1.3 million Russians have already crossed the Georgian border, about 300 thousand of them remained in the country.
The representative of the “United National Movement” in Georgia, Nona Mamulashvili, said that the influx of Russians fleeing to Georgia from mobilization remains a significant problem for the country. Almost 70% of surveyed citizens are concerned about the mass arrival of Russians to the country. People fear the negative consequences of this “migration”.
“Given what is happening in Georgia now, and what a shameful policy our government is pursuing, I think it does not even fully show the picture that is now. In fact, the problem is very serious, the problem is vital, because a country that occupies 20 % of our territory, plus it sends its population here, which lives uncontrollably on the territory of Georgia, buys up real estate en masse and feels very comfortable. I think that for a country that is as dangerous as Russia to have such a large number of citizens of the Russian Federation on its territory – this is dangerous for the security of Georgia,” Mamulashvili said on the air of the FREEDIM TV channel.
According to her, the fact that Russians come as refugees to a country whose territory is occupied is an oxymoron.
“The country occupied 20% of our territory, and these people come to us as refugees. I have never seen such a phenomenon in any country in my life. And again, the mass that fled from both sanctions and mobilization, of course “I came to Georgia first because we have a border with this country,” she added.
Mamulishvili noted that 1.3 million Russians have already crossed the Georgian border. About 300,000 of them decided to stay in Georgia.
“Approximately 300,000 of the population of Russia is approximately 8%. This is already a minority that did not exist in Georgia even during the Soviet Union,” she emphasized.
According to Mamulashvili, Russians fleeing mobilization do not feel any responsibility for the actions and policies of the Russian authorities. If they are refugees, they should ask for political asylum, but the Russians do not do this.
“They are simply wintering here and, most likely, they will stay here. Again, this is very dangerous for the security of Georgia. But given that the Georgian authorities are already openly pursuing a pro-Russian policy, they refused to close the borders and introduce a visa regime , and resort to any actions in order to control the mass of citizens of the Russian Federation who enter the territory of Georgia,” explained the representative of the “United National Movement” in Georgia.
She assumes that Russia can use this situation against Georgia in the future. In addition, Russians do not adapt to life in a foreign country, but demand the same rights as the indigenous population.
At the same time, Mamulashvili emphasized that although the Georgian government takes a pro-Russian position, the population of Georgia is with Ukraine.
The influx of Russians to Georgia
After the announcement in September of “partial mobilization” in Russia, hundreds of thousands of Russians began to flee the country. Many remained in Georgia.
In January 2023, the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, came out strongly against the resumption of direct flights with Russia and demanded to strengthen the conditions of stay of Russians in the country. Zurabishvili also called on the government to “seriously study the issue of the influx of Russian citizens” to Georgia in order to take into account and protect the security and national interests of Georgians.
At the same time, the Embassy of Ukraine in Georgia assumes the possibility of evacuation of Ukrainian citizens from the country after the resumption of direct air traffic between Georgia and the Russian Federation and the mass influx of Russians.