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Ivanishvili: Do Not Expect Miracles from Me

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, October 26
Liberali Magazine released an exclusive video interview with businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili on their web page on Monday. Visiting Ivanishvili’s business centre, independent journalist Nino Zhizhilashvili discussed Ivanishvili’s recent decision to join the Georgian political arena. Worrying that he has “betrayed” his ideology, the billionaire businessman called his decision “a tragedy”. “I came [politically] unprepared and sometimes find it difficult to mobilize; the daily propaganda [from the ruling United National Movement] causes me problems but I successfully deal with their senseless steps,” Ivanishvili said in his first Georgian video interview.

“But if I hadn't joined politics, most probably, the UNM would have won the elections and what would be next? They would continue spending the state budget, terrorizing the society, and so on. But they can’t arrest everyone… It’s obvious that one day their ties will be torn and Saakashvili won’t change this catastrophic situation. Everyone knows everything well both inside the country and abroad. Those, who can analyze reality in the most precise way [from UNM], can easily realize that everything they do has no prospects,” Ivanishvili stated. Advising the authorities to look forward, the businessman forecast the collapse of the current regime in the near future as the current government is taking the wrong direction.

The businessman stressed that the ruling team makes snap decisions in order to protect their unity and hardly ever look forward. “I had relations with the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and I tried to talk about the long term [projects] with him, but they [UNM] only made plans for one or two months."

Talking of the political basis for stripping his Georgian citizenship, Ivanishvili claimed that the UNM tried to discourage him from participating in the elections in this way. "The case with my passport was my Joker - scared at my political decision, they didn’t ask the advice of any specialists thus the same 3-4 people took a snap decision independently,” Ivanishvili stated. “I think we are facing a new reality which they aren’t realizing yet. I know Saakashvili’s character – he faced the danger of the break up of the government team, thus he tried to demonstrate how powerful he is by depriving me of Georgian citizenship,” said the businessman who has French citizenship also.

Stressing he would be against any street rallies or revolutions for overturning the current government, Ivanishvili asked everyone to stop rumors about his cooperation with Russia, where he has not been for nine years. “Georgians know my lifestyle, so let Saakashvili’s ideologists and demagogues raise such questions, not the media,” the businessman told Zhizhiashvili stressing that the UNM has nothing else to use against him.

Supposing that the US and Europe remain the most influential supporters of the president, Ivanishvili found the reaction of John Bass, the US Ambassador to Georgia “realistic and objective”. Ivanishvili welcomed diplomatic estimation of the processes from the ambassador who, according to the businessman called the Georgian Government to open the informational space and stop spreading their power.

The businessman, who has spent millions of dollars on charity, is proud of his activities, but does not find it necessary to boast about his deeds. Ivanishvili never talks about his activities and felt offended by the media for the inaccurate questions and mistrust towards him. Encouraging the media to familiarize itself with the official statistics of his fund’s activities, the businessman shied away from giving details about his activities to anyone. “No one can find intrigues around me – I have always done everything in the frame of the law and led a strict line between the charity fund and my relatives,” said the businessman.

Ivanishvili who has recently joined Georgian politics asked the Georgians not to be too strict and avoid idealizing him. “I am a Christian who respects his culture and faith, which have played such an important role in saving Georgian statehood and creating its history. Please, don’t hope for daily miracles from me – I’m an ordinary person, who tries hard to make the right steps and avoid big mistakes, but don’t rush me,” Ivanishvili said addressing Georgian society and promising that everything will be all right.