American congressman says Russia behind anti-Turkey statements in Georgia
He tweeted that Russia is actively trying to interfere with the parliamentary elections in Georgia, which will take place at the end of October.
Kinzinger believes that Moscow is trying to distract the citizens of Georgia from Russia’s occupation of Georgian territory with their statements against Turkey.
The congressman calls the idea that the region of Adjara might be under threat from Turkey ridiculous.
“Turkey is an important strategic partner to Georgia and the United States. But at its core, I’m concerned this is an attempt by Russia to deflect blame for illegally occupying a third of Georgia’s territory and effectively play a role in the important upcoming Georgian elections”, said Kinzinger in a tweet.
The congressman requested that political parties make information on their foreign sponsors transparent and to refrain from dangerous and provocative rhetoric.
Kinzinger wrote that “the world is watching Georgia take these important steps to democracy, and it’s my hope that their election will be free, fair and a decision by the Georgian people alone”.
Kinzinger’s statement is probably a response to the pro-Russia party Alliance of Patriots, who, as part of their election campaign, set up billboards emblazoned with the slogans “Defend Adjaria! Defend your part of Georgia!” and a picture of Georgia with Adjaria coloured red like the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
At the same time, documents published by the Russian research group Dosye show that Alliance of Patriots’ election campaign is financed by Russia, and that the campaign is being run by people with ties to the Russian government.