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Georgia welcomes refusal on the ban of Georgian products in Russia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 11
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani says that the refusal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to accept the appeal of Duma on banning the Georgian products and remittances to Georgia was the “only right decision, which can only be welcomed.”

Zalkaliani says that the ban could have made a “huge impact” on the Georgian economy, adding that it was good Russia “was not provoked” by the actions of “destructive forces” in Georgia [referring to several opposition parties, the United National Movement at the top].

Putin stated on July 9 that he opposes sanctions against Georgia, following anti-occupation rallies in Tbilisi and a Georgian journalist insulting him on a live show, as he “respects Georgian people and wishes to retain ties” with the country.

He said that “destructive forces” in Georgia try to affect the relations of the two countries, and they “damage Georgian interests in the end.”

The opposition says that the statements of the top Georgian officials, made towards Kremlin, are “shameful.”

“The shameful statements of Georgian president and other officials are nothing but an appeal to Russia to get involved in internal affairs of Georgia and help Ivanishvili [founder of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili] retain the power ‘the radicals’ are trying to take away from him,” Member of the United National Movement Roman Gotsiridze said.

He says that Putin would not have accepted the ban as this would have created problems for Ivanishvili.

“Putin needs Ivanishvili as he is the only person in Georgia he can rely on,” Gotsiridze said.

The leader of the UNM, former Foreign Minister of Georgia who worked in Russia for several years, Grigol Vashadze said that “totally unprofessional” Georgian government managed to spoil relations both with the Georgian people and Russia.

Russian Duma adopted a statement early on July 9 and appealed to the Russian government to ban the import of Georgian wine and mineral waters and freeze remittances.

The appeal came shortly after a TV host of Rustavi 2 TV channel in Georgia Giorgi Gabunia insulted Putin in his live show.

Anti-occupation rallies kicked off in Tbilisi on June 20, after Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov took the seat of the Georgian parliamentary speaker to address the audience gathered for an international religious forum.

Demonstrators said that the MP from the occupant country must not have been allowed to take the high tribune of the Georgian parliament.

Russia and Georgia have no diplomatic relations since the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Trade and economic ties were restored only in 2013, with the initiative of the Georgian Dream government.