On October 24, the Russian Kommersant newspaper published an article named “Europe Considers Recovering the Visa Regime with Georgia: Persons Leaving to the EU Have to Get a Preliminary Permit”. The news item which was actively republished by Russian media notes that, in fact, Europe is restoring the EU visa regime with Georgia.
According to the article, Tbilisi thinks that on the one hand, this decision of the European Parliament is related to the objective to reduce the unprecedented number of illegal immigrants from Georgia due to visa abolition, and on the other hand, it is related to the desire not to spoil relations with Georgian authorities. Then Kommersant mentions, “It is worth noting that so far the abolition of the visa regime with the EU has been considered the main achievement of Tbilisi on the way to European integration”. In fact, Kommersant presents the bill of the European Parliament as a failure in the most important achievement towards European integration of Georgia.
Meanwhile, in reality, the matter concerns the introduction of draft “European Travel Information and Authorization System”, according to which citizens of countries which have signed a visa liberalization agreement with the EU shall receive a relevant preliminary permission before entering the EU territory. This draft was proposed in 2016 and is aimed at consolidating EU security. Moreover, this new regulation will refer to more than 50 countries apart from Georgia, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, etc.
Hence, representing this project as a failure of EU-Georgian relations is merely a distortion of facts and an act of propaganda by “Kommersant”. Moreover, the majority of Armenian media outlets keep on actively republishing this lie.