MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Moscow sees ‘someone’s visible hand’ persistently trying to add anti-Russia elements to the latest developments in the South Caucasus Republic of Georgia while the trigger of the unrest in the country has no relation to Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"The situation that served as a trigger for this public unrest has nothing to do with Russia," the Kremlin spokesman stressed.
"Simultaneously, we see someone’s hand that cannot be called ‘invisible’ because it is quite visible. We see from where the Georgian president addresses her people. It is not Georgia from where she addresses male and female Georgians, she addresses them from America. And someone’s visible hand is assiduously trying to add anti-Russia elements to that," Peskov said.
A risk of provocations against Abkhazia and South Ossetia exists in the wake of Georgia’s unrest. In this situation, Moscow watches the ongoing developments in Georgia ‘very closely and with great concern," the Russian presidential spokesman said.
Russia does not interfere in Georgia’s internal affairs, Peskov stressed, adding that the Kremlin had seen the decision by the republic’s legislators to remove the bill that had caused protests from the discussion.
"The point is that the Georgian authorities initiated the adoption of the law similar to the US FARA legislation [the Foreign Agents Registration Act]. Russia has nothing to do with that both in its essence and in its form," the Kremlin press secretary said.
Protests against controversial bill
Thousands-strong protests erupted in Tbilisi on March 7-8 after the national legislature adopted the Georgian version of the bill on foreign agents in the first reading. The participants in both protest rallies were dispersed by the police who used water jets and tear gas. Over 130 people were detained during the two days of the protests. On the morning of March 9, the ruling Georgian Dream party decided to recall the bill after the unrest in the capital.
The republic’s parliament registered the Georgian and American versions of the foreign agents bill in February. The American version represented the translation of the US Foreign Agents Registration Act. Pursuant to the Georgian version, a media outlet could also be recognized as a foreign agent while the bill did not apply to individuals. The US version, however, applied to both legal entities and individuals and also stipulated criminal liability. The legislative initiatives drew sharp criticism both from the opposition and Western politicians and organizations.