TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s comments, which many Georgians see as bowing down to an aggressive Russia, continues to cause anger, outrage and shame in the country.
The hashtag #ღარიბაშვილიარგამოხატავსჩემსპოზიციას has gone viral on social media. It literally translates to “Garibashvili does not express my opinion”.
Georgians from a broad range of backgrounds and especially youth are flooding social media with statements of support for the Ukrainian people in their fight against the aggressor and apologizing for Garibashvili’s statement.
In their opinion, the PM’s statement is especially shameful against the background that the whole democratic world is condemning Putin’s behavior and trying to support an embattled Ukraine in any way possible.
“Irakli Garibashvili’s statement yesterday regarding the developments in Ukraine was completely shameful. That is why I have been feeling guilty in front of Ukrainians for two days now. I want every Ukrainian to know Georgians do not share such an opinion and that we support our brotherly nation in this difficult time,” Mari Bolkvadze, a journalist at Formula TV told DFWatch.
PM Irakli Garibashvili said Friday that Georgia does not intend to join the Western sanctions against Russia because this will “harm our national interests”.
“I will not do anything; I will not make any decision that in any way harms our national interests, the interests of our people. We got acquainted with the actions of our partners that followed the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. I want to clearly and unequivocally state that Georgia, taking into account our national interests, is not going to participate in financial and economic sanctions. It will only harm our country even more,” he said.
Garibashvili also added that nothing threatens Georgia today and urged everyone to remain calm. According to the PM, thanks to the “national and pragmatic policy” of the ruling Georgian Dream, over the past nine years, the authorities have managed to achieve peace and stability in the country.
Soon after these comments, hundreds of Georgians rallied at the Government office in Tbilisi to protest Irakli Garibashvili’s statements and express solidarity to the Ukrainian people.
It was reported on Saturday that Georgian basketball player Tornike Shengelia had unilaterally terminated his contract with CSKA Moscow, citing Russian aggression on Ukraine as the reason and posted a photo of the Ukrainian flag on his Facebook page.