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De facto leaders of Tskhinvali denounce ex-Speaker Burjanadze’s visit

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 14
De facto leaders of Georgia’s eastern occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region state that Georgia’s ex-Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze’s planned visit to occupied regions is unlikely to take place.

De facto Parliament Speaker of Tskhinvali Piotr Gasiev calls the announced step as a “cheap intrigue.”

He says Burjanadze, who is now in the opposition, is a “symbol of nationalist and fascism.”

“We must remember her words, when she said that her sons would be first in the line when Georgia headed to conquer Tskhinvali.”

“Burjanadze is no longer a big player in Georgian politics and through such cheap intrigues she is trying to gain some political dividends. She is an enemy of the Ossetian people,” Gasiev said.

Occupied Abkhazia has not yet responded to the announcement.

Burjanadze, who believes that Georgia should regulate its conflict with Russia through a dialogue, intends to visit Georgia’s two breakaway regions in the near future, the regions which were recognized as independent states by Russia in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Her press service says that her key aim is to meet with the population of the two regions.

Burjanadze is perceived as a pro-Russian politician by many in Georgia. However, as she told the Messenger she is a “pro-Georgian politician” and her party-the Democratic Movement-United Georgia is also “a pro-Georgia party, serving the state interests only.”

After cutting diplomatic ties between Georgia and Russia in 2008,Burjanadze was one of the first politicians from Georgia who met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in 2010.

Her most recent trip to Moscow waslast year when she met with Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Grigory Karasin.

The parties did not disclose the topic of the meeting.

It was stated it was an “ordinary working meeting.”

Burjanadze frequently criticizes the current Georgian Dream leadership, who “lack knowledge and qualification” to settle problems with Russia through a dialogue.

Burjanadze served as a chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia from November 2001 to June 2008.

She served as the acting head of state of Georgia twice; the first time from 23 November, 2003 to 25 January, 2004 in the wake of Georgia’s second President Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation during the Rose Revolution and from 25 November 2007 to 20 January 2008, when the country’s third President Mikheil Saakashvili stepped down to rerun in the early presidential elections.

She withdrew into the opposition to Saakashvili as the leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party in 2008.

In October 2013, she ran for presidency 2013 October presidential elections. She ran against 22 candidates and ended third.

Burjanadze plans to participate in the upcoming 2018 presidential race.