Putin is dragging Georgia into a deal with the devil: Ukraine's Foreign Ministry reveals Kremlin's plan

Russia is trying to stop Georgia's European integration

Vladimir Putin's decision to cancel Russian visas for Georgian citizens and resume air travel with Georgia is a "deal with the devil" for the latter. After all, the Kremlin provides such "services" in exchange for slowing down Georgia's European integration and its refusal to impose sanctions against Russia.

This was stated by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleh Nikolenko. "Russia is offering Georgia a deal with the devil. And as you know, the devil wins in a deal with the devil," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

According to him, the ministry sees Putin's decision as political compensation for the current government's refusal to impose sanctions on Russia and the slowdown in European integration. At the same time, the policy of rapprochement with Moscow does not find support among some Georgian politicians and the population, who have repeatedly publicly expressed their position, including in protests.

"Tbilisi's course towards normalising relations with Moscow is taking place against the backdrop of Russia's occupation of 20% of Georgian territory, creeping 'bordering', abductions of Georgian citizens, gross violations of human rights and freedoms in the occupied territories, and the flooding of Georgia with Russian citizens. The Kremlin is getting concessions without being held accountable for the grief it has caused the Georgian people," Nikolenko said.

He recalled that in 2008, Russian planes had already flown into Georgia to bomb civilians. Now they are planning to "bomb the European future of Georgians", the Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed.

"Russia is not interested in Georgia's progress towards the EU and NATO, its prosperity and development. Moscow's goal is to create conditions under which progress will be impossible. This has been proven by the experience of Belarus, whose sovereignty and independence were absorbed by the Russian Federation," Nikolenko said.

In this context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed solidarity and support for Georgians in their legitimate aspiration to build a prosperous European state within internationally recognised borders. The MFA also called on the Georgian government to synchronise its policy towards Russia with that of the EU, and to refrain from actions that would undermine Georgia's further European movement.

As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree on May 10 to cancel the visa regime for Georgian citizens. The country's President Salome Zurabishvili reacted negatively to this, declaring it a provocation and an unacceptable situation, and called for the Security Council to be convened.

The new rules will come into effect in Russia on May 15, 2023. In another decree, the Kremlin leader lifted the ban on flights by Russian airlines, which had been in place since 2019, and on the sale of tours to Georgia.

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