Georgian government to pay special attention to organizational events of the Sochi Olympics
By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, October 8
The Georgian Government released an official statement and said that the Georgian Olympic Committee with the support of the cabinet had received a decision to participate in the Sochi Olympic Games. The decision was a goodwill gesture from the Georgian side on the way to settling relations with the Russian Federation.
The government regrets that its attempts have not been adequately appreciated so far. Despite the attempts of the government to ensure the team participates in a sporting event and the games are free from politicization, it appears that the Russians are trying to use the Olympic Games as a political tool.
The statement explains the government’s harassment over the fact that Russian military pilot Ivan Nichaev has become one of the carriers of the Olympic torch. According to Russian TV station Rasia, Nichaev is a “hero” of the Georgia-Russia war.
Georgian government remains loyal to the idea of the normalization of relations between the two countries. However, considering the latest developments in the village of Ditsi and the installation of barbed-wire fencing along the occupation line, the Georgian government aims to closely monitor the organization process of the Olympic Games to make sure this major event is not politicized and used as a political football against Georgia.
“From now on we will be observing with special attention the organizational events of the Sochi Olympics. If Georgia eventually ascertains that the excessive politicization of the event is taking place and they are purposefully used against Georgia, the Georgian authorities will make the appropriate decision for the purpose of defending the dignity and interests of its citizens,” the government said.
President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili is sure that Russia will not miss a chance to “humiliate” Georgia. Commenting on Nichaev becoming one of the Olympic torchbearers, Saakashvili said Russia is being provocative.
“They will also deliberately bring delegations from Abkhazia and South Ossetia there (in Sochi). The guests of the Olympic Games will be taken to visit Abkhazia and they will use Abkhazia’s infrastructure without out permission,” the president said. He fears that Russian President Putin will use the games for the popularization of the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali break-away regions. According to Saakashvili, Olympic Committee members should first of all remember that they are Georgians and should have the correct reaction to the latest developments.
Reminding the Georgian Olympic Committee, the United National Movement (UNM) is requesting an adequate reaction to Russia’s “severe political provocation”. In the statement published on the party’s official web-page, the UNM says Putin’s desire to exploit the Olympic Games against the national interests and people of Georgia, is more than obvious. Therefore, the party expects the committee to revise the issues of participation in the games.
Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Olympic Committee, Elguja Berishvili said that the committee was unanimous while making the decision to participate in the Olympic Games. However, committee delegates will closely follow the future developments of events. Based on the interests of the country, the committee does not exclude the possibility to once again gather its delegates and revise the decision about participation in the Olympic Games.