE aCaBó (Don't Dream It's Over) by hÉcToR giL
  • Thu, 12 Sep 2019 05:14

No SuEñEs QuE sE aCaBó (Don't Dream It's Over) by hÉcToR giL No SuEñEs QuE sE aCaBó (Don't Dream It's Ov...

Each Rise of the Sunshine give Us the Possibility for new Opportunities and Idea
  • Sun, 01 Sep 2019 12:41

Each Rise of the Sunshine give Us the Possibility for new Opportunities and Idea Continue to think about a more carefree existence in this society wi...

Come over the bridge.
  • Tue, 27 Aug 2019 13:16

Come over the bridge.   Just come over the bridge is  a well known proverb in the Netherlands. If something needs to be paid and it's over ...

Trump stresses need to reduce India-Pakistan 'tensions' in Modi phone call: White House
  • Tue, 20 Aug 2019 07:56

Author: AFPID: 1566241768417579900Mon, 2019-08-19 17:23 WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday spoke with India's Prime Minister N...

Syria Kurds hand over four Daesh-linked children to Germany
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 22:17

Author: AFPID: 1566220453526298800Mon, 2019-08-19 12:38 SIMALKA CROSSING: The Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria on Monday handed over ...

Iran issues new threat to world over nuclear deal
  • Mon, 29 Jul 2019 15:27

Mon, 2019-07-29 03:02 VIENNA: Iran on Sunday renewed threats to boost its nuclear program unless world powers rescue the collapsing 2015 deal to curb...

Trump seeks to avoid slapping Turkey with sanctions over missile deal
  • Sat, 27 Jul 2019 21:48

Author: AFPID: 1564222550703798200Sat, 2019-07-27 01:35 WASHINGTON: The warnings were unambiguous, and now so is the retreat: after threate...

Asian stocks rise on hopes for US-China trade talks
  • Tue, 23 Jul 2019 18:15

Author: APID: 1563866636911858500Tue, 2019-07-23 07:14 BEIJING: Asian stock markets rose Tuesday on optimism over possible new US-China tal...

Turkey will retaliate if US imposes sanctions over S-400s
  • Mon, 22 Jul 2019 17:22

Author: ReutersID: 1563783478884970800Mon, 2019-07-22 08:11 ANKARA: Turkey will retaliate if the United States imposes sanctions over Ankar...

UK finance minister to quit over no-deal Brexit if Johnson become PM
  • Mon, 22 Jul 2019 07:48

Author: Associated PressID: 1563706194287188400Sun, 2019-07-21 10:39 LONDON: British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday he woul...

Russia buries navy officers killed in submarine fire
  • Sun, 07 Jul 2019 05:52

Author: AFPID: 1562404664390796300Sat, 2019-07-06 09:16 SAINT PETERSBURG: The funerals of 14 Russian navy officers killed in a fire on a nu...


الاقسام