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Regional

Okruashvili Says, Russia Still Poses Threat to Georgia

  • Friday, January 18, 19:17

Tbilisi. Russia is still a threat to Georgia - Irakli Okruashvili, Georgian ex-Defence Minister, who was released from court on bail on January 11, stated in an interview to the Reuters news agency - Georgian Rustavi 2 TV reported on January 16.

Georgian President's former close associate, Irakli Okruashvili, who now enjoys a political refugee status in France, voluntarily returned to Georgia on November 20, 2012. He was arrested at the airport immediately upon his arrival, based on Tbilisi City Court's ruling of March 28, 2008. In 2008, Tbilisi City Court sentenced Okruashvili to 11 years in prison for bribery. On January 10, 2013, Tbilisi Appeals Court annulled Tbilisi City Court's March 28, 2008, ruling. Tbilisi City Court also ruled out pre-trial detention to Okruashvili over two other cases, instituted during the rule of the former leading party - the United National Movement (still led by President Saakashvili).

"I will be very diplomatic in order not to become an obstacle for Russian-Georgian cooperation, but I should state that Russia is still a threat to our country and to our sovereignty," Rustavi 2 TV quoted Okruashvili as saying.

               At the same time, in Okruashvili's opinion, there will be certain improvement in the relations between the two countries in the near future.

               "I think Prime Minister Ivanishvili has some clear view, as I was following his messages, of what we can expect from Russians. There are no big expectations right now that there will be huge improvements within one day or within one month. But Tbilisi has sent a positive signal and now it is up to Russia to reply," Okruashvili said.

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