Russia welcomed release three of its citizens from prison as part of a broad amnesty in Georgia and called on Tbilisi to also free other Russian citizens serving prison terms under, as it put it, “fabricated” charges.
On January 13 Georgia released from jails 190 inmates who were recognized by the country’s Parliament as political prisoners; among them were several persons whom Georgia’s previous authorities accused of spying in favor of Russia, including three Russian citizens.
“Steps directed towards rectifying those illegalities, which were carried out by Saakashvili’s regime can only be welcomed,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for human rights Konstantin Dolgov said in comments posted on Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on January 15.
“We consider necessary earliest release from Georgian prisons other Russian citizens, who also became victims of police arbitrariness, spy mania and fabrication of cases,” he said.
Saakashvili said on December 28 that one of the reason he vetoed the bill was that he was against of releasing “Russian spies”.
“Russia is the country, which poses existential threat to Georgia’s national security,” Saakashvili said, adding that all the cases of espionage where “well-investigated”.
“Release of Russian spies is not only unimaginable illegality and poses threat to country’s security, it will also encourage those who are ready to carry out similar acts of treason in the future,” Saakashvili said on December 28, adding that “not a single self-respectful country” would have done it.