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Georgian Airways to offer flights to Moscow via Yerevan amid ban on direct flights

In addition to Georgian Airways, another Georgian airline MyWay Airlines operates flights to Russia

TBILISI, June 23. /TASS/. Georgian Airways in connection with the suspension of direct flights to Russian cities announced by the Russian Ministry of Transport from July 8 will offer transit flights Tbilisi-Yerevan-Moscow to its passengers, the company said on Saturday.

"In the event that the ban is introduced from July 8, Georgian Airways will offer its passengers transit flights Tbilisi-Yerevan-Moscow," the statement said.

In addition to Georgian Airways, another Georgian airline MyWay Airlines operates flights to Russia.

The Russian Transport Ministry said earlier that flights of Georgian airlines to Russia will be suspended from July 8. "The reason for the suspension of flights is the need to ensure a sufficient level of aviation security, as well as overdue debts for air navigation activities before State ATM Corporation," the Ministry said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday, imposing a temporary ban on passenger flights with Georgia from July 8, the Kremlin press office reported.

Tbilisi developments

On June 20, several thousand protesters gathered near the building of the national parliament in downtown Tbilisi, demanding the resignation of the interior minister and the parliament’s speaker, and tried to storm it. In response, police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. According to Georgian media, dozens were detained, 240 people suffered injuries.

The protests were sparked by an uproar over a Russian State Duma delegation’s participation in the 26th session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). On Thursday morning, IAO President Sergei Gavrilov opened the session in the Georgian parliament. Opposition lawmakers were outraged by the fact that Gavrilov addressed the event’s participants from the parliament speaker’s seat. In protest, they did not allow the IAO session to continue.

Later, a decision was taken to wrap up the session and for the Russian delegation to leave the country. Members of the ruling ‘Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia’ party said that they did not know that Gavrilov had been scheduled to open the event, claiming that the protocol office had made a mistake.

Secretary General of the ruling ‘Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia’ party and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze announced on Friday that Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze had decided to resign.