Georgian parliament members representing the opposition Alliance of Patriots of Georgia will visit Russia in the coming days to discuss relations between the two countries, the party’s leader and Parliament Deputy Chairperson Irma Inashvili wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
"Members of our team will visit Moscow in the coming days. As you know, we reached an agreement on waiving visas [for Georgian nationals travelling to Russia - TASS], other issues important for our country were being considered in a positive light. Instigators have pushed our country back, and not for the first time. However, with God’s help, we will find a way out. I am sure that my friends’ visit to Moscow will do much good to our country," Ivanishvili said.
She did not specify when Georgian lawmakers planned to make a visit to Moscow and with whom they wanted to meet.
The Russian president’s decree banning flights to and from Georgia entered force on Monday. President Vladimir Putin signed the document following the unrest that erupted in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on June 20. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the flight ban was aimed at ensuring the safety of Russians who might run into danger in Georgia.
The protests in Georgia were sparked by an uproar over a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy hosted by the parliament. In accordance with an approved protocol, the head of Russia’s delegation Sergei Gavrilov, a member of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament), took the Georgian parliament speaker’s seat, irking the Georgian opposition that disrupted the event and brought people on to the streets. Protesters eventually tried to storm the parliament building.
In a Sunday op-ed, a host at Georgia’s Rustavi-2 TV channel used foul language to scold the Russian leadership for more than a minute. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze, former Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and ex-Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze strongly condemned those remarks. In addition, the TV host’s rant received a lot of backlash from a large number of Georgian Facebook users.