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Politicians React to US Sanctions Against Partskhaladze

On September 14, the United States of America imposed sanctions on more than 150 companies and individuals. Among them was the former Prosecutor General of Georgia and close associate to Bidzina Ivanishvili, Otar Partskhaladze. Partskhaladze was sanctioned for channeling Russia’s malign influence in Georgia.

The State Security Service said it is investigating the allegations. has compiled the reactions to the US decision to sanction Otar Parstkhaladze from the Georgian Dream and the opposition.

Comments from the ruling party

Shalva Papuashvili, Speaker of the Parliament: “Otar Partskhaladze has had no connection with the government for ten years. Therefore, he is included in these sanctions as a private person. At the same time, he is the first Georgian citizen to be included in these sanctions in connection with Russia… The relevant authorities will certainly study this issue and the public will have information about it… The only entity that influences the government is the Georgian people, and the Georgian people see it. Of course, there are many actors who try to influence the Georgian government, it is not only Russia, and we see that there are attempts to influence Georgia on various issues… You know that [Partskhaladze] worked in the public sector for a long time during the previous government, [but] after 2013 he has had no connection with the government…”.

Kakha Kaladze, General Secretary of Georgian Dream, Mayor of Tbilisi: “This is the first time that a citizen of our country has been sanctioned… Today we heard statements about an investigation [on this issue]. You know that we do not join the sanctions against Russia and its citizens, although we always make sure that our country is not used to circumvent the sanctions. Important steps are being taken in this direction, and we have even received thanks at the meetings with the representatives of our friendly countries… Otar Partskhaladze was already working in the system under the previous government. I think that he has not been working in the public service for 9-10 years, he is busy with private affairs and business. The investigation on the mentioned issue has started and, of course, the Georgian government will do everything in any case”.

Giorgi Volski, Georgian Dream, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament: “If he did something, the state will act accordingly, as in other cases. Georgia is not an area where Russia or businessmen operating in Russia can avoid sanctions. After 2013, he [Otar Partskhaladze] was not near the state structures at all… Anyone who deviates from the law, the order, which is strictly applied in Georgia, of course, becomes the subject of interest of the relevant structure. The relevant structures should discuss what will happen after that”.

Irakli Kadagishvili, Georgian Dream: “We always need concreteness. Somebody always influences somebody, but what does the government, [or] the Georgian Dream as a political party have to do with it? 11 years ago, this person was the Prosecutor General for a few months, after that he is no longer in public service, in politics, and is a private person”.

Guram Macharashvili, People’s Power Movement: “The strange thing is that the Americans are lifting sanctions on Russian businessmen, according to their information sanctions were lifted on three Russian citizens and Georgian citizens were sanctioned… Partskhaladze has not been in public service for ten years, he is an ordinary citizen and when you sanction an ordinary citizen, you should have some reasons and arguments here. The relevant authorities will study the case and the public will get informed on how adequate the decision was”.

It should be noted that the “People’s Power” movement reacted with a letter to the US sanctions imposed on Partskhaladze. The letter reads: “The justification for the sanction is so weak that one can read a completely different political motive behind the decision. It is not clear where Otar Partskhaladze’s influence is in Georgian politics, especially in society. He has not been seen in public for years. Unlike Davit Kezerashvili, he does not fund parties, NGOs or own media. Partskhaladze’s influence on Georgian society and politics does not exist in nature, and it is obvious that someone had to invent all this for a specific political purpose”.

Comments from the opposition

Petre Tsiskarishvili, UNM: “”Similar, identical economic and commercial sanctions should be applied in the case of Partskhaladze, property should be confiscated, access to bank accounts should be restricted, this is our demand.”

Paata Manjgaladze, Strategy Aghmashenebeli: “Georgian Dream is trying to portray Partskhaladze as a retired official who has no influence on the process, while he is a member of the Russian Federal Service together with high-ranking officer Onishchenko…. There should be an investigation into who he was, what group he was working with, and by what means and forms they influenced the political life of Georgia in favor of Russia”.

Roman Gotsiridze, Parliamentary group Euro-optimists: “It can be said without exaggeration that this is catastrophic information, since the country’s chief prosecutor was a Russian agent… an investigation should be launched immediately to find out who is the recommender, who introduced Partskhaladze to Ivanishvili…. If the State Security Service has not opened an investigation into such a scandalous matter, it means that Georgia has Russian agents in the government, including in this building [Parliament].”

Salome Samadashvili, Lelo for Georgia: “”One of the members of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s clan is directly accused by the United States of supporting Russia’s armament… We have been saying for many years that Georgian Dream has done everything possible to strengthen Russia’s influence in the country, and the decision to accept these sanctions has confirmed this once again.”

Khatuna Samnidze,  parliamentary group “Reformers: “Partskhaladze, who was the Prosecutor General in this country, who passed through the filter of the State Security Service and the Service could not or did not discover that he was in direct contact with Russia and was working to channel Russian influence in Georgia… Of course, he would not be alone in this process… To emphasize today that he is a private person, I think it is dangerous for the high-ranking officials of the Georgian Dream. Bidzina Ivanishvili is also a private person.”

Tsotne Koberidze, Girchi-More Freedom: “It is impossible for an individual – a sneakers thief [Parstkhaladze has a criminal record in Germany for stealing sneakers] to be rewarded like this and to become a criminal of this magnitude without the Georgian Dream… Such things do not happen. Obviously, Partskhaladze is the pillar of the Georgian Dream. … In fact, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s right-hand man has been sanctioned, which, in my opinion, will lead to Bidzina’s being sanctioned as well.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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