On Friday, June 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the suspension of all flights from Russia to Georgia as of Monday, July 8. The Kremlin indicated the order was signed to protect Russian citizens traveling to Georgia amid heightened tensions between the two states. Russian air carriers S7 and Ural Airlines announced on Friday that they will adjust service to Georgia in accordance with the decree. Further guidance by Russia's air transport ministry Rosaviatsia is expected following a meeting on Saturday, June 22.
Associated flight disruptions, including delays and cancelations, are to be expected.
The move by Russian President Vladimir Putin comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries, which do not share formal diplomatic relations. Around 10,000 protesters rallied outside of Georgian parliament during the overnight hours (local time) of June 20-21 to denounce the Russian government and the participation of Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov at the General Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi (Georgia). Protests reportedly turned violent after images emerged of Gavrilov sitting in a seat typically reserved for Georgia's Parliamentary Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze; Kobakhidze is currently on a state visit to Azerbijian. Police subsequently fired tear gas at protesters after several attempted to storm the parliament building.
Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to contact their airline for additional information.
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