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Russia Resumes Visas For Georgians

Georgians deported from Russia arrive at Tbilisi airport in October 2006 (epa) May 29, 2007 -- Russia says it will start issuing a limited number of visas to Georgian citizens. easing a suspension imposed last year during a dispute between the two countries.

"We are partly resuming the issue of visas," said Valery Vasiliyev, consul of the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi. "Visas will be given in those cases where there is a private invitation from a Russian citizen for their family members in Georgia. Russia has made a humanitarian step towards Georgia."

Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili welcomed the announcement, calling it "a win-win situation."

Russia stopped issuing visas to Georgians at the end of September 2006, after Georgian authorities arrested a group of Russian officers on spying charges.

Moscow also recalled its ambassador, cut air links with Georgia and launched a crackdown on Georgian migrants. Russia's ambassador has since returned.


Georgia's Road To The West

Georgia's Road To The West
Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze giving a presentation at RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center (RFE/RL)

BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WEST: Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze told an RFE/RL briefing that her country is under intense pressure from Russia.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 55 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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