TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia is ready to cancel its visa requirements for Georgian citizens if Georgia changes the law about the occupied territories, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
According to the law, Russian citizens who go to Abkhazia or South Ossetia can be prosecuted for illegally crossing the border with Russia. Lavrov calls the law discriminatory.
“When Saakashvili announced that all Russian citizens may enter the country without a visa, he forgot to say that Georgia has a law ‘On Occupied Territories’, under which anyone who has even once in the past, after the war which Saakashvili started, visited South Ossetia and Abkhazia, is under criminal prosecution in Georgia,” Ria Novosti quotes Lavrov saying in his speech to the Russian State Duma. He added that these people risk from two to four years in jail.
Sergey Lavrov says this law needs to be repealed, or Russian citizens need to understand where they are going to and what they have to face there.
The foreign minister also reminded Saakashvili that Russia has proposed to reestablish diplomatic relations.
On February 28, the Georgian president issued a decree which cancels visa requirements for Russian citizens, allowing them to stay in the country for 90 days without a visa.