The messenger logo

Georgian films archives to be transferred from Russia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 19
Archives of Georgian films will soon be transferred from Russia to Georgia, according to the Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative, Zurab Abashidze.

“I want to announce good news, that in the following weeks the archives of Georgian films will be transferred from Russia to Georgia,” Abashidze stated.

The official also noted that from January 2016, visa requirements were significantly simplified for Georgian citizens.

“As far as I know, the Russian side made statements that the visa regime with Georgia would be simplified even further,” said Abashidze.

Georgian film archives, created in 1916 -1990, are currently preserved in the Russian National Film Foundation, Gosfilmofond, as Georgia was part of the Soviet Union until 1991.

The negotiations over the transfer of the Georgian film archive from Russia have been in progress for more than 20 years.

In October 2014, a memorandum was signed between Georgia’s Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and Gosfilmofond, according to which the Russian side will transfer copies of Georgian films preserved in the archive.

According to Gosfilmofond, the Georgian archive consists of around 381 feature films, 200 animated films, and more than 100 scientific popular films.

Zurab Abashidze and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin are meeting in Prague. This is the first contact between the sides after Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary elections.

At the last bilateral meeting in March, Karasin stressed that Georgia’s parliamentary elections could be a threat to Georgian-Russian relations. He also expressed dissatisfaction about “increasing anti-Russian rhetoric in Georgia” by Georgian officials.

The Abashidze-Karasin meetings are the only form of official relations with Russia established in 2012 after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008. The meeting format was created for trade-economic relations and is held at least twice a year.

In December 2000, Russia introduced a visa regime with Georgia and in 2006 it carried out mass deportation of Georgians from Russia.

After the Russia-Georgia war of 2008, Georgian citizens were only given a visa to travel to Russia if they had been invited by very close relatives.

Georgia’s former government annulled visas for Russian tourists in 2011, though Russia maintained its complicated procedures until now.

In December 2015, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was "determined” to continue to take steps to alleviate the conditions of communication between the citizens of the two nations.