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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Tbilisi keeps on indulging in provocations that undermine the process of normalization of relations with Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday commenting on Georgia’s decision to blacklist former Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov.
"We took notice of the statement by the Georgian authorities on putting Moscow’s former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov on the persona non grata list after his visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia," the ministry said. "As we can see, official Tbilisi continues systemic provocations that undermine the process of normalization of relations with Russia."
"It is difficult to find a reasonable explanation to such behavior as normalization of bilateral relations brings about visible benefits to the Georgian economy and its citizens," the ministry stressed.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry has to once again draw attention of Russian citizens to the necessity of weighing all the risks linked with trips to Georgia," the ministry said. "For obvious reasons, the local authorities did not dare to use sanctions envisaged by the Law on Occupied Territories against Yuri Luzhkov and announced their ‘verdict’ only when left ‘hospitable Georgia.’ However, regrettably, the recent years have seen other outcomes when Russian citizens in such situations were fined and even imprisoned. In this context, the Russia side reminds that the above-mentioned law envisages a fine of up to 3,000 US dollars or a prison term of up to four years."
"It should be noted that in the absence of diplomatic relations that were severed by the Georgian side, the section of Russian interests under the Swiss embassy in Tbilisi has very limited possibilities to protect Russian compatriots from arbitrariness," the ministry underscored.