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Interior Minister warns of destabilization

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, April 8
The Interior Minister of Georgia Aleksandre Tchikaidze has warned the public that the political opponents of the current Georgian government are aiming to “destabilize” and repeat the “Ukrainian scenario” in Georgia. Tchikaidze made the statement to Prime Time newspaper, claiming that the government of Georgia will not allow internal unrest.

Tchikaidze says that coalition opponents have already brought Euromaidan activists to Georgia, and are taking part in training courses.

"These people are covered by several non-governmental organizations working to lead people down the street in a mass group. Then, they will shoot someone and blame the government,” the minister said.

Tchikaidze stressed that these political opponents intend to open tents in the center of the city and mobilize 300-400 men there.

“I believe that our opponents will realize that this is not a good direction for Georgia,” Tchikaidze said.

When asked about preventive measures, Tchikaidze stated that “everyone has the right to express their opinions freely. “However, those who seek to destabilize our country and violate the law will be severely punished.”

Irine Imerlishvili, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia, stated “in the case of crisis, the government of Georgia is ready to tackle [the problem].”

“Obviously, the Interior Minister knows much more, as he has the operational information on the situation inside the country, but I hope that such things will not happen,” Imerlishvili said.

Member of the coalition Georgian Dream, Vakhtang Khmaladze, stated that “nothing is excluded” and such a scenario might be close to reality.

The UNM called the allegations “absurd”. The UNM MP Pavle Kublashvili stated that Tchikaidze is involved in the struggle against the National Movement.

“Tchikaidze tries to present himself as if he is a minister controlling situation,” Kublashvili said, noting that the minister speaks about unreal things.

Tchikaidze wants to confirm that he is devoted to Bidzina Ivanishvili and consequently, makes loud statements. I understand he is involved in the struggle against the UNM,” Kublashvili stated.

Fellow member of the UNM, Zurab Japaridze, states that changing the current government of Georgia does not require Euromaidan, “as the coalition is falling apart itself.”

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze told The Messenger that each message and statement made concerning any type of destabilization must be deeply addressed by the diplomatic corps, NGOs and embassies acting in Georgia.

“They should be interested in the basis of such statements, as currently there is a very dangerous situation worldwide and even the slightest unrest might be followed by serious developments,” Lagazidze said. The analyst stated that in general, statements like this from the Interior Ministry’s side are not made groundlessly.

“However, the UNM might take such steps if the coalition does not sign the Association Agreement with EU. There are no signs that the coalition intends to do this, as Georgian Dream members constantly show their support for Euro-Atlantic integration. Secondly, the UNM does not enjoy any support from the public to create large-scale rallies, and thirdly, it is not in the interest of the developed world to see any destabilization on Georgian territory,” Lagazidze said.