Georgian Dream labels calls to impose visa requirements “xenophobia”

Georgian Dream labels calls to impose visa requirements “xenophobia”

Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party Irakli Kobakhidze rejected the calls of the Lelo for Georgia opposition party for imposing visa requirements for Russian and Belarusian citizens to prevent security threats in Georgia, by calling it a “deliberate, xenophobic campaign that is absolutely disgraceful”.

"This is a deliberate, xenophobic campaign that is absolutely disgraceful. It does not fit into any standards. If someone wants to be European, they cannot prove it with xenophobia," he concluded in his comments.

Kobakhidze noted that the opposition United National Movement party - he referred to as the party of ‘war and betrayal’- its satellite parties and media outlets had launched a “completely shameful” xenophobic and chauvinistic campaign against Russian citizens in Georgia at the beginning of March.

He noted the “xenophobic campaign” aimed at inciting aggression against Russian citizens, which “should lead to escalation and incidents”.

"We would like to remind the public once again that the involvement of Georgia in the military conflict, which the 'war party' [the United National Movement] and its partners want, will bring the most severe consequences to our country and our citizens. Therefore, the Government will do everything to prevent the country from being dragged into war," Kobakhidze concluded in his comments.

In his comments over the matter Kobakhidze stressed that there was no place for “xenophobia” in Georgia.  "It is a xenophobia and of course we will have a tough response to this xenophobia”, the GD official said.