Georgia proposes 'occupation tax' for Russians
In Georgia, the opposition United National Movement party, founded in 2001 by Mikheil Saakashvili, has officially introduced a bill on the tax for the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to parliament. What they offer, the publication said Radio Liberty.
According to the initiators of the bill, all Russians who come to the country or are already in Georgia as tourists are required to pay 1000 lari (about $350) to the state treasury. Otherwise, they propose to ban Russian citizens from crossing the border.
If a person is already in the country, he can be expelled, although Georgian legislation provides for a one-year visa-free regime for tourists, including those from Russia.
Sources in the ruling Georgian Dream party have yet to comment on the bill, but hint that it is unlikely to be passed. The country's government often points to economic growth and hints that this growth is largely due to the large flow of tourists from Russia.
In addition, the country's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili repeatedly emphasized the essence of Tbilisi's policy in the context of the war in Ukraine: "Georgia will not join the anti-Russian sanctions and will not allow the opening of a" second front "against Russia."
In addition, Georgia undertook obligations to the EU not to allow discrimination in any form, and a number of human rights organizations saw signs of discrimination in the proposed bill.
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In recent days, the flow of Russian citizens who are trying to get into Georgia through the Upper Lars border crossing has sharply increased. Many of them do not hide the fact that they are leaving because of the mobilization announced in Russia. There was a huge queue at the border crossing. The Georgian authorities say they do not intend to restrict the entry of Russians.
Georgia considers Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be territories occupied by Russia. Moscow in 2008 recognized the independence of these self-proclaimed republics.
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