Members of the Ukrainian leadership, who are allies of the Georgian opposition, openly called on Tbilisi to open a “second front” against the Russian Federation – Prime Minister Irakli made such a statement on Friday, November 18 Garibashvili, reports RIA Novosti.
“This is not an interpretation, this is not a legend, I am quoting the words they said at the press conference. These people [Georgian oppositionists] are allies of Ukrainian officials. Imagine if these people were in the Georgian government today…
— Garibashvili said from the rostrum of the parliament of the republic.
He believes that if the opposition were to lead Georgia today, “the country would lose its sovereignty and be handed over to Russia.” Tbilisi has repeatedly stated earlier that it is not going to join the sanctions against Russia, which were imposed on Moscow due to a special military operation in Ukraine .
At the end of September and October, against the backdrop of partial mobilization in the Russian Federation, hundreds of thousands of Russians left for Georgia: there were many kilometers of queues in which people waited for several days. According to some estimates, about 100 thousand citizens of the Russian Federation decided to stay in Tbilisi and other cities of the republic on a permanent basis.
As noted by RBC, the influx of people from Russia has a positive effect on the economy of Georgia. According to the latest IMF forecast, the country’s GDP growth in 2022 will be 10% – almost twice as high as previously expected.
In turn, representatives of the Georgian The opposition is calling for the introduction of a visa regime for citizens of the Russian Federation – the head of the European Democrats party, Nikoloz Vashakidze, came up with the corresponding initiative, recalls TourDom.ru.
On October 17, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said that she was allowing a revision of the “liberal visa-free regime” due to the influx of Russians. According to her, the final decision will be made by the country’s government.
She also acknowledged that Tbilisi experienced “great disappointment” in the process of transferring the status of a candidate for EU accession to Ukraine and Moldova. According to Zurabishvili, Georgia should also receive the status of a candidate, since “the citizens of the country have been Europeans for a long time and it is time for them to join the European family.”
Against this background, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Karen Donfried said on November 17 that the recent developments in Georgia “cause Washington’s concern.” “The United States supports Georgia, and has made significant progress in recent decades, we continue to have a strategic partnership. But what we are seeing now is very disturbing to us, because we are seeing a rollback from democracy,” said Donfried.
Recall that in June the leaders of the EU member states agreed to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidates for joining the European Union. The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, said that Georgia could also receive the same status, but for this the country needs to fulfill a number of conditions.