Ruling Georgian Dream party chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze accused the “party of war and treason” the United National Movement, “its satellite parties, media outlets, commercial entities connected with it, and some of the richest” civil society organizations of holding “xenophobic” attitudes towards Russian citizens and running a “chauvinistic” campaign.
Chairperson Kobakhidze’s August 5 briefing follows calls from a part of citizens and opposition politicians for visa requirements to be established for Russian citizens.
“Georgian Dream condemns the xenophobic campaign which blatantly opposes the Constitution of Georgia and international legal acts in the field of basic human rights and freedoms,” MP Kobakhidze stated.
Per the MP, the mentioned entities are trying to convince the public through the “gross falsification of facts” that “Russians have entered Georgia in unprecedentedly large numbers and that this poses serious threats to the country.”
“If there is something that poses a serious threat to our country, it is the xenophobic and chauvinistic campaign,” the ruling party chairperson emphasized, and recalled an incident from March in which a “young Russian” woman was pelted with stones.
According to his own assertion, the groups he listed want to use the xenophobic campaign to “inflame aggression against Russian citizens, which should lead to an escalation and incidents. All this serves only one purpose – to somehow involve Georgia in the military conflict.”
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“The authors of the xenophobic campaign have nothing to do with true Georgian and European values. Xenophobia and chauvinism have never been and will never be a part of Georgian culture,” the MP said and called on everyone to “disassociate themselves from the anti-state and discriminatory campaign, the sole purpose of which is to make Georgia a second front.”
He also reminded the public of the “provocative actions of the party of war and treason” – from the start of the war in Ukraine – “holding anti-state rallies, demanding the imposition of sanctions on Russia, sending combat volunteers to Ukraine; the “war rhetoric” from the [CSO] Transparency International Georgia’s director Eka Gigauri, Public Defender Nino Lomjaria, Lelo MP Davit Usupashvili, journalists from TV companies Mtavari Arkhi and Formula, as well as representatives of the Ukrainian government.”
“In the end, due to the healthy and sharp reaction of society, the people who pushed the country towards the war had to retreat and today they are in a regime of trying to justify their position,” MP Kobakhidze said and underscored that “what they could not achieve directly, they are now trying to achieve indirectly, with a xenophobic campaign.”
In conclusion, he stressed that “Georgia’s involvement in the military conflict will bring most severe consequences for our country and its population.” “Accordingly, the government will do everything to avoid war in the country,” MP Kobakhidze added.
While answering journalists’ questions after the briefing, the ruling party chairperson criticized the Public Defender Nino Lomjaria for responding to a similar “xenophobic campaign” launched by the United National Movement in March, 10 days late. “This person is directly involved in the political processes… She has no rating, but she tries to be a politician. Her term expires on December 7 and she will finally attain the status which in reality she already has informally today,” he said.
Responding to MP Kobakhidze, Lomjaria said that it is “incomprehensible and inexplicable” to her why high officials from the ruling party are trying to “discredit” her. Per Lomjaria, “such attacks” “only strengthen the Public Defender, [and] increase its ratings.”
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