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Georgia is seen as a banana republic - Burjanadze

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Friday, December 12
“Events here are more credibly assessed outside our borders than inside them, as the authorities try their best to keep society under their influence and propaganda,” former Speaker of Parliament Nino Burjanadze stated on December 10.

At the press conference Burjanadze held after her return from Poland, she stated that the Georgian Government had lost its confidence in foreign countries and the allocation of aid by Europe and the US may come under suspicion.

“We all realize that the present authorities have lost the confidence of foreign countries but we should not allow this to affect the rest of the country. European leaders are talking ironically about the Georgian Government and don’t see any perspectives in order to continue dialogue with it, which may be crucial,” Burjanadze said.

Burjanadze also commented on the reshuffled Cabinet and highlighted that the changing of Ministers had caused great surprise among those foreign leaders who were in Helsinki at that time. She said the Government’s decision to reshuffle the Cabinet was spontaneous and inadequate.

“Can anyone trust a Government that does not know how to carry out staff changes? They sent the Foreign Minister to Helsinki to hold very serious negotiations, and in the middle of them they sack her and her Ambassadors,” Burjanadze said, adding that there was not a delegation in Helsinki which did not say that “We don’t look like a country now, more like a banana republic.”

Burjanadze thinks such decisions are in favour of Russia. “The Russian delegation has not missed a chance and has asked Georgia’s friends if it makes a sense to talk to a Georgian delegation which changes permanently.”

Burjanadze touched on the defence sphere and said she was astonished when the new Defence Minister stated that there was nothing to change in Georgian policy. “It seems we should have the same defence priorities we had before the war, it seems the kind of relations with Russia we had before the war should continue as if nothing happened in August,” she said ironically.

Burjanadze says snap elections are necessary for the country and should be held no later than spring, or the country will find itself in a worse situation. “Everything should be done within the bounds of the constitution to change the current Government, including the President, as soon as possible. Snap elections are necessary to promote serious change in the country. We should have as our main priorities a pro-Western orientation, the restoration of territorial integrity and the institution of democratic values,” Burjanadze said.

Burjanadze was one of the leaders of the 2003 Rose Revolution and had been Speaker of the Georgian Parliament since 2001 when she left in 2008. On the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution she inaugurated her party called the Democratic Movement for United Georgia.