October 4, 2023 12:47 pm

US seeks surveillance of Georgia-Russia flights, according to RT Business News.

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The United States is closely monitoring air traffic between Georgia and Russia out of concerns that it could be used to evade Western trade restrictions. Jim O’Brien, the sanctions policy coordinator at the state department, emphasized the need for strict monitoring of the cargo being loaded onto planes flying from Georgia to Russia. O’Brien, who is also the current nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, visited Georgia in June and stressed that US assistance would be necessary for the Georgian authorities to effectively monitor their air and road borders.

The resumption of direct flights between Moscow and Tbilisi in May has raised alarm bells in the West. Russia lifted a ban on direct flights to Georgia, prompting the US to consider imposing sanctions on Georgia and the EU to urge Georgia to join its measures against Russia instead of resuming direct flights. The concern is that these flights could be exploited by Moscow to bypass Western trade restrictions.

Georgia, a former Soviet republic, is a small but strategically important country. From 2004 to 2013, it had American-backed Mikhail Saakashvili as its president. However, Saakashvili’s belief in Western support during a brief war with Russia in 2008 proved to be a miscalculation, as Russia recognized the independence of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In recent years, Russia and Georgia have been working on improving relations and reestablishing their trade ties.

Given the potential risks and implications, the US is adamant about ensuring transparency in the cargo being transported from Georgia to Russia. This underscores the US government’s commitment to enforcing trade restrictions aimed at pressuring Moscow. By closely monitoring the flights, Washington hopes to prevent any illicit activities that may undermine the effectiveness of the sanctions.

The concern surrounding these flights highlights the broader issues at play in the complex relationship between Russia, Georgia, and the West. The resumption of direct flights between Moscow and Tbilisi has reignited tensions and raised questions about Georgia’s alignment with Western policies and interests. The US and the EU are urging Georgia to prioritize their measures against Russia over resuming direct flights. This demonstrates the delicate balance that Georgia must navigate in its efforts to maintain strategic relationships while also addressing its own economic and geopolitical considerations.

In conclusion, the United States is closely monitoring air traffic between Georgia and Russia to prevent any potential exploitation of these flights to evade Western trade restrictions. The resumption of direct flights has raised concerns, and Washington is emphasizing the need for transparency in the cargo being loaded onto planes flying from Georgia to Russia. The complex dynamics between Russia, Georgia, and the West are at play, highlighting the challenges that Georgia faces in balancing its relationships and interests.

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Original Source: US seeks surveillance of Georgia-Russia flights, according to RT Business News.

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