Russian tourists welcome, sanction requests are not: Georgia
Tbilisi mayor Kakha Kaladze has confirmed not joining the imposition of sanctions against Russia and instead has declared that the doors of Georgia are open to Russian tourists, despite EU pressure.
Georgian authorities voiced their position that they do not intend in joining a war against Russia and opening a second front, as the secretary general of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party, Kakha Kaladze, said on Thursday that Georgia was open to Russian tourists.
"We have repeatedly made statements that Georgia is not launching a war [against Russia] and it does not join a war. There won’t be a second front in Georgia, Georgia does not join the sanctions. And this is very important. We welcome the tourists," said Kaladze, who is also the Mayor of Tbilisi.
Georgia has underlined its stance on not joining the "sanctions train" that other European countries and the US have jumped on. They not only stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens but have launched bundles of sanctions against Russia due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Serbia was among those who have not joined in imposing sanctions.
Kaladze further commented on the information circulated among Georgian internet users a few days ago that Russian Kamaz trucks with Russian license plates were allegedly seen undergoing repair work in Tbilisi, disclosing that it is false information, adding that in general, he had nothing against the vehicles with Russian license plates traveling in the city of Tbilisi.
Estonia proposed banning Russian citizens from entering Europe altogether in late July, with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu saying that as a general rule, Estonia will recommend restricting Russian individuals' access to Europe.
The Polish government underlined that it supported Estonian authorities' proposal for a European entry ban on Russian tourists and other types of travelers from Moscow as part of sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov touched on the issue of the Schengen region denying visas to Russians, underlining that this would prompt Moscow to take retaliatory measures.
The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European countries, namely Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Switzerland, Greece, and the Netherlands.