Georgian journalists were recommended not to report on the visit" />

Grozny Mayor visits Georgia – what for?

Georgian journalists were recommended not to report on the visit

Muslim Khuchiev, the Mayor of Grozny, paid a secret visit to Georgia as reported by Rustavi 2 TV in Georgia.

The broadcaster released a video featuring Khuchiev, a close associate of the Chechen President Ramzar Kadirov, at the Hilton Hotel lounge in Batumi.

According to Rustavi 2 TV, Khuchiev held a series of top-secret meetings in Tbilisi and Batumi. However, the reporters failed to find out any specific details of the meetings; they also failed to establish whether Khuchiev paid an official or private visit.

Khuchiev stayed at the Batumi Hilton Hotel for two days. A Rustavi 2 TV journalist was told by the Adjaran government that the ministers were unaware of the visit. The TV crew tried to put some questions to Khuchiev in the hotel lounge but his security guards aggressively intervened and urged them to stop recording.

A spokesperson for the Grozny Mayor’s Office has confirmed the reports about Khuchiev’s Georgian trip with Rustavi 2 TV. The TV channel was also recommended to refrain from reporting this fact. The purpose of the visit wasn’t specified.

“This trip doesn’t serve any particular goal. Maybe he traveled there for medical treatment or he is just visiting someone. Mind that it’s an unofficial visit that doesn’t serve any particular goal. So, you’d better refrain from covering it as he is on vacation and wants to relax. I don’t know when exactly he arrived and how long he has been staying there. And even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell it,” the Head of the Grozny Mayor’s Office Records Management Department told Rustavi 2 TV on the phone.

Journalists noted that the Mayor’s press service had even agreed to arrange an interview with Khuchiev for them. However, they were told later that his visit was ‘interrupted and he has left Georgia’ – the Echo of the Caucasus reports.

The broadcaster recalled a recent statement by Ramzan Kadyrov in its report about Khuchiev’s visit. “We have information about several shaytans [Islamic term for devils]; they were sent to commit terrorist attacks in Chechnya and they’ve reached Georgia,” Kadyrov stated in an interview with the Russian NTV channel on 24 December.

The broadcaster also referenced the recent anti-terrorist operation in Georgia. Ahmed Chatayev, a Chechen terrorist suspected of committing a terrorist attack at Istanbul Airport was killed in this special operation.

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