Kyiv discusses plans to evacuate its citizens from Georgia if Russia resumes direct flights with Tbilisi, the former suspended in 2019, as mass influx of Russian nationals could be a threat to stranded Ukrainians, charge d'affaires of Ukraine to Georgia, Andriy Kasianov, said on Tuesday.
The statement follows recent claims by the Kremlin to resume direct flights with Tbilisi that were suspended by the decision of Russian president Vladimir Putin in June 2019, as Russian lawmakers were forced out from the county by demonstrators.
“If the flights are resumed, my office does not exclude the possibility of contacting international organizations, our international partners, in order to discuss the possibility of assistance in the mass evacuation of Ukrainian citizens from the territory of Georgia. However, this may happen if our citizens face real threats [by Russians]”, Kasianov said.
He added the embassy was also considering the possibility of arranging special evacuation routes for the most vulnerable segments of the Ukrainian population stranded in Georgia, with the land routes “most optimal”.
According to figures, there are about 30,000 Ukrainian citizens in Georgia fleeing the war.
Several representatives of the Georgian Dream government said they would welcome the resumption of flights that would help the Georgian citizens living in Russia, with the president and the majority of the domestic opposition disapproving such a development.