West ‘turns blind eye’ to ‘ultra-nationalists’ rioting when it comes to Georgia – Moscow

The recent anti-Russian protests and subsequent clashes in Georgia are “yet another example of the results of geopolitical engineering” performed by Western politicians, Lavrov said on Monday.

The Western supervisors are ready to turn a blind eye to rioting by ultra-nationalists and Russophobia, as long as they get to rip apart all the ties the people of Georgia have with our country, and rewrite our common history.

Despite all of that, Moscow remains open to dialogue and partnership wherever it is possible to “neutralize the common threats to all of humanity,” the minister stated.

The anti-government and anti-Russian protests broke out in downtown Tbilisi last week, spiraling into violent clashes with police outside the nation’s parliament building. Before that, opposition lawmakers protested against a visiting Russian delegation, a member of which addressed the participants of a Christian-themed event, hosted in the parliament building, from the official seat of the house speaker.

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The Kremlin blasted the clashes as “a Russophobic provocation.” Moscow reacted immediately by banning Russian airlines from conducting flights to Georgia, citing safety reasons. The flights of Georgian airlines to Russia were later banned as well.

Meanwhile, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has promised“large-scale political reform” in response to the demands of the opposition parties, which supported the protests.

The first such step, announced by Ivanishvili, is a change in the way the parliament is formed. Currently, around half of the MPs are elected from single-member constituencies, while the other half are elected using party-list proportional representation. Ivanishvili said that during the 2020 parliamentary election, all lawmakers will be elected using proportional representation, and the current three-percent election threshold will be eliminated.

The reform will be a better way to foster “a multiparty democracy and European standards of authority,” the politician said on Monday.

This is not the only concession the ruling party has made to the opposition in recent days. On Friday, the house speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze, resigned following demands by protesters to have him sacked.

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