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30 Aug, 2008 10:31

Russians to get Georgian visas only in third-party countries

From September 8 only diplomatic representations and consulates in third-party countries will issue Georgian visas to Russian citizens, Georgia announced on Saturday. The Director of the Russian Department in the Georgian Foreign Ministry has already serv

Russian citizens will be able to get detailed information on the issue in Georgia’s diplomatic representations and consulates in third-party countries, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

Until today Russian citizens, arriving in Georgia, could get single-entry tourist  visas at the county’s official border control points, such as the one at Tbilisi airport.

The move follows Tbilisi’s decision to break off all diplomatic ties with Moscow.

Also, only the Georgian consulate service will continue to operate in Russia, and Georgia will be diplomatically represented in Russia by the embassy of a third country, according to the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze. The consulate service in Russia will not, however, issue visas.

Earlier this week Tbilisi recalled most of its embassy staff from Moscow.

Georgian Prime Minister Vladimir Gurgenidze has also signed an order for Georgia to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and all peacekeeping agreements with Russia.

Georgian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Tkheshelashvili has been instructed to send notes to the CIS executive committee and the Russian Foreign Ministry, as well as to the UN, OSCE and other international organisations, explaining the move.

On Thursday the Georgian parliament unanimously supported a request to the government to cut ties with Russia over what was described as its ‘occupation of Georgian territory’.

Russia committed to six-point peace plan

President Dmitry Medvedev has assured the British Prime Minister that Moscow is committed to sticking to the six-point peace settlement plan for South Ossetia. He said Russia demands unbiased international monitoring of the current Georgian leadership.

Medvedev said Russia is looking for constructive talks with the EU and international groups on the Georgian crisis.

The statement was made during a phone conversation with Gordon Brown ahead of ahead of the European Union emergency meeting in Brussels on Monday.

President Medvedev also explained his reasons for recognising the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.