Georgia to let Russian planes land in Tbilisi-1
(RIA Novosti) - Russia has received Georgia's permission to land two passenger planes carrying deported Georgian citizens in Tbilisi, a Russian diplomat said.
Permission for the landing of the emergencies ministry planes, which are also set to evacuate Russian citizens from Georgia, had been delayed by airport authorities due to 'runway repairs', as the spying row between the ex-Soviet neighbors continues, reports Trend.
Valery Vasilyev, the consul of the Russian Embassy in Georgia, said two Il-62 passenger planes will take a group of 119 Georgians deported from Russia to Tbilisi and bring 270 Russian citizens, who decided to leave Georgia, back to Moscow.
The first Russian emergencies ministry plane is expected to arrive in Tbilisi at 4 pm Moscow time (12 pm GMT).
A total of 180 Georgians were deported in the beginning of October from Russia, after four Russian officers were detained and charged in Tbilisi with spying. Although the officers were soon released and returned to their homeland, Russia suspended transport and mail links with Georgia.
A Migration Service official said on Tuesday, "We are planning to deport 119 Georgian citizens who resided illegally on Russian territory."
Georgian Economy Minister Irakly Chogovadze earlier said the Georgians deported from Russia would find work in their homeland.
"I do not think that we will face problems with the arrival of our citizens from Russia," he said. "Each of them will be able to find a job and be useful in his home country."
About a million Georgians are thought to work in Russia. A deputy speaker of the lower chamber of Russia's parliament has suggested 300,000 of them reside illegally.
Georgian workers send large amounts of money home to their relatives in what is still a relatively poor country. Russia's small and economically-dependent neighbor is widely expected to be hard-hit by the latest measures.