Garibashvili Under Fire over Ukraine Remarks

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has come under fire from the opposition, Public Defender and foreign politicians over controversial remarks on Ukraine, saying Georgia will not join sanctions against Russia and visiting Kyiv would be “useless.”

Nika Melia, chair of the United National Movement, the largest opposition party, dubbed the Prime Minister’s statements as “collaborationist acts in this crucial time for Ukraine, Georgia and the whole international order.”

“I want to make clear that Russia’s puppet regime in Georgia does not represent the position of the Georgian people,” he asserted.

Natia Mezvrishvili of ex-PM Giorgi Gakharia’s For Georgia party meanwhile slammed today the Georgian PM and Government as “fainthearted.”

Referring to the PM’s claims that his decisions were based on Georgia’s “national interests,” Mezvrishvili argued the GD has “decided to pursue an anti-national policy under the guise of these words.”

“In this battle between Russia and the free world, today Georgia has a government that stands on the side of Russia,” stated MP Salome Samadashvili of Lelo.

She added that “Irakli Garibashvili awaits the fall of Kyiv, because Ukraine’s victory would mean the end of [Georgian Dream founder Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s regime in Georgia.”

Elene Khoshtaria of the Droa party said “it is clear that we have a pro-Russian government. Forcing them to take proper measures is an illusion.”

The Droa, as well as Girchi – More Freedom and Labor parties have already announced separate rallies in Tbilisi in protest of the Prime Minister’s remarks.

Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria said on Facebook that the Prime Minister’s statement does not reflect her position. “Georgians do not leave their friends alone in difficulties,” she stressed.

Georgian citizens also took to Facebook and Twitter en masse to share a picture captioned: “Sorry for our Government, Georgia stands with Ukraine!”

Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Honcharenko of the opposition Petro Poroshenko Bloc slammed the ruling Georgian Dream’s refusal to impose sanctions on Russia as well as hold an extraordinary session at the Parliament on Ukraine.

Responding to the Georgian PM’s remarks about visiting Ukraine, the lawmaker said PM Garibashvili “does not have to go anywhere [even] when the war is over and there are passenger planes flying over us instead of military planes.”

He also reminded the Georgian public of then-President Viktor Yushchenko’s visit to Tbilisi alongside several European leaders on August 12, 2008, amid the Russo-Georgian war.

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