MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Russia is ready to restart air travel with Georgia when the necessary conditions are created for that but currently there are no specific dates, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said in an interview with TASS.
"We are ready to resume air travel when there are special conditions for that primarily from the security point of view, including the epidemiological one. Then this issue will be raised in practical terms," the deputy minister said. "There are currently no specific dates [to restart the air travel]. We will follow all developments in Georgia, primarily the epidemiological situation and the security situation."
Rudenko underlined that Russians constituted the majority of foreign tourists who visited Georgia before the pandemic. "It is important for us that a safe situation was created in Georgia so that our tourists could feel safe," he added.
The senior diplomat also pointed out that Moscow wants to normalize its ties with Tbilisi because the current state of relations does not meet the interests of both states. "We want a normalization with this country and believe that the level of relations which exists now is not in the interests of both countries," he said.
Russia placed a temporary ban on flights to Georgia on July 8, 2019, which is still in place. On the same date, Russia’s Ministry of Transport suspended the flights of Georgian airlines to Russia. The move came after several thousand people staged an anti-Russian rally on June 20 in Tbilisi near the parliament building prompted by the participation of Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) member Sergei Gavrilov in the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, which was held in the Georgian parliament.