Georgian president tells Kremlin ‘not to be provoked’, says peace crucial for regional stability

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili urged Georgian political parties to help ease tension in the country. Photo: President’s press office., 09 Jul 2019 - 16:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has urged the Russian government not to respond to the provocations ‘staged by radical forces’ in Georgia, and not to ‘encourage their destructive goals to come true.’

Zurabishvili made the statement amid the tension in the country started on June 20, when Russian MP addressed the audience of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy held in Tbilisi from the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker.

Peaceful policy is the only way to have stability in the country and in the region,” Zurabishvili said.

The Georgian government said that the public protest was fair when they saw the Russian MP in the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker. However, said that the opposition encouraged people to violence during the anti-occupation rallies. Photo: Nino Alavidze/

Zurabishvili stated that she is the president of Georgians who live in Russia as well and told them that the Georgian government is doing its best for them to continue living there in peace and stability.

We must not allow various forces to discredit Georgia’s international image and create tension inside the country with the use of provocations,” Zurabishvili said, adding that “discrediting and destabilising the country has nothing to do with patriotism.”

She urged Georgian political parties to sit at negotiation tables and then wait for the public response in the upcoming, 2020 elections, “which, with a zero threshold and proportional representation system is a chance for many of you.”

Zurabishvili said that Georgia is proud of its hospitality and the government “will never allow the tradition to be broken.”

Even in the most tense periods no incident has been reported which could have created threats to our foreign visitors,” Zurabishvili said.

Responding to forcing out of Russian MP from Tbilisi on June 20 Russia, which occupies 20 per cent of Georgian territories, banned direct flights to Georgia.

The Russian State Duma adopted a statement at a plenary session today, urging the government of Russia to impose tough economic sanctions on Georgia and halt the import of wine and mineral waters from Georgia to the Russian Federation and put in place a ban on remittances from Russia.