He also claims he was offered money by Tbilisi to recruit youth for work in Georgian government departments
The parliamentary speaker of South Ossetia Petr Gassiev says he worked both for the Open Society Foundation – an international grant-making network which was founded by businessman George Soros – and the KGB of South Ossetia.
Gassiev claims that money received by the Open Society Foundation network in South Ossetia was redirected away from its initial purpose and was used for building hospitals, nursery schools and other social services.
Gassiev allegedly reported on his work as a double agent to the then-president Eduard Kokoity.
This statement is a continuation of a controversy which began about two weeks ago.
At the end of March, an interview with the ex-president appeared online in which he unequivocally stated that the Tatunashvili case was nothing other than a smear campaign against Russia and had been planned by the South Ossetian authorities themselves.
The speaker reacted to these accusations noting that Kokoity’s statement played right into the hands of the Georgian authorities.
Gassiev also made comments on another statement of Kokoity’s: the former president accused the current speaker of being ‘pro-Georgian’, reminding him of his cooperation with the Open Society Foundation.
“One shouldn’t downplay the fact that I worked in the Open Society Foundation – I was its chairman. The operations of the Foundation, from the beginning to the end, took place under the supervision of the KGB, in particular its first deputy. Now we can speak openly about this,” the speaker said.
He added that the Open Society Foundation works everywhere, and has one aim: “The creation of a fifth column, which will patiently wait for a time when it can come out onto the street and commit a coup d’état.”
“The KGB set a clear task: to not allow this to happen. The following took place: as is well-known, if you cannot prevent a revolution, you must head it. That’s what happened in our case. And all the resources which were sent to create a fifth column, groups of independent journalists, round-table discussions, meetings with Georgian youth, went to nursery schools, hospitals and other social projects.”
The activities of the Foundation in South Ossetia failed entirely, and the state departments expressed their gratitude for this,” said Gassiev. “Kokoity himself appointed me to the position of state advisor to the president of South Ossetia on NGOs and foreign missions,” the speaker stated.
He also spoke about his meeting with one of the most influential political figures in Georgia at the time – Irakli Okruashvili. The meeting took place after Gassiev was appointed as state advisor to the president.
“Okruashvili offered me 980 000 dollars to select nine young people with authority in their communities who would be placed in state departments in Georgia,” said the speaker.
He says that he himself was offered the position of deputy internal minister.
“They were ready to place the local youth everywhere, and it would appear [to the public] – they thought – as simple integration, and we would painlessly become a part of Georgia. Eduard Kokoity was personally informed about this meeting and what happened there by me,” Gassiev said.
He stated that he is releasing this information to the public after having received ‘the green light’ from above.
“It’s not a secret for anyone that the head of the KGB of South Ossetia who is its first deputy is always a representative of the FSB of Russia. So I have one question: an agent of the Open Society Foundation became the chairman of the parliament, and nobody noticed this? I would like to put this question to rest,” the speaker concluded.
In an Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcast, South Ossetian political commentator Timur Tskhurbati said the following about Gassiev’s comments:
“I don’t think he’s lying about working with the KGB. I also believe that Okruashvili made him such an offer, because I also worked in NGOs and I also had received such an offer, but the sum was rather small in comparison. Though I didn’t work with the KGB.”
“I don’t like one thing about this: there is a good expression, ‘there’s no such thing as a former KGB agent’. So that means that we have a KGB agent at the head of the parliament? That is, he’s working not for the nation of South Ossetia but for the KGB (FSB) of Russia?”
“Russia is our main partner and ally. Nobody argues with that. But still, the interests of Russia, the interests of the FSB may be different from those of the nation of the Republic of South Ossetia. And that should be taken into account.”