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Georgia resumes flights with Russia, hundreds protest in Tbilisi

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 19, 2023 3:08 PM 1 min read
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Hundreds protested in Tbilisi's streets and near the city's airport after the flights between Russia and Georgia resumed.

Demonstrators scuffled with the police and up to 10 of them have been detained.

On the morning of May 19, a Russian airliner took off from Moscow and successfully landed in Tbilisi – the first one in years.

The Russian government suspended all flights to Georgia in 2019 following anti-Russia protests in Tbilisi.

Furthermore, Russia also resumed the 90-day visa-free regime with Georgia.

While the Georgia Dream-led government welcomed these steps, the opposition sees them as attempts by the Kremlin to return their nation into Russia’s orbit.

The pro-EU President Salome Zourabichvili has called the plane’s landing “unwelcome.”

Critics have long accused the Georgia Dream party of sabotaging the country’s EU aspirations in exchange for closer ties with Russia.

The government’s plan to introduce a “foreign agents” law similar to the one in Russia sparked large protests in March and April, forcing the government to drop the bill.

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