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PM Medvedev says those blaming Moscow for riots in Georgia are twisting situation

It was used to undermine the current political system in Georgia, the prime minister said

MINSK, June 21. /TASS/. Those who are trying to blame Russia for what is happening in Georgia are simply twisting the real situation, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

"Attempt to place the blame for that on Russia look like mere twisting the real situation," he said. "It was used to knock together these two forces, to use it as an instrument of pressure on the parliament and, ultimately, to undermine the current political system in Georgia."

Riots in Tbilisi are accompanied by "comments from such political clowns as [former Georgian President Mikhail] Saakashvili, who plunged into the process immediately," Medvedev noted, adding that its was regrettable that this rhetoric was supported by the incumbent Georgian president. President Salome Zurabishvili, who called Russia an occupying country and a foe, acted highly unprofessional when writing such statements on her Facebook account, the Russian prime minister said.

"I think these statements are utterly unprofessional. Maybe, she has not yet, so to say, got into the swing of things or she is distorting the situation deliberately," he said, adding that despite the fact that Russian and Georgia have no diplomatic relations and strained political relations, they have "quite good human contacts."

"Many Russians spend their vacations in Georgia. And if they whip up anti-Russian hysteria there our people will simply stop travelling to that country. And it will entail real problems for Georgia’s economic in this case," Medvedev noted.

Situation in Georgia

On Thursday, several thousand demonstrators rallied in front of the parliament building in the center of Tbilisi to demand the resignation of Interior Minister Georgy Gakhariya and the speaker of parliament. At a certain point the demonstrators tried to storm the building. Police dispersed the rally using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. A total of 240 people were injured, including 102 who are still in hospital. The police detained 305 demonstrators.

The rally followed a row over the participation of Russian State Duma member Sergei Gavrilov and other Russian delegates in the 26th session of the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy. On Thursday morning, Gavrilov opened the IAO session inside the Georgian parliament’s building in the capacity of IOC president. Georgian opposition legislators were very angry Gavrilov addressed the delegates from the seat of the speaker of parliament. In protest, the opposition disrupted the General Assembly. According to mass media reports, Gavrilov allegedly participated in combat operation in Abkhazia and Transnistria. Gavrilov refuted these allegations as untrue.