The head of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said he would meet with Georgian opposition lawmakers in Moscow to discuss the current situation in bilateral relations and ways of overcoming the crisis.
"We are meeting Georgians next Monday. The discussion will concern the current state of relations and perspectives of overcoming the crisis, including through building inter-parliamentary dialogue," Konstantin Kosachev told TASS on Friday.
He said the meeting will be hosted by the Federation Council. The Russian delegation will also include Kosachev’s first deputy chairman, Vladimir Dzhabarov.
On July 10 it was reported that Georgian lawmakers representing the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia opposition party - Ada Marshania, Giorgi Lomia and Gocha Tevdoradze - will travel to Moscow for talks with Russian parliamentarians. A number of senior Russian lawmakers and senators have already signaled their readiness to meet with the Georgian delegation, including Chairman of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Kalashnikov and Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Civil Society Development and the Affairs of Public and Religious Associations Sergei Gavrilov.
Anti-Russian protests in Georgia
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, whose activists disrupted the event and took 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.