The Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny on Thursday apologized for his anti-Georgian post during the Russia-Georgia 2008 conflict and called for the release of currently imprisoned former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.
In his social media post, Navalny claimed he did not know Saakashvili or any of his team members, but said his presence in custody affected the country and its European future.
“To my shame, I have a rather poor understanding of Georgian politics and may say something wrong. To my even greater shame, I wrote a post with an insulting slur about Georgians back in 2008 under the influence of the fact that a friend of mine was being shelled in Tskhinvali. I apologized for that and I apologize again now, but I know that my opinion does not carry much weight in Georgia because of that”, he said.
The politician claimed he had decided to write the post as a “human and a Christian” as it was hard for him to watch the developments around the former president.
“I believe in Georgia's happy European future. This is a great country that has everything to prosper. I believe that this political confrontation [after all, where isn't there one?] will be resolved peacefully and safely. But this imprisonment and torture of the former president is horrible and heartless. It hurts Georgia's European choice, it hurts its development, it reduces its chances for a normal future. It lowers morale and fills the country with anger”, Navalny said.
He encouraged the Georgian authorities to put aside their anger or the wish for revenge, and take a “merciful step” for Easter that would benefit the country and its people.