Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi rapidly getting worse
By signing a ban on air travel from Russia to Georgia on July 8 and instructing the government to ensure safe return of Russians from Georgia, Russian President Vladimir Putin partially satisfied the demands of protesters in Tbilisi.
The rally, which took place on Friday evening outside the Georgian parliament building, against authorities, in particular the police, who had used excessive force the day before to suppress protest rally, very quickly became of anti-Russian nature. Posters demanding Moscow and Russian leadership leave Georgia alone were seen. This request has been heard. Russia is slowly beginning to leave Georgia alone once again with its heap of economic problems.
Cancellation of flights is a huge blow to tourism business. Actually, Russian leader has recommended our tour operators to review their business lines, at least while the ban on flights will be in force.
It's hard to say how bad will this situation hurt Georgia. Russia confidently came out on top by number of tourists that visit this Transcaucasian country. The entire Black Sea coast of Georgia is associated with tourism and holidaymakers in one way or another. Tbilisi, ancient capital of Mtskheta, the entire Kakheti valley, center of winemaking, mountain regions with unique sights, Borjomi with its legendary mineral water... It’s time to count future losses. After all, a lot of people are connected to those who visit Georgia to some extent. Some people own hotels and hostels, some rents apartments, some rent out cars, some work as guides... All of them can lose their jobs - there are many tourists from other countries, but they account for only a part of expected earnings in this season.
Then Russia will continue to follow Georgia's demand to leave it alone, by stoping to export its alcohol, agricultural products, mineral waters and other beverages. You can always find some kind of inconsistency with the rules of trade in the Russian Federation and take appropriate measures. Georgia is familiar with all of this. Only after the “Georgian Dream” came to power instead of the Russophobic “National Movement” did Moscow allow some relaxation in trade relations with Georgia. The Karasin-Abashidze negotiations format achieved huge improvement of relations. It didn't come to political thaw, it was far from it, but economic and humanitarian ties became better. Now, apparently, we will witness sharp decline.
Now thos behin protest wave can stop worrying - Moscow finally began to leave Georgia alone.