Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, held a press conference at the Sheraton Metekhi Palace on December 24. Ivanishvili spoke on various issues imposing interest in both Georgia and in the international community. Ivanishvili responded to the suggestions concerning rejoining the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as relations with Russia and made several comments regarding the inner ongoing issues.
Ivanishvili responds media
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, December 25
“We will regulate relations with our neighboring countries in the event that relations do not hinder Georgia’s foreign course,” Ivanishvili emphasized, responding to the statement made by the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, who is leading efforts to encourage the new Georgian administration to rejoin the CIS.
Ivanishvili underscored that positive relations with neighboring countries is essential, especially those within the CIS, however, not at the expense of altering Georgia's Euro-Atlantic path.
Ivaishvili said that he is not going to “raise Georgia's demands to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin” as the new government of Georgia has a different course and strategy regarding the normalization of relations.
“We are thoughtful and diligent in this way and are going ahead slowly and steadily. We are not going to use the demands of the World Trade Organization against Russia and set any preconditions,” Ivanishvili said, adding that even in the case that Russia changes its mind concerning the occupied regions of Georgia the process will not be easy.
“The Russian Federation has its electorate and it is not easy to change former decisions so easily,” Ivanishvili stated. The Prime Minister highlighted that he has a great desire to meet with the Russian President.
“We will eventually meet. However, it requires time,” Ivanishvili said.
Concerning the ongoing arrests and increasing foreign interest on the issues, Ivanishvili stated that the new Georgian administration has nothing against an international monitoring group observing the process.
“Moreover, we would be glad if some commission arrived to the country; however, this form of observation does not exist in the world,” Ivanishvili stated.
The Prime Minister underscored that the flow of international investments as well as home business encouragement will be maximally assisted by the government through the development of infrastructure, the refinement of legislation and the use of additional levers like creating a special fund.
Regarding domestic issues, the Prime Minister underscored that the president’s impeachment should not be anticipated.
“However, his rights will be fit on the new constitution of Georgia. The president’s term officially expires on January 5. However, based on the changes carried out by the previous government, the term was stretched for more than 10 months… I do not support him being in this role for 10 more months however, if we go against this it will be difficult to persuade the international community that the process is not politically motivated,” Ivanishvili stated, adding that the new government might “take the lengthened term with understanding.” However, the president will have to adjust to the new constitution, which significantly restricts the president’s powers.
“It will be unacceptable if the new government acts based on the new constitution and the president follows the old one,” Ivanishvili said.
He also stated that he will meet with the president if “it is needed” and not based on the president’s will.
Ivanishvili also underscored that the president has no levers to veto the reforms launched for the Council of Justice of Georgia.
“Everyone knows what kind of court we had and still have as the former staff is still there…however, reforms have already been launched,” Ivanishvili said.
Concerning his future plans Ivanishvili excluded him being on the presidential post.
Ivanishvili also spoke on the importance of the free media and stated that such a system will be created in the country when no one will be able “to use channels for revolutions.”
Concerning the huge hydro electro stations (HES), Ivanishvili emphasized that the areas where the HES might be built will be studied in detail and only after any decision will be made.
“As for small and medium sized HES, the government will encourage their construction,” Ivanishvili stated.
Concerning economic advancement, Ivanishvili stated that the first year after coming to power will be “preparatory” for development, during the second year, positives will be palpable for public, the third year will be “good” and the forth one “very good.”