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Thousands of protestsers storm parliament in Georgia — media

Demonstrations followed the session of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy with participation of Russian delegates

TBILISI, June 20. /TASS/. Thousands of people, together with representatives of Georgia's opposition parties, are storming the headquarters of the country's parliament in Tbilisi after an incident with Russian State Duma member Sergey Gavrilov. Georgian TV channel Imedi is broadcasting the developments live.

According to Imedi, demostrators are trying to break through the police cordon near the main entrance to the parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue. Special forces are trying to prevent people from entering the building. Demonstrators are throwing water bottles and other objects at the police. Several protesters have broken through the cordon and entered the building's inner courtyard.

People started gathering around the parliament building at 7pm local time. The Georgian opposition later joined the action and announced their demands — resignation of Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Parliament Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze.

Demonstrations followed the participation of Russian State Duma member Sergey Gavrilov and other Russian delegates in the 26th session of the General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) in Tbilisi. On Thursday morning, Gavrilov opened the session as the IAO president. Opposition Georgian parliament members condemned Gavrilov for addressing the delegates while sitting down in a chair of the parliament chairperson. Opposition representatives then picketed the rostrum and the chair of the parliament speaker and did not allow the session to continue.

A decision was made later to finish the session, and for the Russian delegation to leave. Representatives of the ruling party "Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia" said that they did not know that Gavrilov would open the session and think that the protocol was broken.