The messenger logo

Kobakhidze Accuses EU of Interfering in Georgia's Politics, Denies Sanctions Discussion with O'Brien

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
During the briefing, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze described the presence of foreign affairs committee representatives from EU countries at the protests against the "Foreign Agents" law as a clear demonstration of foreign influence. He emphasized that what was happening on stage was a visible display of foreign influence.

According to Kobakhidze it is "unacceptable" for foreign politicians to come to the rally and deliver speeches as it demonstrates "interference in Georgia's internal politics from outside".

"When deputies from specific countries appear on stage, I would say that, in principle, with this so-called Russian law, this represents the transparency of foreign influence. We are witnessing the transparency of foreign influence on the scene today. Foreign politicians are appearing directly on the political stage; imagine the scale of this interference. This event is absolutely unacceptable. Naturally, when outsiders attempt to interfere in Georgia's internal politics in favor of the collective national movement, this represents interference in everything. Society will draw its own conclusions about the rest," said Kobakhidze.

Kobakhidze responded to journalists' questions about possible sanctions by stating that discussing sanctions is not a serious matter.

He clarified that sanctions were not discussed during the bilateral meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State, James O'Brien.

"I will once again confirm that sanctions were not mentioned in any way during the two-and-a-half-hour meeting that took place between us. Regarding the briefing, I did listen to it, but sanctions were not mentioned in any form during our bilateral meeting. We discussed de-facto sanctions that have already been imposed on Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili, but formal sanctions were not part of the discussion at this meeting," Kobakhidze said.

He also stated that the USA's reputation was "damaged" when it sanctioned Georgian judges.

"If such a frivolous step is taken again, it will harm not the individual sanctioned, but the entity imposing the sanction, because people observe everything. We do not want the USA's reputation to be tarnished. Our appeal to our partners is to prioritize partnership and avoid taking counterproductive steps, as these will be damaging primarily to them. It will not harm, of course, our political team; instead, it will further strengthen our political support. Therefore, once again, I call on everyone to be pragmatic," said the Prime Minister.