Advisor to Georgian president: No ban on Russian citizens to enter Georgia

Advisor to Georgian president: No ban on Russian citizens to enter Georgia
# 19 September 2009 12:13 (UTC +04:00)
His remarks comes after Russia declared Russian-Azerbaijan land border closed for Georgian citizens, citing Georgia’s official withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States as the legal basis for the decision.
"We learned that the permission for Georgian citizens to cross the Russia-Azerbaijani land borders would terminate effective from August 22. They said the reason was Georgia’s withdrawal from the CIS on August 18, 2009.
Let it be so, because being in the CIS nothing good. After the collapse of the Union, the creation of the CIS gave us hope that the conflicts which existed at that time would be resolved. We saw no good results. It is a fact that there was aggression against Georgia on August 8, 2009 when we were still in the CIS. Therefore, staying as a member of the CIS had already left no sense for Georgia,” he added.
He added that the new measure doesn’t ban the Georgian Azerbaijanis who have relatives in Russia from entering the territory of Russia by air or sea. If they do not have such an opportunity, their relatives living in Russia may come to Georgia to see them without any restrictions. Our country does not prevent them from this. Abiding by Georgia’s law on the stay of foreign nationals, Russian citizens can travel to Georgia freely. This is said in a recent issued by Georgian Foreign", he noted.
Russian Foreign Ministry stated on September 17 that as Georgia left CIS, the citizens of this country can not come to Russia by crossing Azerbaijan land border.

APA reports quoting Russian Foreign Ministry the statement says that according to the agreement signed among the CIS member states, Russia-Azerbaijan border is open only for the citizens and transport vehicles of CIS countries. The instruction is being implemented in border checkpoints of Russia. Foreign Ministry has already sent a special warning to the department representing Russia’s interests in the embassy of Switzerland in Georgia. According to the warning the citizens getting visas can not come to Russia by crossing Azerbaijan’s land border.
“This is not connected with certain restrictions. These are the legal results of Georgia’s leaving CIS.”

Yesterday Georgian Foreign Ministry issued a statement with this respect. The statement says that the prohibition contradicts the statements about long-lasting peaceful neighborhood relations between Georgia and Russia.
“Despite this, we state that Russian citizens can cross the border checkpoints without any obstacles.”
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