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Russian diplomat criticizes Georgian leaders for anti-Russian rhetoric

by | Mar 17, 2016
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Grigory Karasin. (Atlantic Council.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–A Russian deputy foreign minister has criticized Georgian politicians for engaging in anti-Russian rhetoric, warning that patience has its limits.

Gregory Karasin made the statement in Prague on Wednesday after meeting with Georgian diplomat Zurab Abashidze.

He especially criticized the defense minister, Tina Khidasheli.

“The defense minister called on the world that the civilized world should unite against the Russian threat. Normal societies do not forgive such statements. We hesitate, but our patience has limits,” Karasin said.

He spoke of an ‘increased anti-Russian rhetoric’ and noted that it is not possible to talk about a meeting between the presidents of the two countries when almost every Georgian politician is accusing Russia of all mortal sins.

“The major threat for Georgia today is the upcoming parliamentary election, and the increasing anti-Russian rhetoric which is heard in Tbilisi, at international platforms, heard from official figures, but what is most offensive for us in the bilateral relations is that such attitudes emanate from official persons – politicians, ministers, even the president. We are of course attentive to this, but we try not to respond to each poke, but we also draw conclusions,” Karasin said.

He added that the relations are now at a crossroad and a choice has to be made; either to return to confrontation or continue respecting each other and decide on bilateral issues in this context.

“Every politician wants to pay attention and underline that they are against Russian expansion, that they are the most patriotic and staunch fighters,” Karasin said.

At the meeting Wednesday between Abashidze and Karasin in Prague, the latter brought attention to a speech by the Georgian defense minister at the international security forum on November 20-22. Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli said that the Russian aggression has no boundaries and if the international community forgets the issues of Ukraine and Georgia with the aim of meeting global challenges, the next attempt by Russia will be larger and it will be closer to NATO member states.



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