“Anarchist organisations” affiliated with “radical opposition” made youth throw Molotov cocktails at police - PM

The PM accused several domestic organisations of using the youth in their “destructive plans”. Photo: Government press office


Agenda.ge, 30 Jun 2023 - 19:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday claimed domestic “anarchist organisations” who he said had been affiliated with the “radical” United National Movement opposition had “used” and “made” the youth throw Molotov cocktails at police during March rallies in Tbilisi over the controversial foreign influence transparency bill. 

After presenting the Government's annual report to the Parliament, the PM made a mention of the Franklin Club, a domestic organisation which pledges dedication to “promoting classical liberal and libertarian values," and offers lectures and workshops at the Tbilisi-based University of Georgia.

The PM said the organisations similar to the Franklin Club had used  Lazare Grigoriadis, a young demonstrator who was arrested on March 29 on charges of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers and setting fire to a police vehicle during the protests. 

Garibashvili added the organisations allegedly linked with the UNM and the family of the currently imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili had later “abandoned” the youth they “had used” for sparking tensions during the protests, pledging his office “will never tolerate attacks on the law enforcement”. 

The PM claimed the relevant state agencies had been “well-aware” of the opposition’s “destructive plans” during the rallies and also possessed related evidence. 

In this note, Garibashvili added the clandestine return of Saakashvili to the country in 2021 after eight years abroad aimed at “staging a coup” in the country to overthrow the Government and later “drag the country” into the currently ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

He stressed if not the current Government and its “effective work”, the country would have been turned into a “battlefield” like in 2008, during Russia’s invasion of Georgia. 

The official said following the conflict in 2008 Saakashvili’s Government signed a “capitulant” document and “shifted the blame of launching the war onto the country’s heroic servicemembers”, adding the former authorities had also sold “critical infrastructure” to Russians after the conflict and “did nothing” to investigate the war. 

Pointing to his Government's legal efforts against Russia and winning several cases in international courts, Garibashvili also said in 2015, he as the PM, had used various levers to ensure the release of Georgian citizens from the prisons in the currently Russian-controlled Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions. 

In his comments, the PM also condemned the opposition’s criticism of Viktor Orbán, his Hungarian counterpart, who he praised as the “real friend” of Georgia and the “vocal supporter” of the country’s integration into the European Union and NATO.