Date: 2 weeks ago   Category: Society

President of Georgia: In Georgia nothing happened to one Russian tourist

Salome Zourabichvili in an interview of DW told about unacceptability for Georgians of the fact of occupation of their territories and also invited the correspondent of DW to spend a vacation in Georgia.

the sharp aggravation of the Georgian-Russian relations which Began in the summer of 2019 became the first large foreign policy call of Salome Zourabichvili on a post of the president of Georgia. She held this position in December, 2018, having won elections as the independent candidate who was supported by ruling party Georgian Dream. DW interview also began with a subject of the relations of Russia and Georgia. His Salome Zourabichvili gave in Batumi.

of DW: Madam president, we meet on fields of the Batumi forum which is devoted to decade of "Eastern Partnership" - programs of the EU which is very important for your country. At the same time you have a long story of the relations with Russia - and very strong economic relations with this country. How do you manage to keep balance between the European ambitions of the Georgian public, on the one hand, both Soviet past and communications with Russia, with another?

of Salome Zourabichvili: It is very easy. Because there is only one prospect - communications have to remain. We slowly overcome heritage of the past and we move further. However prospects of the country are extremely clear today: after independence finding Georgia began process which first was slow, but then accelerated more and more and eventually turned into the consecutive movement to the European Union.

It does not mean that everything is cloudless. Before us there is a set of difficulties. We had frozen conflicts and we had a war of 2008. Twenty percent of our territory are occupied. The line of demarcation - a constant source of tension. Recently on this soil there were friction with Russia. However whatever difficulties we faced, Georgia never stopped the movement to the European Union. I repeat, it not only prospect. It is an integral part of the Georgian culture and history. Georgians feel as Europeans, and the country moves today in that direction in which it also has to move.

- the Government of the Russian Federation is extremely anxious with safety of the Russian citizens in Georgia recently. So what forbade flights to Georgia. What will you tell about it?

- should not take everything in all good faith (laughs). There is very interesting fact on which, perhaps, we focus attention insufficiently: last year to Georgia there arrived about 1 million 700 thousand Russian tourists. And war was until recently, in the 2008th - and only in 40 kilometers from Tbilisi there passes the line of demarcation! But even despite it in Georgia nothing happened to

to one Russian tourist. Just the opposite, on reaction of the Russian population we saw that Russians want as before to come to Georgia. And I am sure that the flow of the Russian tourists will renew. The Georgian hospitality is directed to all, it is not selective. Our country is really open for any who a priyezzha



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