This Law Cannot Be Rejected Under Any Circumstances – Irakli Kobakhidze

Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze held a special briefing today in support of the Russian law project.

Kobakhidze noted that “transparency is one of the most important European values”, however, he called the statements of European politicians against the Russian law “slanderous” and held the authors of these statements responsible for the violence that law enforcement officers used against peaceful demonstrators.

About the protest actions, Kobakhidze said that Georgia is a democratic state and here the right to peaceful assembly and expression is “definitely protected”. He thanked the Ministry of Internal Affairs and law enforcement officers, who “despite large-scale violence and abuse, managed to prevent violence and protect public safety as effectively as possible,” and urged them to show maximum patience.

“I understand that it is not easy to leave violence and abuse unanswered. However, I request everyone to have maximum patience against any violent or illegal actions of the protesters. Any excessive use of force by law enforcement officers will be used by the radical opposition to cover up their own violent actions,” he said.

Kobakhidze called the young people who came are protesting against the Russian law “members of the violent youth groups of the United National Movement” and said that everyone who calls them sincere young people is responsible.

“Responsibility rests with all those subjects who for a whole year romanticized violence and perpetrators and called the members of the violent youth groups of the United National Movement, sincere young people. It was about violent youths who are financed by Kezerashvili, Khazaradze and specific foreign donors. These are: National Movement, Lelo and Akhali youth organizations, which unite about 100 violent youths. Also, these are violent groups: Talgha, Jiuti, Nabiji, Tbilisi Pride, Gen Z, Tsertili, Dafioni, Students for the European Future, Movement for Freedom, Sirtskhvilia, Franklin Club, and Academy of the Future, which unite about 200 violent young people loyal to the United National Movement, Kobakhidze said.

Regarding the brutal physical violence against Levan Khabeishvili, Kobakhidze noted that it was “not pleasant to see”, and added that “several sad incidents were observed during the stopping of the protest”, however, “the fact that the special forces were forced to use appropriate measures cannot be questioned.”

“It is sad that violence creates violence. The responsibility for the physical injury of each person rests with all those entities and people who during all this time encouraged and approved violence, encouraged violence against the policemen, approved Elisashvili’s secret violence, verbally abused government representatives when they were referred to in various extremely insulting ways.

In general, the only weapon of the radical opposition, the rich NGOs and their media outlets is violence. This is what distinguished the United National Movement during its time in power, and it is still distinguished by this. Everyone is strictly responsible for violence before the law. The fact that they have nothing to say about the law on transparency, but they still label this law rudely, is another manifestation of their violent nature,” said Kobakhidze.

He spoke about polarization and “constant attempts of the opposition forces to organize a revolution”. According to him, if it were not for two revolution attempts in the last three years, Georgia’s economy would have grown by an additional 5 billion dollars.

“We can not be constantly in this mode, that the National Movement should try every year to organize a revolution, to return the old government, regardless of the results of the elections. This closed circle must be broken, and this is such an important national task that this law simply cannot be rejected, under no circumstances,” he said at the briefing.