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PM: Russia’s Response on Tatunashvili’s Case Leaves Room for Negotiations

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 15
The Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated that Russia’s response on his appeal to settle Tatunashvili’s case together “leaves room for negotiations.”

Kvirikashvili made the statement in the wake of a stir among the opposition, which claims that the Prime Minister’s address to Russia was “shameful”, Russia’s response- “cynical” and that the PM must resign.

“Of course, much may be unacceptable in this response [from Russia], but one thing must be pointed out: This response makes room for negotiations. We must do everything in our power to put the situation in place,” Kvirikashvili stated.

The PM said that there is the format of the Geneva International Discussions, and that “we must take steps under this format to achieve progress”, however small.

“This small progress is the source of stability in Georgia, and if there is anything our country needs in this unstable world today is the ability to live in safety,” Kvirikashvili stated.

He underscored that over the last few days, he has encountered numerous “ridiculous assessments” of his statement.

He stressed that when urging Russia to achieve the transfer of the body of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, died in unclear circumstances in the occupied Tskhinvali region, he acted “solely within the state interests.”

“Generally, I would like to say that the very unhealthy environment in the country-with the severity of statements turned into the measurement of patriotism and love of our country-is very damaging. This environment can push politicians to take steps that will bring irreparable consequences for our country,” he stated.

The opposition again grilled the PM for his most recent statement and said that the Georgian Dream leadership continued “loyal attitude” to the occupant country.

The United National Movement and the European Georgia opposition once again demanded Kvirikashvili’s resignation.

The PM addressed Russia on March 9 and urged them after 10 years from the Russia-Georgia 2008 war to act jointly to settle the Tatunashvili’s case.

However, Russia responded that the case was “beyond their competence” and Georgia should have a direct dialogue with “Abkhazia and Tskhinvali governments” to reach a consensus over the issue.

Georgian soldier Tatunashvili and his two friends were illegally detained by occupant forces on February 23 in the occupied Akhalgori region.

The next day Tatunashvili died in unclear circumstances. The Tatunashvili family is sure that the young man was killed, while the occupied regime refuses to hand over the body until the results of autopsy are available.

In their previous statement the de facto leadership claimed that the man, who was allegedly detained for his participation in the Russia-Georgia war, died from heart failure.

Two other Georgian citizens detained with Tatunashvili were released after more than 20 weeks.