International media react to June 20 developments in Tbilisi

The protest rally in Tbilisi. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 21 Jun 2019 - 12:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

International media outlets have responded to the June 20 developments in Tbilisi where people held a protest rally during the visit of Russian MPs to Tbilisi.

Protesters have attempted to storm Georgia's parliament during a mass rally against a speech inside the chamber by a Russian lawmaker,’ the BBC writes, adding that ‘Riot police stopped them from entering the building, reportedly using tear gas and rubber bullets.’

The BBC reports that Georgian opposition MPs called for protests in response to Russian MP Gavrilov’s decision to deliver a speech from the parliamentary speaker's seat.

Reuters says that the scenes flared up suddenly in Tbilisi ‘after public anger over the visit and speech of a member of the Russian lower house of parliament triggered big street protests.’

The Guardian reports that Sergei Gavrilov's support for independence for the Georgian region of Abkhazia and his support of Russian president Vladimir Putin has stoked animosity in Georgia.

Georgia and Russia fought a war in 2008, after which Russia recognised two breakaway Georgian regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia,’ the Guardian states.

CNN reported that some protesters emerged injured from skirmishes with law enforcement, while others had taken law enforcement officers’ shields and riot gear.

Three Russian MPs had come to the capital of Tbilisi to participate in the 26th Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy which was held for the first time in the country.

NBCNEWS was live during last night's protests in Tbilisi.

The event was interrupted by a strong protest from the Georgian public and opposition after one of the visiting MPs addressed the audience of the assembly from the Georgian parliamentary speaker’s chair.

The protest lasted all night long.

17 civilians and 38 police officers were injured  during the rally yesterday on central Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi, two of them lost eyesight [in one eye].