Irakli Kobakhidze responds to Kasyanov's statement on possible evacuation of Ukrainian citizens
By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The Chairman of Georgian Dream party Irakli Kobakhidze responded to the interview of Ukraine's Chargé d'affaires Andrey Kasyanov, who said that in case of resumption of direct air traffic between Georgia and Russia, Ukraine's government does not rule out the possibility of evacuation of their citizens from Georgia for security reasons.
Irakli Kobakhidze called Andrey Kasyanov's statement a 'shameful speculation', adding that an 'irrelevant' statement coming from Kasyanov is 'not the first time'. He said that there is nothing the Georgian government can do if Russia decides to resume direct flights, as the Russian government was the one who banned flights in the first place, not Georgia.
Irakli Kobakhidze argued that Andrey Kasyanov would need to evacuate Ukrainians from Georgia if Georgia sent Buk missile systems to Ukraine, which according to Kobakhidze would have been a 'direct involvement' of Georgia in the military conflict.
"We are used to such irrelevant statements from Kasyanov. This is a sad event. I can say that in that case Kasyanov would probably need to evacuate Ukrainians from Georgia, if we would send Buks to Ukraine. This would be Georgia's direct involvement in the military conflict. That's right, Kasyanov called us to join the war, and in this case we would need to evacuate not only Ukrainians, but also Georgians from Georgia. We heard Kasyanov's statements regarding the second front, which were very heavy, and this is a continuation of this rhetoric.
Everyone knows that the resumption of flights has nothing to do with the influx of Russians into Georgia. We have already run three speculative campaigns in this regard - one was in March, the second was during the summer season and the third was after the announcement of mobilization, and we proved that all three were empty speculations. No risks were created for the security of our country, including the security of Ukrainians living in Georgia. It was all empty speculation, shameful speculation. Kasyanov's statement today is a shameful speculative statement.
Flights have been unilaterally stopped by Russia, it was a sanction imposed by them, and if this sanction is canceled by the Russian Federation, it is their decision and we cannot make any decision about it. The only thing I can say once again is, of course, such a decision will be a benefit for up to a million Georgians living in the Russian Federation," said Kobakhidze.