Mikheil Saakashvili, the currently imprisoned third President of Georgia, on Wednesday responded to allegations by current Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and other officials that he could have prevented the 2008 conflict with Russia.
In his social media post from the Tbilisi clinic, the former official claimed he could have avoided the war if “accepted” Moscow’s demands to leave the country undeveloped.
He claimed his Government would have prevented the confrontation, that led to the occupation of 20 percent of the Georgian territory, if it refused to remove the Russian-affiliated ruler of western Adjara region Aslan Abashidze, appointed Russian spies in the domestic security, would not have combated corruption, accepted the Russian schemes in the energy sector, would not have developed army and refused to join the NATO and the EU.
“In a word, we would have appeared as a backward, unfortunate, criminal, corrupt country, whose fate no one in the world would be interested in, and to which Russia would do whatever it wanted at any time," Saakashvili said.
In his remarks on Tuesday, on the anniversary of the conflict, Garibashvili claimed Saakashvili did “Russia’s job” in 2008 and “did nothing” to prevent the conflict.