Russian opposition leader, former MP Dmitry Gudkov said today he was barred from entering Georgia and was deported from Tbilisi International Airport back to Kyiv.
Gudkov claimed his deportation was a “political decision” made at the level of the Georgian Government.
He argued that Georgian border authorities had a knowledge of his biography, did not specify reasons for the deportation and said the decision was made by their superiors.
The Russian opposition politician said he will demand an official explanation for the development.
“So much for [Georgia being] the center of Russian emigration. So much for half soft power and half Russian World,” noted Gudkov ironically.
According to Gudkov, he was visiting Tbilisi to hold meetings with politicians, journalists and diplomats following an “official invitation.” But the Russian opposition leader did not specify who had invited him.
The Interior Ministry told Civil.ge Gudkov was refused entry under Article 11 (1i) of Georgia’s law on the Legal Status of Aliens and Stateless Persons. The provision envisages refusing a Georgian visa or entry into the country in “other cases provided for by the legislation of Georgia.”
The Kremlin critic fled Russia in summer, fearing arrest ahead of the State Duma elections as a suspect in a criminal case over alleged failure to pay a debt on a rented property. He currently resides in Ukraine.
Georgia previously in August refused the entry of Lyubov Sobol, a close ally of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
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