Georgian Protests - Zurabishvili called Russia enemy and occupier | Eurasia Diary -

14 December, Saturday

Georgian Protests - Zurabishvili called Russia enemy and occupier

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Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili late on Thursday (Jun 20) called Russia "an enemy and occupier" whose "fifth column" she suggested was behind violent unrest which she warned risked dividing the ex-Soviet state.

Zurabishvili's comments, issued in a statement, followed violent scenes in the Georgian capital Tbilisi after police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to stop crowds from storming the parliament building.

The crowds were angry about the visit of Sergei Gavrilov, a member of Russia's lower house of parliament. Gavrilov was taking part in the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), a body set up by the Greek parliament in 1993 to foster relationships between Christian Orthodox lawmakers.

"Russia is our enemy and occupier. The fifth column it manages may be more dangerous than open aggression," Zurabishvili posted on her Facebook page.

"Only Russia benefits from a split in the country and society and internal confrontation, and it's the most powerful weapon today."

Related: Thousands flood streets in Tbilisi over Russian MP's speech

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