Georgia Slams 'Dictatorial' Regime in Belarus

/ Civil Georgia, Tbilisi /

President Saakashvili said on March 16 that fight for freedom in Belarus means "fight for freedom on entire post-Soviet space."

"Georgia is in the middle of a huge battle: There is an imperial space - and this is not just an abstract one, this is very concrete one, these are people who do not let us in Abkhazia, who stir up tensions in Tskhinvali [South Ossetia]: and this empire is in Belarus and in some other post-Soviet republics," Saakashvili said at a news conference.

"So fight for freedom in Belarus is a fight for freedom on entire post-Soviet space. It is fight for freedom in Abkhazia, it was fight for freedom in Tbilisi, it was fight for freedom in Batumi [Adjara Autonomous Republic]. The very same people who hysterically try to stir up tensions in Georgia, at the same time spare no efforts to maintain dictatorial regime, which is currently in Belarus. So when I am asked why it matters for you what will happen in Belarus, I respond, that those values [of freedom] are very important for us. Recently I have seen a picture in one of the magazines depicting a young man in Minks, who is being beaten and who hold the Georgian five-cross [national] flag. The Georgian flag has emerged as a symbol of freedom. We will never say no to these values, because these values mean for us unification," the Georgian President stated.

"I am sure that this issue [of Belarus] will end by final liberation of [the Belarus] people and by final unification of Europe. We said for several times that new wave of liberation of Europe which was launched by the Rose Revolution will further continue and this process will spread to Belarus," Saakashvili said.

Meanwhile a group of eight Georgian parliamentarians who arrived in Minsk on March 16 to monitor March 19 presidential election under the aegis of the OSCE election observer mission are reportedly still held in the airport for unknown reasons, according to the Georgian media sources. MP Givi Targamadze, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security said that the Georgian MPs will apparently be deported from Belarus.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry has already expressed protest regarding this incident and demanded on March 16 from the Belarus authorities "give the group of Georgian parliamentarians the possibility to carry out monitoring mission under the OSCE aegis."

The Foreign Ministry has also denied as unfounded and libelous accusations made by the Belarus security service - KGB on March 16. The Belarus KGB disseminated footage of interrogation of a young man who, according to the KGB was suspected in an attempt to carry out terrorist acts in Minks. He says that a group of saboteurs underwent training in Georgia.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that this accusation was as an attempt of the Belarus authorities "to shift focus to other issues in pursuit of their aim to disguise undemocratic processes and non-transparent pre-election campaign ongoing in their country."