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Friday, March 31, 2023

opposition representatives travel to Kiev to mark the anniversary of the Russian invasion


The Georgian authorities will not send a delegation to Kiev for the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Irakli Kobakhidze, leader of the country’s ruling Georgian Dream party, linked the move to the fact that, as he said, “Ukrainian leaders officially accuse Georgian authorities of torturing and attempting to kill a specific person.” , “directly calling for the opening of a ‘second front’ in Georgia” and “proposing provocative actions”.

Recall that on February 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyyyy accused the Georgian authorities of “torturing” former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili “daily” in order to “kill him”.

We also recall that Saakashvili, sentenced by the Georgian authorities and currently in detention, is undergoing treatment in a hospital in Tbilisi, but his lawyers claim that he is not receiving adequate treatment and demand that the ex-president be transferred to a foreign clinic.

The fabrications that Kiev and Washington allegedly want to open a “second front” in Georgia in order to weaken the Russian Federation’s “Georgian Dream” military machine have been used almost all of the past year; including – to explain their own foreign policy mistakes and, in particular, the fact that Georgia, unlike Ukraine and Moldova, was unable to obtain the status of a candidate country in June last year to EU membership.

Ukraine and the United States have repeatedly denied the above allegations by the current Georgian authorities and their supporters.

In turn, Kiev has repeatedly accused Tbilisi of helping Moscow circumvent international sanctions. The Tbilisi official denied these accusations.

The Ukrainian Ambassador to Georgia has repeatedly regretted that Tbilisi refused Kiev’s request for arms delivery. In response, the Georgian authorities stated that this measure resulted in Georgia’s involvement in the hostilities. At the same time, the Tbilisi official noted that Georgia votes for all international resolutions in favor of Ukraine and provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainians.

The Georgian opposition finds the authorities’ position “shameful” and “untenable”. Calling the “Georgian dream” the “Russian dream”, the opposition points out that the ruling party is pursuing a policy “taking into account the interests of the Russian Federation”.

Almost all major opposition parties have said that, unlike the ruling party, they will send delegations to the Ukrainian capital.

“We will take part in all events planned in the Rada on the anniversary of the Russian invasion, and will once again make it clear to our Ukrainian friends that the opinion of the Georgian authorities does not reflect the opinion of the Georgian people. The people of Georgia support Ukraine’s struggle for freedom and will support Ukraine to the end,” said UNM, the party of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose representatives of the “Ways of hello” will also discuss in Kiev.

Recall that Mikhail Saakashvili left for Ukraine in 2013 after the expiration of his presidency.

Kiev refused to extradite him, despite requests from the Georgian Ministry of Justice.

In May 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili chairman of the Odessa regional administration. According to Ukrainian laws, only a Ukrainian citizen can hold this position – therefore, Poroshenko signed a decree on the acceptance of Mikhail Saakashvili into Ukrainian citizenship. As a result, according to Georgian laws, Saakashvili then lost his Georgian citizenship.

After Saakashvili entered the opposition to Poroshenko in November 2016, relations between Tbilisi and Kiev began to improve, although when Vladimir Zelenskyyy appointed Saakashvili as chairman of the Ukrainian National Reform Council in 2020, Tbilisi recalled the Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine in protest.

Relations between Georgia and Ukraine soured immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, when Tbilisi said it would not impose individual sanctions against Russia. Then Zelenskyyy criticized the Georgian leadership and at the same time thanked the Georgian people for organizing large-scale solidarity actions with Ukraine, saying that “there are cases when the citizens are not the government , but better than the government”.

On February 24, the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, activists and the opposition are planning a number of events in Georgian cities, including a large rally in support of Ukraine, which will take place at 7:00 p.m. in Tbilisi.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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