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Ivanishvili's Team to Draw Attention to Citizenship Issue Internationally

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, October 25
According to the Ministry of Justice, procedures regarding the stripping of citizenship of Georgian billionaire, Bidzina Ivanishvili, have been carried out according to all juridical norms by the Civil Registry Agency. The statement was made on October 24.

As the Ministry claims, “no legislation or legal norms were violated by the agency and they will wait for the decision of the courts concerning the issue, which will be made freely and transparently.”

Ivanishvili was also mentioned in Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze’s briefing on Monday, however this time in the context of diplomatic relations. As it seems, the Georgian Foreign Ministry will not decide whether a person can undertake political actions together with diplomatic ones or not: “Ivanishvili is San Marino’s honorable Consul in Georgia and the state should decide on the issue, how his actions combine with his political activities. I do not know the legislation of San Marino and this issue will not be discussed by the Georgian side.”

As has been frequently mentioned, Ivanishvili’s circle has a totally different attitude. As they state, the stripping of citizenship from Ivanishvili was carried out in “total violation of legislation.” As Ivanishvili’s lawyer, Eka Beselia, admits: “the Georgian courts are facing a most important exam regarding Ivanishvili’s case.” As Beselia stated on October 21 they received a “practically empty paper from the Registry Agency“, where the decision on citizenship was made in one day. According to Beselia, Ivanishvili already had Russian and French citizenship when the President granted him his Georgian one and also participated in the elections. Beselia and one of the members of Ivanishvili’s Advisors’ Council, analyst, Irakli Sesiashvili have already left for Brussels, as they stated Ivanishvili’s citizenship issue should become an international one and will not be discussed only within Georgia.

The West is always interested in the existence of alternative political figures in Georgia – analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze stated and admitted that this can already be seen in the comments about Ivanishvili made by the Ambassador of the United States John Bass. As Sakvarelidze said, “the diplomatic corps do not deal with just casual figures.” The analyst also stated that a reversal of the decision on Ivanishvili’s citizenship might be difficult without street rallies, as the current authorities are more frightened of street rallies than elections, as they feel safer and comfortable in that environment. Thus, the analyst doubts how smart Ivanishvili’s statements might have been regarding the possibility of street rallies which the billionaire has refused to countenance.