Kakha Kaladze, the Mayor of Tbilisi and the Secretary General of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Wednesday highlighted the links between Ukrainians and Georgians in understanding the “cost of peace”, in his end-of-year message on the work of his office.
In comments while presenting the annual summary of the work done by Tbilisi City Hall, Kaladze hit back at critical comments from a part of the domestic opposition over the office’s choice of the “City of Peace” message for marking the holiday season in the capital.
His response came as some in the domestic opposition had claimed the slogan was a “dig” at Ukraine amid the latter’s ongoing defence from the Russian invasion.
What is the price of peace? Today our friendly Ukrainian people know this best, and that is why, in this new year, I wish them peace. And together with peace, I wish victory to every person fighting for freedom. I wish peace to our country, our people and our city”, Kaladze said.
The Mayor also stressed the significance of peace as the prerequisite for making development plans and projects, and added the “speculation” by the opposition over the holiday slogan for Tbilisi had been “strange” and “categorically unacceptable”.
Kaladze pointed out that Georgian citizens “know very well what it means when there is a war in your country”, in reference to conflicts on the territory of the country since its regaining of independence in the 1990s.
Considering all this, it is not clear why the word ‘peace’ stung our opponents so bitterly, and why they fought and are fighting against this slogan. However, if we take into account the direction, quality and narrow partisan interests of the opponents' political bias, everything becomes clear and obvious”, he concluded.