Kelly Degnan: I think most Georgians would rather hear that Russia was withdrawing its troops from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali rather than restoring direct flights

I think most Georgians would rather hear that Russia was withdrawing its troops from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and finally complying with its obligations under the 2008 Treaty rather than direct flights, US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, told reporters.

“As I've been learning Georgian history, I've seen that it is centuries of broken promises by Russia and Russia's attempt to deny Georgia it's identity, its language, its independence, its sovereignty. I think most Georgians would rather hear that Russia was withdrawing its troops from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and finally complying with its obligations under the 2008 Treaty rather than direct flights. I'm not aware that Georgians living in Moscow are having trouble returning to Georgia if they want to, but we certainly know there are many, many Russians who are coming to this country”, said the Ambassador.

He also answered a question of whether there is a danger that Georgia will be used as a black hole for transporting sanctioned cargo to Russia.

“We are working with the Georgian authorities, with the border police, with the customs, with with the Government in many areas to help ensure that Georgia has the capacity to comply with international sanctions. The opportunity for Georgia to be a middle corridor for goods flowing from Central Asia to Europe is a tremendous opportunity for Georgia that the United States very much supports and we are looking to partner with Georgia to ensure that in building Georgia’s contributions to that middle corridor it also has the capacity to ensure that international sanctions across the boarder are complied with. And we will continue to partner with Georgia in any of those sectors that Georgia would like”, said Kelly Degnan.

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