Georgian Dream leaders have denied blaming the U.S. over Credit Suisse’s refusal to pay compensation to the ruling party’s founder, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, which they claimed was part of a coordinated effort to drag Georgia into war against Russia.
GD Chair Irakli Kobakhidze told reporters today that “no one mentioned” the U.S. when the ruling party members spoke of the alleged coordinated efforts on May 10.
Instead, he shot back at political opponents — who accused the GD of hitting out at the U.S. — claiming that “when the ruling party does not mention America and the opposition does, you can judge for yourself who leads an anti-U.S. campaign.”
Grilled by reporters, the ruling party leader also distanced from statements made by several GD-aligned pundits, who directly pointed accusatory fingers at the U.S. yesterday. “There is freedom of speech in Georgia, and anyone can voice their opinions,” he added.
He also brushed aside suspicions that billionaire Ivanishvili could be facing imminent sanctions from the West, arguing that the GD founder is not “in any way” linked to Russia or its aggression against Ukraine.
“When there are no links, either formal or informal, naturally this issue cannot be discussed by anyone in any form,” the GD Chair continued.
MP Kobakhidze then pushed on with the GD’s line that the recent hindrances faced by Ivanishvili could be meant as “blackmail, not punishment.”
In this context, the GD Chair also pointed out the report by Ivanishvili’s lawyer that the billionaire had faced issues in transporting artwork from London and New York and a helicopter from Germany.
The new revelations have made the Georgian Dream’s suspicions even more relevant, in the ruling party chair’s opinion. But, MP Kobakhidze vowed that the party will not discuss the matter any further.
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Also on May 11, the First Vice-Speaker of the Parliament, Gia Volski said the U.S. participation in the alleged coordinated efforts is “largely part ruled out.”
The senior GD lawmaker also noted it was unlikely that there could be more to the delayed payment other than “the Swiss bank’s improper, unscrupulous actions.”
“We should not rule out other factors either, that could be a part of this combination,” the Vice-Speaker added, going on to argue that Russia may have the interest to fuel permanent destabilization in Georgia as it is the only country that could serve as an alternative route for energy transit.
Noteworthy, on May 10, GD MP Sozar Subari was cited by the Georgian Public Broadcaster as saying that “unfriendly statements” from former U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly, former U.S. State Department officials Matthew Bryza and David Kramer, and former Estonian President Thomas Hendrik Ilves allowed for suspicions that there could be “certain political forces trying to drag Georgia into war.”
These “forces” could be coordinated from outside Georgia and Ukraine, he added.
While GD MP ruled out that the U.S. Government could wish to drag Georgia into the war, he stressed that “similar motives and wishes can indeed be seen in statements by separate politicians.”
In his remarks, MP Subari was assessing a social media post of Khatuna Khoperia, a former politician who pushed a conspiracy theory tying the criticisms advanced by the United National Movement, MEPs critical of Georgia, and the U.S. administration into one thread allegedly pulling Georgia into Ukraine war.
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