Conflicts & War

Hundreds protest in Tiflis against “pro-Russian” gov’t, in favor of Europe

Tiflis, Apr 9 (EFE).- Hundreds of Georgian citizens took to the streets of Tiflis on Sunday to protest against their country’s “pro-Russian government” and in favor of maintaining a course that would move the former Soviet republic politically and economically closer to Europe.

“Georgia is headed now by a pro-Russian government that is hindering our road toward Europe,” David Kirkitadze, an opposition lawmaker with the National United Movement, said during the rally.

The hundreds of protesters, organized under the slogan “Together to Europe,” gathered in front of the Georgian Parliament carrying their country’s flag but also those of the United States, Ukraine and the European Union.

The demonstrators also demanded that Georgian authorities release former President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose health has seriously deteriorated in prison, although he is now being treated in a hospital in the Georgian capital.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili earlier this month claimed that a “conspiracy” was – and is – afoot against his country with the aim of repeating the fate of Ukraine and opening up a second front against Russia in the Southern Caucasus region.

Russia launched a massive invasion and ongoing bombardment of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, seizing large portions of the eastern part of the neighboring country.

According to the head of the Georgian government, the plan is to “Ukrainize” the country and transform it into a “second (combat) front.”

The prime minister also spoke about a so-called “fifth column” within Georgia that he alleged is trying to destabilize the situation.

Heavy protests erupted in Georgia in early March after the approval, on first reading, of a law against foreign agents, dubbed the “Russian law” by the opposition due to its similarity to same-named Russian legislation.

Amid heavy public pressure on the matter, however, the Tiflis government found itself obligated to revoke the law.

Also participating in the demonstrations on Sunday were supporters of Saakashvili, who was imprisoned in Georgia for abusing his presidential power and whose release for health reasons has been demanded by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

EFE –/bp

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