Georgian PM: 'Tbilisi clearly informed Kyiv it has no plans to open second front'
Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili on the Russian-Ukrainian war
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili once again criticized the opposition, which the authorities accuse of wanting to drag Georgia into a war with Russia, and once again stated that Georgia would not open a “second front”.
He stated that if former President Mikheil Saakashvili were in power today, a “second Mariupol” would happen in Georgia.
Garibashvili also noted that the Georgian government told Ukraine that it would not enter the war, because of which Kyiv began to blame Tbilisi.
“I will make an interesting scandalous statement for you, listen to me carefully. I want to tell our people with full responsibility and explain everything, all this excitement, all these scandals and absolutely groundless accusations against the Georgian government served only one purpose – opening a second front in Georgia. After my team and I made it clear and told our Ukrainian friends that there would be no second front, no war in Georgia, a whole cascade of groundless accusations began”, Garibashvili said.
Garibashvili stressed that Saakashvili made the biggest irreparable mistake “when he did not avoid” the war with Russia in 2008 and “as a result, the country was destroyed”.
“Why did Saakashvili come to Georgia? Saakashvili came with one goal: to destabilize the country, make a revolution, massacre ( including of the opposition leaders), and carry out a coup. This, of course, directly meant the beginning of a new war in the occupied country. Do you even understand how many dirty provocations the country has avoided?”, said the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Russian propaganda TV channel Russia Today, responded to Garibashvili’s statements. She once again called on Russia to resume direct flights with Georgia.
“Georgia refused to help Ukraine by opening a second front in Abkhazia. Let’s open flights for them”, Simonyan wrote.
Tensions between Georgia and Ukraine escalated on the second day after the start of the war when the Prime Minister of Georgia announced that the country would not join the sanctions against Russia. Garibashvili also said that Ukraine could not avoid the war, and because of this, most of the Ukrainian people and state would suffer.
On the same day, Grigory Karasin, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council, praised the Georgian authorities for their stance on Ukraine. Karasin called Georgia’s response to the anti-Russian sanctions of the West “balanced” and stressed that “this fact would not go unnoticed” in Russia.
After that, President Zelensky recalled the Ukrainian ambassador from Georgia, first temporarily, and then on a permanent basis.
The latest scandal is related to the Ukrainian intelligence statement, according to which Russia is establishing a smuggling route through the territory of Georgia. According to Kyiv, the political leadership of Georgia agreed with Russia on the smuggling of sanctioned products through its territory.
The State Security Service of Georgia reacted to the information disseminated by Ukrainian intelligence and called on the Ukrainian side to immediately provide evidence confirming the information in order to respond to it legally.