‘National security’ measure seriously escalates tensions after clashes in Tbilisi during protests against visit by Russian MP

Vladimir Putin has banned Russia’s airlines from flying to Georgia, a day after a Russian lawmaker’s visit to the country prompted violent clashes between protesters and police.

The ban is a serious escalation in tensions between the neighbouring countries, which fought a war in 2008. The suspension of flights is designed to put pressure on Georgia’s tourism industry, which accounted for 7.6% of the country’s GDP in 2018. More than 1.4 million Russians visited Georgia last year.

Related: Georgians call for snap elections in second night of protests

Related: Dozens injured after Georgia police fire rubber bullets at demonstrators

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