TBILISI, DFWatch–Diplomat Zurab Abashidze has expressed astonishment at a statement by President Giorgi Margvelashvili that he had not properly handled a critical remark by a Russian diplomat.
Abashidze, whose full title is Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russian relations, said he feels sorry that the president relied on Russian sources while talking about meeting of the Russian and Georgian diplomats in Prague, instead of using information provided by Georgia.
The president said at a press conference on Monday that when Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin criticized Georgian politicians for engaging in anti-Russian rhetoric, he wasn’t there to immediately respond. He added that the phrase to ‘act wise’ was partly a joke.
Before going to Prague, he met with one of the president’s advisers to inform him about topics which he would discuss with Karasin. He said he is ready to meet with the president about this issue, if the president desires.
Karasin said that government bodies, including the administration of the president and Georgia’s National Security Council, which is subordinate to the president, are informed about the meetings in Prague.
He said it is unfortunate that the president wasn’t duly informed. He added that he will have a conversation with Karasin about his latest statements.
“The president had a question about my half-joke, or even serious remark that we have to act wise within relations with Russia, and why it is suspicious or bad to act wise in politics?” he asked.
In an interview with Channel 1 on Sunday, the president said that he wants to have his own representative for Russian relations, because he would give different answers and would bring a completely different message to Gregory Karasin.
On Wednesday, March 16, Zurab Abashidze and Gregory Karasin met in Prague. The Russian diplomat said that Georgian government’s anti-Russian rhetoric is unacceptable for Moscow. Zurab Abashidze responded that ‘if we act wise, nothing will threaten us.’