Russia remains an occupier, and in the political part, of course, it is difficult for us to talk about a different situation today - in terms of diplomatic relations, we are very clearly uncompromising, because the occupation is a problem in our relations, said the Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Levan Davitashvili at the briefing held after the of the Government session.
According to him, the Georgian government is consistent both in terms of integration with the European Union and in economic policy decisions.
"As for what has changed - in 2008, Georgia had a large-scale war with Russia. Russian occupation. Russia remains an occupier, and in the political part, of course, it is difficult for us to talk about a different situation today. This situation has been like this for us since 2008, not since 2019. So we understand that in the political part, in terms of diplomatic relations, we are very clearly uncompromising, because the occupation is a problem in our relations, as for the commercial part - we are consistent here, and we have made a statement about it more than once", noted the Vice Prime Minister.
According to Davitashvili, during the post-pandemic period, the government quickly managed the organization of tourist flows from new markets, but "it is important to restore tourist flows from traditional markets, for example, such as the Russian Federation and also Azerbaijan."
According to him, it would be unpragmatic to refuse direct flights between Russia and Georgia.
"We also expect an effect of about 300-400 million dollars in the tourism sector, which can be called the "effect of flights". In 2019, the tourism income from the Russian Federation was approximately 1 billion," Davitashvili noted.
When asked why Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to restore direct flights to Georgia, Davitashvili answers as follows:
"Let's talk about our decisions, our motives. I will not go into Putin's motivations. How can I tell you now? This will be a frivolous discussion on my part."
In addition, the Minister spoke about the issue of European integration, as Levan Davitashvili states, the main task of the Georgian government remains the issue of joining the European Union, and the work in this direction "goes very, very dedicatedly and with high professionalism".
According to him, the Government team has high hopes that the efforts made by the country over the years will be evaluated fairly and correctly.
"We are consistent both in economic policy decisions and steps, as well as in the part of international policy. The main task for us remains the final full membership in the European Union, including the progress of our status on the way to our membership, and in this regard, I would like to tell you that the work is going on very, very dedicatedly and with high professionalism. When we talk about membership in the European Union, it depends on the fulfillment of many requirements. Our consistent policies cannot fail to deliver results, because otherwise the European Union will not be the European Union we all want - a union based on fairness. We have high hopes that the efforts that the country has been [implementing] for years will be assessed fairly and correctly," said Davitashvili.