Georgia Loses $350mn Due to Russian Flight Suspension

Georgia’s budget has lost $350 million since July 8, when flights from Russia were banned temporarily, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia told residents of the Samegrelo region on Saturday, TASS reported.

“When the Russians banned our flights in July, the country’s has budget lost $350 million. Today, Georgia’s revenues from tourism exceeded $2 billion. It is real money. Maybe, just 3% of it go to Samegrelo, because there are no tourist products here. We need to work on it,” Gakharia said.

Russia suspended flights to and from Georgia following the protests that erupted in Tbilisi on June 20, sparked by an uproar over a Russian legislator’s address in the Georgian parliament.

On June 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree, barring Russian air carriers from operating flights between the two countries starting on July 8. The ban was later expanded to include Georgian air companies.