Saakashvili on Russians' 'Strive for Freedom'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Feb.'12 / 22:09

Strive for freedom is unstoppable and changes in Russia might not be as far away as some may think, President Saakashvili said on February 1.

Speaking to an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, Saakashvili said, that if Russia “becomes more normal and modern” it would be positive for others too, including for Georgia.

“But I think for Russia to modernize… [it] really needs a real change and I think that change might not be as far away as people think,” Saakashvili said.

“I’ve seen changes come very fast,” he continued. “I also hear some of the sounds that remind me very much sounds of my early young years, when the elite was cynical, people getting satirical – you know satire is the most special thing right now in Russia; satire is something that kills any authoritarian government. Democratic governments usually joke about themselves; authoritarian governments hate and suppress jokes about them, but more they suppress more people joke and now we see more and more jokes.”

“I think this movement and strive for freedom is unstoppable,” Saakashvili added.

At the event in the U.S. Institute of Peace, co-organized by the Atlantic Council, Saakashvili spoke of Georgia’s reform experience.

He also said that even Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, was interested in Georgia’s reforms. 

“Actually their police law was rewritten from the Georgian police law by Medvedev; Medvedev sent people [to Georgia] to study it… Of course they are implementing it in a very wrong way,” Saakashvili said.

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