TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies claims by the opposition that the three Baltic countries refused to host PM Irakli Gharibashvili, who was planning a visit.
One of the largest online publications in Lithuania, 15min.lt, confirmed, based on anonymous sources, that the PM’s request to come on an official trip to Lithuania was rejected.
“Sources for 15 minutes confirmed that Lithuania and the other Baltic states had decided not to accept PM Irakli Garibashvili, who had planned an official visit to the region. The governments of the Baltic states have said that Tbilisi’s application for a visit was rejected because Georgia did not show a desire to punish those who attacked LGBT activists and journalists on July 5,” 15min.lt writes.
One of the opposition politicians to seize on the Lithuanian website’s news report Wednesday was Giorgi Kandelaki from European Georgia, who was a member of the Georgian delegation to PACE for many years.
“This is a declaration of Irakli Gharibashvili as a political leper on the international arena […] It means that Irakli Gharibashvili, as a political figure, is effectively in international isolation.
“It is not good for our country, but in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius [they] see very well that hosting Irakli Gharibashvili now would legitimize the growing influence of Russia,” Kandelaki said.
This report that Georgia’s PM had his visit request rejected by the Baltic countries was denied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the spokesperson of the Ministry Mari Narchemashvili, there is “speculation” about this topic.
When Netgazeti tried to verify the information with the foreign ministries of the Baltic states, only Lithuania responded. The statement is ambiguous, emphasizing that Lithuania and Georgia are “close partners” and that the visit will take place when a time acceptable to both sides is chosen.