Kelly Degnan: I don't know why anyone would welcome a gift from a country that is a brutal aggressor - there are safety issues too, whether the airline sanctioned, or whether the planes have the proper parts

I don't know why anyone should welcome a gesture, a gift from a country that is a brutal aggressor. I think this is a very important question that should be asked, US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan said.

"The difference between the current situation and 2019 is that Russia invaded Ukraine again and launched a brutal, bloody war against Ukrainian citizens, children, schools, hospitals, buildings. This is an unprecedented invasion of Russia into the territory of a neighboring country to eliminate the identity and sovereignty of Ukraine. This is the main thing that happened after 2019. I don't know why anyone should welcome a gesture, a gift from a country that is a brutal aggressor. I think this is a very important question that should be asked," the Ambassador noted.

In addition, to the journalist's question, why the Georgian authorities agreed to Russia's proposal for several airlines to operate flights from tomorrow and, apart from sanctions, whether there is a safety threat to Georgian citizens, since European airlines no longer provide Russian airlines with spare parts, the Ambassador replied that there is a legitimate safety-related concern.

"I have not seen information on which airlines were allowed to enter. This is important in order to determine whether they are sanctioned or not. There are safety issues, whether they are sanctioned aircraft, whether they have the proper parts, whether they have the right maintenance. This is a legitimate safety concern that should be taken into account," the Ambassador noted.

*The quotes in the article have been double-translated from Georgian and wordings may be inaccurate.

US Ambassador discusses visa restrictions and future of US-Georgia relations
Estonian Ambassador to Georgia - If we want EU membership, we should all play by the rules - The Georgian Government on the one hand says that they are moving closer to the EU, but their actions do not prove that