A Georgian Airways passenger plane has landed in Russia’s capital in a small but significant step forward in relations between the two countries.
Direct air links between them have been suspended since they fought a brief war in 2008. Not any more.
Hence excitement in the arrivals area of one of Moscow’s main airports as a charter flight from Tbilisi came into land. And there will be more flights this weekend, raising hopes a regular air link might eventually be fully restored.
“We have been waiting for flights to resume for a long time,” said one newly-arrived passenger from the Georgian capital. “I hope it is not the last and that this signals improving relations between politicians from both countries.”
“I am excited,” another added. “I hope Georgia-Russia relations improve. I think both presidents are very much up to their jobs and will find common language.”
Restoring diplomatic relations however is not on the agenda for now. Ties between the two ex-Soviet neighbours have been frozen since they fought a war when Georgia tried by force to retake breakaway South Ossetia.