Media: US warns of sanctions if Georgia resumes direct flights to Russia

The U.S. has warned Georgia of economic sanctions if it resumes direct flights to Russia, Georgian media outlet Accent News reported on May 10.

According to Accent News, a representative of the U.S. State Department told them in a statement that "now is not the time to deepen relations with Russia."

Additionally, resuming flights could lead to "the possible imposition of sanctions on Georgian airlines that serve aircraft subject to import and export controls" given that many countries, including the U.S., have banned Russian aircraft from entering its own airspace.

Georgia's Deputy Economy Minister Mariam Kvrivishvili claimed that reestablishing direct flights will help Georgian citizens living in Russia to "reunite with their homeland," Accent News reported.

"As for direct flights, we must clearly and unequivocally explain that we have not restricted traffic with Russia from the ground point of view - thousands of cars move on the Russian-Georgian border every month," Kvrivishvili added.