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Ambassador: Patarkatsishvili Refused Belgian Visa

Badri Patarkatsishvili, a business tycoon running in the January 5 presidential election, has been denied entry to Belgium, Salome Samadashvili, the Georgian ambassador to Belgium, told Georgian TV on December 4.

She said that she had been informed that Patarkatsishvili had asked the Belgian consulate in Israel for a visa for December 4-6.

?I was informed that the Belgian side refused to issue an entry visa [for Patarkatsishvili],? Samadashvili told Rustavi 2, Mze and Georgian Public Broadcaster stations. ?I was informed as the case involved a presidential candidate.? She said the visa had been denied because Patarkatsishvili is wanted in Russia.

Patarkatsishvili, however, told the Russian news agency, Interfax, that the reported refusal was ?disinformation.?

?This is utter nonsense,? MP Valery Gelbakhiani, a lawmaker and representative of Patarkatsishvili?s election campaign office, told Mze TV late on December 4. ?As far as I know Patarkatsishvili has a Schengen visa, so he did not need to apply for a visa to the Belgian [consulate in Israel], even if he had wanted to visit that country.?

Meanwhile, Givi Targamadze, a senior lawmaker from the ruling party, said on December 4 that Patarkatsishvili wanted to visit Brussels ?to create a negative background? to Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze?s visit. PM Gurgenidze will start a visit to Brussels on December 5, where he plans talks with EU and NATO officials.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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