On Saturday, June 22, the Russian Transport Ministry announced that flights from Georgia would be barred from landing at Russian airports, effective Monday, July 8. The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, June 21, ordered the suspension of all flights from Russia to Georgia beginning July 8; the Kremlin indicated the order was signed to protect Russian citizens traveling to Georgia amid heightened tensions between the two states.
Associated flight disruptions, including delays and cancelations, are to be expected.
The June 21 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 overnight (local time) from June 20 to June 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 Azerbaijan. 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 airlines for additional information.
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