TBILISI, DFWatch – On several fronts the simmering power struggle in the southern Caucasus nation saw new developments Thursday.
The fallout from challenger Bidzina Ivanishvili’s first ever press conference is continuing, after he spoke on live TV in an unusually freespirited manner for Georgian viewers.
One of the shocking statements on November 1 was his account of who started the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia. Ivanishvili expressed his views in a way which was perceived by the government as an accusation that Georgia was first to begin the war on August 7, 2008.
Ivanishvli said that judging by the Tagliavini report and the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) of the Council of Europe the Georgian side started the war.
The Georgian government considers this statement a lie serving Russian interests.
On Thursday, Ivanishvili’s press office released a response that based on the Tagliavini report and the PACE resolution, which was signed by the Georgian delegation, taken together both documents say that the start of the war was August 7, 2008, ‘when Georgian troops opened fire without warning in the direction of Tskhinvali [Georgia’s breakaway region city]. What followed then was Russia’s non-proportionate use of force.’ The statement quotes sections from the documents.
In other developments, earlier on Thursday the press office released another statement about ‘politically motivated harassment’ of the businessman’s Cartu Bank. The statement mentions the steps which were taken by the Georgian National Bank since October 18.
The businessman’s press office claims that the National Bank ‘consciously ignores’ to refund the substantial amount of money which it thinks was illegally deprived of the bank’s employees in the armed operation. There is no response about the question of harassment of Cartu Bank clients.
The National Bank stated on November 1 that there is an on-site inspection at Cartu Bank; not to cause any danger for the functioning of Cartu Bank, the National Bank proposed to Cartu Bank’s supervisory council to offer financial support but the offer was rejected.
“The working process of the National Bank staff is deliberately hindered,” the National bank states. “Despite repeated requests, “Cartu” Supervisory Council did not provide the inspection team access to necessary information. The result is dragging out the verification process even more.”
Cartu Bank denied that this is the case.
Later this evening it became known that there will be established a new civil movement called ‘Georgian Dream’ headed by Ivanishvili himself. The movement will be launched on November 25 at Tbilisi Concert Hall.