Two Russian journalists had to return back to Moscow from the Tbilisi airport after they were denied entry into Georgia on September 2.
Vladimir Mamontov, an editor-in-chief of daily Izvestia and Maxim Shevchenko, a host of TV talk-show on Russia’s Channel One, were in a delegation, which arrived in Tbilisi to participate in series of round table discussions on Russia-Georgia relations.
The Georgian authorities cited Shevchenko’s and Mamontov’s illegal trips to breakaway Abkhazia as a reason behind the refusal to let the two journalists in the country. Georgia’s law on occupied territories bans entry into breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the Russian territories.
Alan Kasaev, an editor of RIA Novosti news agency, was a third member of the delegation; he was allowed to enter into Georgia.
The visit is organized by Georgian-Russian public council, which was established after the August war with an aim to keep contacts between a group of journalists and political experts of the two countries. The council is chaired by Malkhaz Gulashvili, president of the Georgian Times media holding. Gulashvili condemned the Georgian authorities move and said barring “two famous journalists” from entry would be “harmful for Georgia.”