Russian tourists are not threatened by physical but physical danger in Georgia, “said Dmitry Peszkov, Kremlin spokesman on Monday in Moscow.
Peszkov recalled that Russian journalists and parliamentarians have experienced aggressive behavior in recent days. According to the spokesman, so many examples were enough to understand the potential threat and to introduce “constraints imposed by compulsion”. These include the shutdown of direct flights from 8 July and the cessation of organized tourist routes.
On 22 June, radicals in Tbilisi were abused by the Russian state television company, which means that the threat is not theoretical, but physical, said Peszkov.
According to the spokesman, direct flights can be restarted if the “rhoffophobic hysteria”, which is fed by “radical elements”, subsides.
“There is no political conflict between the two countries,” he added.
Dmitry Peszkov was unable to answer the question as to whether further restrictions on Georgia could be expected, but he said that the measures taken so far were to be considered as a precautionary measure, not a preventive measure.
The Russian consumer protection agency, Rozpotrebnadzor, said on Monday that it would tighten controls on alcoholic beverages imported from Georgia. According to the Authority’s statement, the quality of these products is deteriorating at an increasing rate.
Two thirds of Georgian wine exports are taken up by the Russian market. Rosspotrebnadzor said that between 2014 and 2018, the quantity of alcoholic beverages in Georgia that did not meet Russian quality standards had almost tripled and exceeded 200,000 liters.
Russia had stopped importing Georgian wines and mineral waters in 2006, citing quality complaints, which was renewed in June 2013. According to a press release from Georgia, visitors to the country will give 300,000 bottles of red wine at the airports this year.
According to Peszkov, the tightening of control over Georgian wines is not related to the suspension of flights.
Georgia spoke against the restoration of the rights of the Russian delegation on Monday in Strasbourg, at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). In 2016, Russia suspended its work in PACE, two years after being deprived of its right to vote due to the attachment of Crimea. The Russian delegation has not paid membership fees since 2017, and Moscow does not send the documents needed for legislative accreditation to the general assembly.
At the end of the weekend round of the Georgian Football Championship, several teams entered the field marked “Russia occupying”. The European Football Association (UEFA) said on Monday that it would not initiate an investigation because it was the responsibility of the Georgian Football Association.
There have been mass demonstrations in Tbilisi since 20 June, the formal cause of which is, moreover, for a Georgian invitation, a Russian parliamentary delegation attended the meeting of the Interparliamentary Assembly (IAO) of the Orthodoxy.
Szalome Zurabisvili’s Georgian president blamed Moscow for what happened and called Russia an enemy and occupant. In response, Vladimir Putin’s Russian head of state ordered the suspension of direct Russian flights and organized tourist routes, and Georgian airlines were banned from Russian airports. Georgia was visited by about one and a half million Russian tourists last year.
Between the two countries, in August 2008, there was a short war conflict when Moscow stepped up against Tbilisi after Georgia had attempted to smash the South Ossetian army with a weapon. In the aftermath of the conflict, Georgia declared its independence independently with another area of divorce, Abkhazia. This was recognized by Russia on 26 August 2008. Besides that, only Nicaragua, Venezuela, Vanuatu and Nauru did it. Tbilisi interrupted his diplomatic relations with Moscow because of what happened.