Moscow Ex-Mayor’s Visit to Georgia Causes Controversy
09 May, 2017
 Moscow Ex-Mayor’s Visit to Georgia Causes Controversy
Moscow’s former mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s visit in Georgia has caused an outcry among the Georgian population and politicians.
Luzhkov arrived in Georgia several days ago and his photos released in social networks caused irritation an anger of Georgians.

Luzhkov himself explained that he is visiting Georgia as a tourist and not a politician. The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) reports that he has already visited Vardzia cave monastery complex, Uplistsikhe complex and Stalin's museum in Gori.

Moreover, former Moscow Mayor along
with his friends and family attended the liturgy conducted in Aramaic language in Kanda village.
Ex-Mayor of Moscow also made a brief comment about Georgia’s Breakaway regions.

“I think that Abkhazia is absolutely different country, people are different there. And it is the same with South Ossetia. Of course, there is some feeling of nostalgia and anger, but I still think that after breakaway of those regions Georgia is going to feel itself much better in future,” he told GPB.

Russian politician visited occupied Sokhumi in 2006 and 2009, without Georgian authorities´ consent which means he violated Georgia’s law on occupation.

Luzhkov noted he had no problem while crossing Georgian border.

Georgia’s Deputy Interior Minister, Shalva Khutsishvili said that the border guard saw no sign to find out the fact that Luzhkov had visited Georgia’s occupied territories in the past.

“There was no particular reason for preventing Luzkhov from entering Georgia when crossing the state border. He entered by a legal document that envisaged no sign of him having violated the law on occupied territories. Therefore the border guard had no formal basis to make any different decision,” Khutsishvili stressed.

Sergi Kapanadze, member of the opposition party the United National Movement (UNM) commented on Khutsishvili’s explanation over Luzhkov’s visit.

He believes that the government should “protect the sovereignty and interests of the state with more responsibility.”

“In general, every country has its ‘black list’ and in Georgia Luzhkov should be among the first ones to include in such list,” Kapanadze said.

Another opposition party Movement for Freedom-European Georgia says that Luzhkov was among the first Russian politicians who supported independence of breakaway regions of Georgia.

“Luzhkov has visited Abkhazia many times and he even has an immovable property there.The fact that he was allowed to enter non-occupied territory of Georgia, is a crime,” Giorgi Kandelaki from the European Georgia stressed.

Georgia’s Former President, Mikheil Saakashvili also commented on Luzhkov’s visit in his Facebook post.

“I am not allowed to enter my own country and the fierce enemy of Georgia was honorably received and hosted,” Saakashvili’s post reads.

The member of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD), Gia Volsky says that it is not confirmed that Luzhkov violated law.

“I don’t have bad memories about Luzhkov. He confronted Putin while he was Mayor and rehabilitated ruined first school in Georgia,” Volsky said.

By Thea Morrison
Source: Georgia Today

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