Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin reiterated Russia’s attitude on further simplification of the visa regime with Georgia, not excluding in the long term to move to visa free.
The Russian side is working on further simplification of a visa regime for citizens of Georgia, said the special representative of the Georgian Minister for settlement of relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze. Zurab Abashidze just returned from Prague. In Prague Abashidze held a regular meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.
This is the format of the informal dialogue between Georgia and Russia after the rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2008. The talks do not include discussion of political issues.
From the Russian standpoint, there may be another reason for the initiation of a visa-free regime with Georgia, than just the need to tidy up diplomatic relations. The previous week, visa liberalization for Georgia was been adopted by European Parliament.
The Georgian “Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia”, adopted in 2008, criminalises entry into Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the Russian side. A major part of the international community (the US, the EU, NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe) along with Georgia, consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which make up to 20% of Georgia’s land area to be occupied territories by Russian military troops.