Lelo movement founder, charged top banker, warns of ‘threats to Georgia’s foreign course’

The co-founder of Georgia’s TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze entered politics last year, after facing money-laundering charges for the transaction taking place in 2008. Photo: Lelo press office.

Agenda.ge, 23 Jan 2020 - 13:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Founder of the Lelo For Georgia political movement, Mamuka Khazaradze, who faces charges of laundering $16 million, has stated that Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course is ‘under threat,’ appealing to the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party MPs, members and supporters to act ‘based on the state and not the interests’ of the party founder Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Khazaradze has warned earlier today that the “strong criticism coming from the international community, distrust and the negative attitude to the Georgian government will become more intense, the current political crisis will deepen and the GD leadership will bring the country to international isolation.”

 Our Euro-Atlantic course will be placed under a question mark, as well as the strategic partnership of the US, if something will not change,” Khazaradze said, adding that the 'country [Russia] which occupies 20 per cent of our territories will appear as the only international partner.’

 Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze says that Khazaradze and Georgian opposition leaders have low public trust. Photo: Kakha Kaladze's press office. 

Khazaradze has urged the ruling party MPs, members and supporters ‘to fully realise their responsibilities before the country, as the path chosen by your leader [Ivanishvili] might make us lose the progress achieved over the past 30 years.’

 The evil course of your leader must be suspended in order for the existing threats not to manifest. The issue concerns the fate of our country and not the power of a single man [Ivanishvili] who has a low understanding of what the country and its historic strategy are,” Khazaradze.

 Members of the ruling party say that Khazaradze is engaged with “cheating and defamation,” stating that the country’s foreign course “is no way under any threat, as Georgia’s relations with the US, NATO, EU and allies are at an all-time high.”