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More Funding Allegations after Burjanadze’s Meeting with Ukrainian Tycoon
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Jul.'09 / 02:20

A reported meeting of Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, with Ukrainian tycoon Viktor Pinchuk in Kiev has further intensified the authorities’ allegations that some opposition parties were seeking funding for anti-government protests abroad.

The news about Burjanadze’s meeting with Pinchuk, who is ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma’s son-in-law broke on July 1 with some Ukrainian media sources reporting that “the secret meeting” took place in Kiev on June 29.

Burjanadze declined to comment and said she would “either confirm or deny when I deem it appropriate.” “My private meetings are not anyone’s business,” she added. Burjanadze, however, said that she had not discussed funding issues with anyone.

The news comes a week after it emerged that two other opposition leaders, Davit Gamkrelidze of the New Rights Party and Levan Gachechiladze met with ex-interior minister, Kakha Targamadze, who now holds the Russian citizenship, in Berlin.

President Saakashvili said on July 2, while referring to both of these meetings, that they were not “private” and added that those whom the Georgian opposition politicians met with recently abroad were linked with Russia.

“In recent days I hear statements that some politicians go abroad and meet there with persons, who are directly engaged in carrying out Russia’s interest. Of course such meetings can not be regarded as private,” Saakashvili said on July 2.

“I want everyone to understand that Russian representatives are standing not only in Muzhava [a village at the Abkhaz administrative border] and in Akhalgori [in breakaway South Ossetia], but one can also meet a Russian representative in Berlin and in Kiev in our friendly Ukraine where they [Russia] have quite a strong position. Going there and requesting something from them to resolve your internal issues and for satisfying your political ambitions amounts to crossing occupation line and going into Akhalgori to tell the enemy: ‘come and help me to stir up tensions, to destabilize situation, to trigger turmoil’… What other interest they, who are your enemies and who declared that they want to destroy you, may have towards our country?”

“Georgia’s history is full of examples when our feudal lords were going to the Ottoman Empire, Persia and to Mongols asking them for money or arms in order to overthrow King and to partition the country,” he continued. “I think that it will never be repeated again. I think that majority of the Georgian political forces will have enough responsibility not to become part of that. I think everyone should be aware of consequences of their actions.”

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