Bidzina Ivanishvili, ex-Prime Minister, and ruling Georgian Dream party founder, published his second statement commenting on political developments in the country since his departure from politics, repeating the claim that “certain forces actively tried to drag Georgia into the [Ukraine] war, and this desire and goal of theirs, unfortunately, is still relevant today” bit adding that such a threat has now “mostly” been averted.
The ex-PM said his rare address on July 27 was made “only to prevent others from speculating on my behalf.” “I didn’t want my factor to have any influence on the political processes, and that was and is the reason for my complete distancing from the public space,” he added.
“Against the background of the very difficult political situation in the region, Georgia and its ruling party had to go through very painful processes during the past months and are still having to go through it,” Ivanishvili underscored, “despite these great difficulties, the ruling party worked correctly, took a correct and principled position, and overcame the main difficulty of the first stage of the threat of war.”
Ivanishvili warned, however, that “until the end of the war in Ukraine, certain risks still remain, and both the government and the public should be extremely careful so that Georgia can, for the last time, avoid a fatal war.”
Ivanishvili connected his financial issues at the Swiss bank Credit Suisse with ongoing processes in Georgia but underscored that he prefers to leave his relationship with the bank as a “personal problem” and not to bother the public with it. “It doesn’t even matter what I planned to spend the funds frozen by the Swiss Bank on – for private purposes or for public needs,” he added.
He also addressed rumors started by one of the recently departed GD trio, MP Mikheil Kavelashvili, and picked up by his fellow departees Dimitri Khundadze, and Sozar Subari, of a possible meeting between U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan and Ivanishvili since the war in Ukraine, insinuating that the Ambassador tried to blackmail the ex-PM into war.
Ivanishvili did not touch upon these claims but said, “such a meeting did take place at the request of the Ambassador on March 21 and it lasted for about three hours.”
On her part, Ambassador Degnan said on July 21 that she has “not met with Mr. Ivanishvili in quite some time” and emphasized that in none of their past meetings has she tried to blackmail him.