United National Movement’s Chair Nika Melia, Political Council Chair, MP Koba Nakopia, lawmaker Eka Kherkheulidze and ex-President Giorgi Margvelashvili (2013-2018) are on a visit to Ukraine.
The delegation, which unexpectedly reported its arrival on April 15, has visited the town of Bucha, the site of alleged mass atrocities by Russia, as well as the capital, Kyiv to meet Verkhovna Rada members.
“We have not visited these cities only to say that what Russia is doing is genocide,” Melia told reporters in Bucha. “We want to kindle the faith, the emotion that Ukraine will win.”
“Ukraine has already become a symbol of fighting against sadism, evil, and cruelty, but in a short time, Ukraine will become a symbol of victory over this cruelty, savagery, and evil,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, Ex-President Margvelashvili said late on April 18 that the trip was motivated by “the common spirit, common emotion that unites Georgian society, which is standing with Ukraine.”
Margvelashvili also dubbed Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in a political context “a genocide.”
The secretly conceived trip to Ukraine drew criticism from both UNM’s fellow opposition parties as well as government-critical TV Pirveli.
Chief of TV Pirveli’s News Service, Nodar Meladze said on April 16 that UNM leadership “hid” the visit from his network. “This is the first instance when the opposition withholds information from critical media, free of all political influences.”
Meladze argued that previously Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Deputy PM, Culture Minister Tea Tsulukiani had resorted to such practices. “It does not matter who does this, be it the opposition or the government, it is important for critical media and any journalist to have the possibility to receive and disseminate information,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers slammed the UNM over its decision to turn down the opportunity to join the multipartisan delegation to Ukraine, instead opting to visit separately. Vice-Speaker Levan Ioseliani of the Citizens Party said the largest opposition group had chosen to pursue its “narrow party interests.”
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