TBILISI, December 17 – RIA Novosti. The Georgian authorities hope that Russia will soon abolish visa requirements for citizens of Georgia, told the news agency Sputnik special representative of the Georgian Prime Minister for the settlement of relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze.
Currently, the Russians can visit Georgia without a visa, but citizens of the republic should get a visa for a visit to the Russian Federation. President Vladimir Putin on the big annual press conference on Thursday said Moscow is ready to abolish visa regime with Georgia.
“This is the right step in the right direction … When it’s working, I just can not say, but hopefully, in the near future “- said Abashidze.
Russia introduced a visa regime with Georgia in December 2000 because of the threat of falling into its territory of terrorists from the Pankisi Gorge. Subsequently, however, Moscow substantially liberalized the procedure for issuing visas to Georgian citizens. Georgia abolished the visa regime for Russian citizens visiting the country February 29, 2012.
Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia in response to Moscow’s recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008, after an armed aggression against Tskhinvali Tbilisi. Representatives of the new Georgian government that came to power after the elections in October 2012, was named one of the top priorities of the foreign policy of normalizing relations with Russia.