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Lavrov: Russia not ready to introduce visa free formalities with Georgia

December 18, 2013, 12:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's Foreign Minister notes that Russia consistently defends national interests on international arena

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© AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is not ready yet to introduce visa free formalities with Georgia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the Federation Council, upper house of parliament, on Wednesday.

“We want to continue contacts between people,” the minister said, adding “We liberalised the issuance of visas, particularly for humanitarian trips, visits to relatives, for cultural and youth exchanges.”

Georgia introduced visas unilaterally under the previous government and president. “At first Georgia took discriminatory measures in this aspect - visas were introduced for citizens living in the North Caucasus. Then the list was expanded,” Lavrov said.

At present, no objections from Georgian citizens, who wish to visit Russia for this purpose, have been heard, he concluded.

“Independence, pragmatism, transparency, the multi-vector principle and the readiness to cooperate with those who seeks to do this, and the consistent promotion of national interests without confrontation are the key principles of Russia’s foreign policy,” the minister said.

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