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Russia does not want sanctions on Georgia, Putin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in televised comments on Tuesday that he did not support a parliamentary call to impose tough economic sanctions on Georgia.

Compiled from wire services WORLD
Published July 09,2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Tuesday against a push for new sanctions on Georgia despite the latest crisis between the two countries.

Commenting on the sidelines of an international industrial trade fair in Yekaterinburg, Putin said he "would not do anything to complicate Russian-Georgian relations."

"There are people who protest against this [anti-Russian politics] in Georgia. Because of these people, for the sake of restoring full-fledged relations between Russia and Georgia, I would not do anything," he added.

In a separate statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called a lawmakers' initiative for new sanctions "a natural reaction to the insulting behavior of the Georgia side."

Protests broke out in Georgian capital Tbilisi on June 22 over a controversial visit by a Russian lawmaker.

Sergei Gavrilov, a Communist deputy of the Russian State Duma, addressed the assembly from the speaker's seat during a forum of lawmakers from Orthodox countries, sparking an uproar.

The protests were characterized in Moscow as "anti-Russian" and endangering Russian tourists, and led to a temporary ban on Russian airlines flying to Georgia "for safety reasons."

Today the Duma introduced a bill to expand the sanctions against Georgia.

Tbilisi fought a five-day war with Russia in 2008 over Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia lost control of both areas, and Russia later recognized them as independent states.