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Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issues statement on 'anti-Ukrainian' comments from Georgian PM Kobakhidze

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 31, 2024 7:19 PM 2 min read
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze at a press conference on April 12, 2024. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Foreign Ministry released a statement on May 30 condemning recent "anti-Ukrainian" remarks made by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze.

Tensions between Georgia and the West, as well as with Ukraine, have increased since the ruling Georgian Dream party reintroduced its controversial foreign agents law in April.

The law, which was passed by the parliament earlier in May, requires organizations that receive foreign funding to be labeled as "foreign agents" and is widely thought to lead to a crackdown on civil society and independent media.

Speaking at the opening of a new bridge in Tbilisi on May 30, Kobakhidze said that Georgian Dream would not allow a "Maidan" to happen in Georgia. Kobakhidze was referring to the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution in Ukraine in which more than 100 protesters were killed by security forces and culminated in pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country.

Kobakhidze then went on to falsely claim that subsequent Ukrainian governments had been appointed by "the outside." International organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have found that Ukrainian presidential elections in 2014 and 2019 were "competitive and fundamental freedoms were generally respected."

"The statements of the head of Georgia's government regarding our state, (EuroMaidan), heroism, and struggle of the Ukrainian people for freedom and independence are unacceptable and outrageous," Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said.

"It is notable that the word 'Russia' was never mentioned" in Kobakhidze's remarks, the statement continued.

"It is regrettable to observe the consistent and permanent degradation of political statements of (Kobakhidze), which have recently become difficult to distinguish from the statements of the Russian leadership."

It was not the first time Ukraine has criticized comments made by Kobakhidze and other members of Georgian Dream.

Following the introduction of the foreign agents law in April, Kobakhidze said the legislation was required to prevent the "Ukrainization" of Georgia.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said the comments were "disturbing."

"Russification, but not mythical "Ukrainization," is a real threat to Georgia," and Ukraine "continues to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders," the ministry said at the time.

Explainer: What’s behind ongoing protests in Georgia?
For the past few weeks, thousands of protesters have gathered every night in front of the Georgian parliament in opposition to the controversial foreign agents law that the ruling Georgian Dream party is attempting to pass. The final vote is set to take place on May 14. The law would

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