TBILISI, DFWatch–A duel of words has broken out in Tbilisi after members of the Russian Duma turned up at a football match between Dinamo Tbilisi and Dinamo Moscow.
The friendship match on July 7 is the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union that the two teams have met, and apart from stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Andriy Shevchenko, also Russian lawmakers showed up to watch the historic match.
The presence of Duma members enraged some, and a rally was organized outside the stadium entrance, leading to three people being detained. After fighting a brief war with Georgia in 2008, Russia recognized two of its breakaway regions as independent states and deployed military soldiers there. The Duma members are seen as responsible for this policy.
Also President Saakashvili’s National Movement party reacted. This kind of visit could never have taken place while they were in power, seemed to be the message from National Movement lawmaker Akaki Minashivli at a recent session in parliament. He claimed that no Russian MPs had visited Georgia since the war, while his party was in government.
The Interior Ministry in Georgia on Wednesday responded by publishing a list of Russian parliamentarians who have visited the country after the Russia-Georgia war in August, 2008. The list showed that Denis Davitashvili, member of the Russian liberal democratic party visited Georgia in the period 2009-2011; Alexander Bednov was in Georgia in 2009; Tatiana Muskalkova was here in 2011 and Velimkhan Musoyev in 2010.