Collective discrimination against people on ethnic grounds is “completely and categorically unacceptable”,Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, said at a briefing on Friday, adding that punishment of Russian citizens due to actions of their government in Ukraine would be an “unheard-of phenomenon in the civilized world”.
Kobakhidze was responding to rumours about an expected influx of Russian citizens in Georgia on the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine, and speculation on government measures to counter it.
The Georgian official emphasised there was “no justification for the war started by Russia in Ukraine”. However, he also called the rumours in Georgia about Russian citizens an “artificial[ly created] agitation”.
Kobakhidze called on law enforcement agencies to prevent any physical confrontation and attempts to incite ethnic strife in the country, noting “all possible risks associated with entry of an excessive number of foreign nationals into Georgia” would be insured by the government.
The GD Chairman announced the Parliament of Georgia had started work on a bill against discrimination on ethnic grounds and incitement of ethnic hatred.
In his comments, Kobakhidze also called the United National Movement opposition party a “war party” dedicated to “involving” the country in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, warning the government would make sure to protect the country “from war and its irreparable consequences”.
The GD Chairman once again expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people, adding violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state was “inadmissible” and condemning Russia’s “grave act” against Ukraine in the name of the Georgian government.