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PM Responds To Lavrov's Statement

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday said Russia had “unilaterally resumed” direct flights with Georgia in May, and “no formal talks” had been held on the topic with Moscow, in response to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s comments on the topic earlier this week.

In his comments, Garibashvili claimed there was “nothing scandalous” in the statement, as both resumption of direct flights and the cancellation of visa requirements required approval by the Georgian Government.

The Russian President said he had made the decisions unilaterally, and Lavrov has confirmed this. Of course, the decisions to come into operation needed the agreement with the Georgian Government, namely with the Aviation Agency of the Ministry of Economy. Otherwise, no flights could be operated”, Garibashvili said.

He stressed his office had done “everything very openly”, and welcomed Moscow's decision on the flights as “beneficial” for Georgian citizens living in Russia.

The Russian news agency Tass cited Lavrov as saying on Thursday the Kremlin’s move to resume direct flights with Georgia - suspended in 2019 by the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin -  had been motivated by the Georgian Government’s interest to normalise relations with Moscow.