Moscow’s ex-Mayor visits Tbilisi
Yuri Luzhkov, the ex-Mayor of Moscow, has travelled to Georgia’s occupied regions, and, according to the Interior Ministry, has not violated any laws.
Moscow’s ex-Mayor is now on visit in Tbilisi and attended a service at the 13 Assyrian Fathers’ Monastery. Earlier, Luzhkov had travelled to the occupied regions of Georgia on a number of occasions, which is in violation of the Georgian Law on Occupied Territories. However, according to the Georgian Interior Ministry, the border guards had no grounds to deny his entry into the country.
“He crossed the border into Georgia with legal documents, which didn’t include any information that he had violated the law on occupied territories. Since there was no such indication, border guards had no formal grounds to make any other decision,” said Shalva Khutsishvili, Deputy Interior Minister of Georgia.
The monastery prior, archimandrite Seraphim, explained on his Facebook page the reasons for hosting Moscow’s ex-Mayor in the monastery. In his words, he wouldn’t out anyone visiting the monastery:
“I wonder why Luzhkov’s presence at the service caused such a stir? Also, he turns out to be an occupant himself. First of all, let me ask you: Did I issue him a visa? Was it me who conferred him the title of an honorary citizen of Tbilisi and Batumi? If a person was allowed to enter our country and he came to attend the church service, was I supposed to tell him: ‘Get out of here’? The church doors are open to everyone, be it a politician or a peasant. But, most importantly, I will not let anyone talk politics either in church or in its nearby area, neither will I oust anyone. I will always express my opinion aloud, no matter whether a visitor is a friend or an enemy,” reads the archimandrite’s social media post.
Today he attended a service conducted by Fr. Seraphim Bit-Haribi. As the latter told Rustavi 2 TV, Moscow’s ex-Mayor was accompanied by his wife, Elena Baturina.
“He wanted to attend the service in the Aramaic language and he came to church. We were not informed about his visit in advance,” said Rf. Seraphim.
As reported, Luzhkov visited Uplistsikhe cave town today.