The ruling Georgian Dream party has killed two birds with one stone for not supporting the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recent resolution, which dubbed Russia as a terrorist country and called for the release of convicted former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, political analyst Nika Chitaze told Front News in an exclusive interview.
He also said that the ruling party was expected to activate its “anti-Western flank” in response to the resolution to once again demonstrate itself as a “savior”.
Front News: What meaning can the recent PACE resolution carry for Georgia, which cites Russia as a terrorist state and calls for the release of imprisoned former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili as a political prsioner? How the ruling Georgian Dream party may respond to the resolution?
Nika Chitadze: This resolution is a confirmation that Saakashvili is a political prisoner. The Council of Europe is the most authoritative organisation in Europe and the world for democracy and human rights. When such an organisation adopts a resolution with 99 votes for and noone against, it means that the international community expresses deep concern over the actions of the Georgian authorities.
The resolution makes a mention of Saakashvili as Putin's personal prisoner along with Vladimir Kara-Murza, and this means that the Georgian Dream is fulfilling Putin's task. This is done by the hands of Putin's local representatives, who is, first of all, [the founder of the ruling party] Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The document reveals a loyal policy of the current authorities towards Russia. It once again demonstrates how the Georgian Dream is excluded from the international community. The problem is that the party is in power and it separates the Georgia people from the West.
Front News: How the Georgian Dream may react to the resolution?
Nika Chitadze: I believe that the party will further strengthen its anti-Western rhetoric, as happened in the case of the European Council’s decision in June not to grant Georgia a membership candidate status. Now the Georgian Dream will reiterate that the Government was punished for not opening a second front for Russia. The ruling party will instruct its so-called former MPs united in the Popular Movement to tell this.
Front News: The Georgian Dream has not supported the resolution, which say that Russia is a terrorist country. What do you think about it?
Nika Chitadze: If the ruling party MPs supported the resolution, they would have to quit the party and lose the financial and other privileges they currently enjoy. That is why they refused to attend the voting, and those who attended, did not vote for it. PACE, for the first time in 73 years, dubbed Russia as a terrorist state. The Georgian Dream MPs could come out to say that they supported the section on Russia in the document, but disapproved of the note on Saakashvili. However, they did not do that. The Georgian Dream seemed to kill two birds with one stone for itself: on the one hand it had proved its loyalty to Russia, and on the other hand, stood against Saakashvili’s status of a political prisoner.
Front News: Is it possible for the party’s action to disappoint its supporters and change their attitudes?
Nika Chitadze: The problem is that those who were in favor of the Georgian Dream will still remain among its supporters with different motives - there are people who support this party as they benefit from it, while there are others who just believe. We like it or not, all of them cast their ballots.