President Saakashvili said on July 20 that PM Ivanishvili received USD 2 billion from Russia from sale of his Russian assets and in return the Kremlin now wants Ivanishvili to "destroy" incumbent President of Georgia.
“Russia has given this government, the Prime Minister [Ivanishvili]… USD 2 billion [from sale] of assets – much more than their [market] value,” Saakashvili told an audience at a meeting in the presidential palace in Tbilisi.
“Putin has given USD 2 billion to our Prime Minister. Why will Putin think that it is him who should make concessions? He [Putin] thinks that it is the Prime Minister [Ivanishvili], who should make concessions, isn’t it so? And what concessions should he [Ivanishvili] make? That’s, first of all, at least legal, political and moral destruction of the Georgian President and secondly, accepting everything that I have been refusing to accept throughout these years,” Saakashvili said.
He made the remarks when speaking about relations with Russia; he said that many in Georgia had a wrong expectation that Russia would have changed its stance towards Georgia after the new government came into office following last year’s parliamentary elections.
“But we see that Russia is not changing – wolf remains the same wolf. It continues installing barb wires [at breakaway South Ossetian administrative bounder], staging provocations, kidnapping people and undermining [Georgia] on the international arena,” Saakashvili said, adding that for him there is nothing surprising in these moves by Russia.
Saakashvili also said that his government would have been better placed to tackle these issues, because unlike the current government, his administration owed Russia nothing.
He also said that the Russia authorities were now in “difficult situation”, because of falling popularity of the Russian leadership and worsening economy, which, Saakashvili said, would lead to changes in Russia. “It will happen much sooner than we can imagine it,” Saakashvili said and expressed hope that Russia will become a democracy.