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The News in Brief

Friday, May 19, 2023
Prepared by Messenger Staff

US Ambassador Kelly Degnan Raises Question on Putin's Offers to Georgia: Why Now?

US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, raised important questions regarding the recent offers made by Putin to Georgia. She emphasized the need to understand the motives behind these offers and the potential costs associated with them, such as direct flights, the cancellation of the visa regime, and the potential restoration of the railway line. Degnan stated that it is crucial to recognize that Putin does not offer anything without expecting something in return.

"A country with 20 percent of its territory occupied by Russia, eight of its citizens held by Russian-backed forces in South Ossetia, and continued pressure from Russia should be wary of what looks like Russia's attempt to normalize relations with Georgia.

I think the important questions are: Why? Why now? Why is Putin now making these concessions and offers to Georgia? What fees will Georgia have to pay for this, for direct flights, for the cancellation of the visa regime, with the potential restoration of the railway line that will connect Georgia to Russia through Abkhazia? These are very important questions, because we know that Putin does not give anything without a price. When asked why Russia is doing this now, we have to draw conclusions based on the facts to understand what they might want to receive in terms of this step, this gesture," Kelly Degnan said.

Gov't Is Committed to Protecting Country and Its People from Harmful Decisions, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze says

According to Kakha Kaladze, the mayor of Tbilisi, the government of Georgia has repeatedly stated its refusal to participate in sanctions. He emphasized that the government is committed to making decisions that prioritize the well-being of the country and its citizens, avoiding any potential harm.

Kakha Kaladze expressed his approval of Putin's decision, stating that there is nothing wrong with visa-free travel and flights being made possible.

"I welcome the decision that visa-free travel and flights are possible, there is nothing wrong with that," said Kaladze.

When asked by journalists about the possibility of restoring railway traffic and whether the government would agree to such a concession, Kakha Kaladze responded, "This is the first time I am hearing about it. What concessions and steps has Georgia taken in general? The sanctions were unilaterally imposed by Russia, and they have made the decision to lift these sanctions. The government of Georgia does not support these sanctions. We have reiterated multiple times that we will not make decisions that are detrimental to our country and its people."