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Dimitri Shashkin abandons Georgia

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, October 23
Dimitri Shashkin who was the Minister of Defence confirmed his abandonment of Georgia via Facebook, on October 22. Prior to this appointment, Shashkin was the minister of the prison system and then he served as the Minister of Education and Science.

After the UNM's defeat in parliamentary elections on October 1, some officials from the UNM left the country, Zurab Adeishvili-Justice Minister, brothers Akhalaia and Dimitri Shashkin among them. After the elections, Shashkin’s spokesperson said that the minister was visiting the U.S. and was going to return to Georgia on October 6. Though he never returned.

Shashkin in his post, talks about the achievements in the fields in which he worked during the years. He also expressed pride in being a team member of the UNM. Shashkin said that “despite being ill from diabetes I never did step back because I believed that I was doing an important job for my country and for the people,” said Shashkin.

“I will not be surprised if you hear unheard stories about me in the future. Those who know me won’t believe these stories and those who don’t know me– I want to assure them that I have always followed the law," the post reads.

According to Shashkin’s post, he doesn’t regret any of his decision made during the last four years and expresses his readiness to answer any question.

Levan Berdzenishvili, a member of the parliamentary majority, calls Shashkin’s departure an escape from responsibility. “His act is shameful, when his team members are here, it means that he doesn’t love his country without having a post,” said Berdzenishvili.

According to Berdzenishvili the main reason why Shashkin left the country is fear of the legal system, “as it seems there is a crime behind him but I’ll avoid legal accusations; the investigation will show,” added Berdzenishvili. In Berdzenishvili’s opinion, Shashkin should know that “if he has some legal debts to Georgia, the country will find him anywhere he goes.”

Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze said that Shashkin found a job in US. According to Sakvarelidze, Shashkin could have connections as he was a post person in IRI.

Human rights defender and ombudsman candidate, Lia Mukhashavria, commented on Shashkin’s explanation of his departure and said that she is deeply convinced in Shashkin’s disability of avoiding the responsibility.

According to Mukhashavria, Shashkin is as responsible for the existing situation in prisons as Khatuna Kalmakhelidze-former minister of prisons is. “Shashkin was part of the established zero tolerance politics,” said Mukhashavria.

Mukhashavria said that Shashkin is aware of his responsibilities, which he had to take while being a minister, as he is a lawyer.