After getting the green light for long-awaited visa-free travel to the European Union, Georgians will have to wait a little longer for the same privileges in Russia.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the possibility of a visa free waiver with Georgia, which recently won visa liberalization with the European Union. While Lavrov said he was pleased the relationship “has begun to normalize,” he expressed reservations about allowing Georgians into Russia without a visa, arguing that it was premature to embark on such a step without closer formal cooperation between the two countries. More controversially, he appeared to cast Georgia as a major security concern.
“[A visa-free regime] is linked to the need to ensure security,” Lavrov told reporters. “Militants and extremists are trying to use not only Central Asia, but also the Caucasus as a transit route.”
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