“Nobody Can Do It with Russian Oligarchic Money”
27 October, 2011
“Nobody Can Do It with Russian Oligarchic Money”

Interview with Nugzar Tsiklauri, member of Majority

To learn how the Authorities took in the decision by Bidzina Ivanishvili to go into politics and his follow-up statements, we interviewed Nugzar Tsiklauri, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Caucasian Matters.


A: Bidzina Ivanishvili talks about the problems of security and occupation of Georgia but he has no vision on how to develop Georgian State policy in these directions. He has no full-fledged position regarding Russia, the European Union and NATO. The drive for

good relations with everybody is just a wishful thinking. How could you be on good terms with everybody on the Earth? He says the Georgian territories are occupied and that he once saved Georgia from an imminent war, when Giga Bokeria, Secretary of Security Council, allegedly conceived an attack on Russia and the President asked Ivanishvili to interfere. He also claims that he could not likewise interfere in the 2008 processes and hence the war broke out. The press notes that Ivanishvili was involved in the Russian politics and was backing General Lebed, who was well known to Georgians because he was the hangman of the bloody Soviet crackdown on Georgians in the night of  9 April in 1989. He himself acknowledged it in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper. He talks vaguely about many issues but makes it clear that Georgia was an aggressor and it began the war in 2008. I believe his political portrait is already fully shaped up in this regard. All those who insisted that big oligarchic money was always linked with certain obligations in Russia turned out to be correct.

Q: Yes but Kakha Bendukidze, once a member of the Governmental team, made his fortune in Russia just like Ivanishvili. He was in your team. Didn’t you have questions to him too?

A: When a man builds attractions and religious centers, there are few questions towards him and about the origin of his financial resources. When he or she turns into a political leader and starts to make radical statements, the interest in the origin of his money arises.

Q: Ivanishvili did more than building attractions. He said he paid the Governmental salaries by means of contributing to the Soros Fund.

A: It is impossible for a man to govern a huge sphere, have a 50 dollar salary and do not encounter a threat of corruption. No secret was made about it. Several Irish NGOs, Soros and a number of businessmen took part in the formation of the fund. It turned out that Ivanishvili was among them. However, I do not see a problem in it. Now he decided to set all the projects aside to become a Russian project himself.

Q: After Bidzina Ivanishvili was stripped of citizenship, the bank vehicle with a huge sum of his money was arrested, his bodyguards were ordered to hand in weapons; they say that the Authorities became afraid of him.

A: It’s a silly assumption. It’s about a specific law which must be observed by everyone. Mr. Ivanishvili was granted the status of a Georgian citizenship by the President. Then he illegally obtained a citizenship of another country. In such a situation the law obliges the President to make a respective move automatically. This is what happened, nothing more. The Authorities will be more steadfast than ever. The groups collected around Ivanishvili are talking about the Georgian dream. Look, you call killing of 17-18 year-old Georgian girls by the hand of Lebed, a Georgian dream? In reality, the Georgian dream is a freedom of Georgia. It is this Georgian dream which we will defend with or without a video clip.

Q: 18 Ambassadors visited Ivanishvili in his own residence.

A: I do not see the fact of either criticism or encouragement of Ivanishvili in the visit of the ambassadors. There is a new reality which the ambassadors should get familiar with. It’s their obligation.

Q: Ivanishvili says: I said I would come to power – so I will come to power.

A: It is only up to the Georgian people to decide who will come to power. Till today Ivanishvili was living an isolated life. But big money engendered big ambitions. It’s a filthy and mean task. No one can do it with the money of Russian oligarchs.

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