Israel Tells Businessmen to Stop Visiting Georgia

Officials: Blanket directive issued due to concerns about damage to Israel's relations with Russia.

Defense officials say the government has told all businessmen involved in military sales to Georgia to immediately cease visits to the Caucasus nation.

The officials say the blanket directive was decided upon this week because Israel is concerned about damage to its relations with Russia. For the same reason, Israel decided to stop most weapons sales to Georgia even before the Russia-Georgia war last month.

One of Israel's primary concerns is that Russia could sell Iran advanced weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the directive had not been made public.

Israel has sold Georgia drones and other technologies, and Israelis trained Georgian units in urban warfare and counterterrorism tactics.