Goal of Saakashvili’s return was “dragging Georgia into war” in agreement with Kyiv plans - PM

The Georgian PM addressed the Parliament on Friday. Photo: Government press office

Agenda.ge, 24 Mar 2023 - 14:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday said the “major goal” of the currently imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili’s return from Ukraine to Georgia in 2021 had been to “spark unrest in the country and overthrow the authorities” to later “drag” Georgia into the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Speaking at the Parliament, the head of the Government claimed statements by Ukrainian officials following the start of hostilities in their country in 2022 “confirmed” Kyiv’s “motivation and determination” to see Tbilisi open the “second front” against Russia. 

Ukrainian Government representatives “wished to see Saakashvili” return to office in Georgia to facilitate the goal, he added. 

This plan of Georgia’s internal and foreign enemies has failed”, Garibashvili said, adding “we are not a war-minded Government - [that is why] they wanted Saakashvili to be in power [to start] a war against Russia and join Ukraine”.

The former President, who has Ukrainian citizenship and held a public post in the country, was arrested on return to Georgia in October 2021 and has been serving a six-year term for abuse of power in a case he had been convicted on.

Unfortunately, the goals announced by Ukrainian authorities are in direct coordination with the goals of the Fifth Column - their intentions, plans and actions”, Garibashvili said in reference to the United National Movement opposition party in Georgia.

Pointing to ongoing threats of “World War III” and “nuclear interventions”, the PM highlighted his Government's “major concern” was to “save the county” considering the circumstances. 

Commending the “cautious and reasonable approach” of his Government in the backdrop of the security threats, the PM reminded opposition lawmakers Georgia lacked “any international security umbrella” while 20 percent of the country’s territory remained occupied by Russia, “the largest nuclear power”.