TBILISI, DFWatch – Mikheil Saakashvili did not miss out on another chance to mention his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin while giving a speech in Batumi at an international conference about world tourism.
Saakashvili said Putin is a person who signed Georgia’s occupation but imitates Georgia’s reforms.
“He says he doesn’t like Saakashvili, but wants to copy the successful reforms conducted in Georgia. I don’t know any other example in modern world history where a representative of a 100 times larger state says he’s ready to learn how to govern his own country.”
In April, Dmitry Medvedev, who two days ago stepped down as president of Russia, gave an interview to Russia’s national TV channel, in which he spoke about the planned police reforms.
He said his country is on the way to transforming the police system and setting up a new Interior Ministry, but it is impossible to do this in six months.
“We are not a tiny state, which is sometimes named as an example,” he said.
A journalist asked him whether he meant Georgia or not. He answered that he didn’t name Georgia, the journalist did.
Georgia’s police reforms, which began immediately after the rose revolution in 2003, is one of the few reforms, among many attempted, that still enjoys widespread support among the population.
Saakashvili, who was justice minister before seizing power in the bloodless 2003 coup, fired seventeen thousand police employees and re-hired staff. The reform is also known for its many new buildings with a glass façade and the issuance of new uniforms and police cars. Another element in the reform is the placement of police officers in public schools and a PR campaign directed at securing the support of children.
Corruption used to be widespread, but was overcome on a low level.
Medvedev said it is impossible to fire all the policemen in Russia, because it is a large country.