Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed in an interview with the RTVI channel on September 17, that “we see the emergence of Georgian politicians who are in favor” of “recovering and improving” ties with Moscow. “These are so far small parties among the ruling elites,” Russian Foreign Minister highlighted. Georgian politicians from the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition negatively reacted to Lavrov’s comments.
Irakli Beraia, Georgian Dream MP, Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee Chairperson, stated that Lavrov’s statement is “laughable” since in order to normalize relations, Russia has first to take the steps to fulfill its obligations required by the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. MP Beraia also accused the previous government, led by United National Movement, of carrying out the largest amount of “Russian deeds” since communists.
MP Giga Bokeria of the opposition European Georgia party stated that minor pro-Russian parties are not a problem since a “big group, which controls every branch of government in the country, one man – [Bidzina] Ivanishvili and his encirclement” make Georgia “vulnerable against Russia in economic, security and political domains.”
Tamar Kekenadze, Chairperson of Free Democrats, assessed Lavrov’s statement as cynical, noting that the Russian Foreign Minister blames Georgia while deliberately trying to avoid Russia’s responsibility for occupying Georgian territories. Kekenadze expressed confidence in Georgians’ ability to differentiate between friends and enemies.