Pavel Gerchinsky, the EU ambassador in Georgia, gave a demarche about Georgia to Levan Davitashvili, Vice Prime-Minister and Minister of Economy of Georgia, on 29 May. This decision was made due to Georgia resuming direct air traffic between Tbilisi and Moscow.
The ambassadors of all 27 EU member states including Gerchinsky met with Davitashvili.
"We informed him [Davitashvili – ed.] that we are disappointed by the decision of the Georgian government to resume direct air traffic with Russia. We told him that this decision goes against the unanimous decision of all 27 EU member states not to conduct direct flights to and from Russia and not to allow Russian aircrafts to fly above the airspace of the EU member states," Gerchinsky explained to reporters.
He stressed that even though the decision was approved by Russia, it also required the consent of the Georgian government.
"We also expressed our concern about the fact that this decision contradicts our determination to isolate Russia and put pressure on Russia so that it changes the course of the cruel aggressive war it is still waging in Ukraine," the ambassador added.
In turn, Davitashvili claimed that he has assured the EU ambassadors that the flights will not be serviced by the companies restricted by EU sanctions, and all Russian passengers will be thoroughly checked.
The ban on the flights of Russian air companies to Georgia has been active since 2019. It was lifted on 15 May 2023. That very same day, a visa regime for the citizens of Georgia was cancelled in Russia.
These events caused protests of the opposition in Tbilisi, and Salome Zourabichvili, the President of Georgia, announced a boycott of Georgian Airways due to it resuming flights to Moscow.