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Opposition grills ruling party

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, October 17
The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party has called on the ruling party Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) to explain why the Georgian delegation did not participate in voting for two resolutions on Ukraine at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on October 13.

The adopted resolutions describe Russia's actions in Ukraine as "aggression" and the Crimea and eastern Ukraine are declared as Russian-occupied territories.

The results posted on the PACE website revealed that none of the members of the Georgian delegation participated in the voting.

The Georgian delegation members to the PACE are Manana Kobakhidze, Zviad Kvachantiradze, Guguli Magradze and Eka Beselia.

Later, Kobakhidze gave an explanation, saying that during the discussions, the Georgian delegation members had an important meeting with their Swiss colleagues, and it should not be understood as an anti-Ukrainian step.

“This is pure speculation. Despite the fact that we could not participate in the voting process of the resolutions, together with the Ukrainians, we have the same position about a range of issues important for the both countries,” Kobakhidze stated, and added that the Georgian delegation supported the resolution initiated by Ukraine at the legal committee and also signed it the following day.

In response to the explanations from the ruling team, the UNM said that the GDDG was once again caught lying when it said that the delegation was meeting with their Swiss counterparts during the session.

“The behavior of the Georgian delegation is shameful and harmful for the county’s sovereignty and independence,” UNM member Giorgi Kandelaki stressed.

Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is currently the governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, also commented on the issue via Facebook, calling the fact “shameful”.

“It is very shameful but I was not surprised because Georgia is governed by one of the shareholders of the Russian Gas Company, Gazprom,” stated Saakashvili, referring to Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s former Prime Minister and founder of the Georgian Dream Coalition.

The ex-President also underlined that the Georgian people have “absolutely different attitude towards Ukraine,” and stated that hundreds of Georgian volunteers are fighting for Ukraine’s independence.