MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he personally made the decision to resume flights to and from Georgia.
"I always try to share the credit with my colleagues when anything positive happens around here, but in this case, it actually was my personal decision and my proposal," the head of state said at a meeting with members of the Business Russia organization on Friday.
Putin mentioned his decision while addressing a Georgian businessman who had thanked him for resuming flights and waving visas for Georgians. According to the businessman, these moves are important for both countries’ people, including entrepreneurs.
"I wanted to support the people in Georgia who wish to build normal relations with Russia, as well as our businessmen and our citizens who have an affection for Georgia, who want to go there on vacation to enjoy Georgia’s nature, culture and cuisine," Putin noted.
"Frankly speaking, the reaction to this move was a complete surprise to me. I thought everyone would say: ‘At last! Thank you, that’s nice.’ However, a scandal emerged there (in Georgia - TASS) that’s impossible to understand," the Russian president said.
On May 10, Putin signed a decree waiving visas for Georgian citizens starting on May 15. Another presidential decree canceled a ban on flights to and from Georgia and the sales of tours to Georgia, which had been in effect since 2019. Russian airline Azimuth made its maiden flight to Tbilisi International Airport on May 19. On May 20, Georgia’s national air carrier Georgian Airlines began direct flights to Russia. In June, Russian airline company Red Wings will launch flights to the South Caucasus country.