Joint Statement by MPs: Sozar Subari, Dimitri Khundadze, Mikheil Kavelashvili, and Guram Macharashvili
We have asked the US Ambassador, H.E. Kelly Degnan, several questions over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, none of our queries were addressed.
Leaving these issues unresolved just serves to confirm for us and the vast majority of the public that the US Embassy is supporting the radical agenda of the radical opposition.
Of course, we did not expect that the ambassador would answer each question in great detail and reveal to us and the public whether or not the circumstances around it were true or false.
She could, however, respond to our inquiries in a way that would allay public anxiety and guarantee that the embassy wouldn't try to jeopardize the court's independence, restore the National Movement to power, or use Georgia as a second front.
When the US ambassador refuses to distance herself from the politically motivated pressure on the judge, refuses to distance herself from Bakuriani's meeting and the call for the resignation of the government, refuses to distance herself from the attempt to discredit the government and the unfounded allegations about informal governance, refuses to distance herself from the rhetoric of war, and withholds information about the details of the meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili, all this, of course, reinforces people's belief that the radical agenda of the radical opposition is being coordinated by the embassy.
Everyone would undoubtedly concur that the US ambassador could change society's perception by providing extremely straightforward replies. In these circumstances, there is only one plausible explanation for the embassy's unwillingness to respond: the embassy intends to focus its future efforts on inciting divisiveness and organizing the radical opposition's efforts to overthrow the government.
Finally, we were able to reveal the truth to the public and demonstrate to people who were planning what and how for our country without revealing information about the conversations that took place in the cabinets or upsetting the "Georgian Dream".
We were considering stopping here since the ambassador's silence in response to our questions at this point. But the interview the US ambassador gave to the National Movement-affiliated television channel "Formula" was sort of the last straw for us. We made the decision to be more forthright with the public regarding the activities that transpired in Georgian politics over the previous three years. The case involves an attempt to overthrow the government against the will of the people that was coordinated by the embassy and about which the general public only has a cursory understanding.
It says for itself that the ambassador exclusively pays a visit to the media organizations run by the "National Movement" and its oligarchic leaders, who are Georgia's primary source of divisiveness, lies, and hatred. The ambassador only once spoke with media that was not affiliated with the National Movement, and even then she granted an interview to a journalist who was a devoted supporter of the extreme opposition and a frequent visitor to the embassy.
We see that the ambassador avoids critical media and critical questions. A visit to "Formula" proves that the ambassador feels comfortable only in the media she controls and with pre-arranged questions. In addition, this fact clearly shows the political taste of the embassy.
There were no critical or journalistic questions asked during the interview that would have helped the audience learn the truth regarding intriguing topics. Is this the benchmark for media freedom and American democracy? In light of this, it ultimately became plausible to us that the above-mentioned factors were the reason why Bidzina Ivanishvili's lawyers' attempts to publish articles in Switzerland were and are unsuccessful.
The public is well aware that Mikheil Saakashvili and the "National Movement" were supported by the embassy during their rule, and it is now evident that the embassy also signed off on the monopoly of the media at the time. We find the current state of democracy and media freedom to be fundamentally unacceptable and demand higher standards for our nation.
The interview with “Formula” once more amply demonstrated that the embassy will not repent of its past transgressions but rather will continue to attack the Georgian government in the future with renewed vigor.
We start by noting Kelly Degnan's repeated denigration of our inquiries and the facts supporting them. Naturally, the "Formula" journalist never once considered asking the ambassador which of our questions or facts were incorrect in an attempt to be critical: Gigauri, Lomjaria, Margvelashvili, Usupashvili, Chiaberashvili, Msvildadze, Sanaia, Gogotishvili, Podolyak, Danilov's statements, summoning the judge, demanding a report for him and removing him from the visit, demanding the resignation of the government and the creation of a technical government by the NGOs, or holding a meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili? Out of these facts, the ambassador tried to deny only one - the meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili, and even there it turned out that our assumption about holding a meeting between them was entirely accurate.
It must be acknowledged that the ambassador again refrained from discussing the details of their meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili. We specifically asked the US ambassador if she had expressed her discontent with the government's handling of the conflict at the meeting, if she had demanded Ivanishvili enter politics on the basis of this, and if she had demanded that he impose sanctions on Russia. It is hardly shocking that the journalist never attempted to ask the ambassador these questions. Instead of responding to our inquiries, the ambassador reiterated that this was a private discussion regarding the strategic alliance between Georgia and America, and that Bidzina Ivanishvili's financial situation was not brought up. Even a little child would likely smile if the US ambassador requested a three-hour "private" meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili to discuss the strategic alliance. It is apparent that the ambassador has something to conceal when she withholds details about the meeting's true topic.
The US ambassador there highlighted that we are making every effort to aid Ukraine in winning its conflict with Russia and urged other allies to lend it their full support. The ambassador has previously stated that it is crucial for Georgia and Ukraine to fight together against Russian aggression now more than ever. Such claims exacerbate our already existing reservations about the second front's relevance, from which society will derive its own conclusions. Once more, the public is witness to the US ambassador's generalized statements and entirely contradictory actions. Society can quickly come to logical conclusions when generalizations do not correspond to actions.
As you know, preparations for the ongoing war in Ukraine began about three years ago. On the one hand, Russia was preparing for military intervention and was mobilizing military forces, and on the other hand, Ukraine was being intensively armed and prepared for a military conflict.
Three years ago, at the exact same moment, plans were made to alter Georgia's administration and install leaders who would be willing to support the country's engagement in the conflict. Georgia may logically play a significant part in the war scenario. Significant challenges would arise for Russia on the Ukrainian front as a result of the second front, the tens of thousands of Russian soldiers stationed in Georgia, and the corresponding equipment. Additionally, the second front would harm Russia's reputation abroad twice as much, which would keep Europe's enthusiasm for assisting the Ukrainian front.
One cannot fault a great player for wanting Georgia as a second front. The interests of a tiny country in their view from a global viewpoint, regrettably, cannot even be comprehended by the big participant who examines the processes from a global perspective. The survival of one's own nation should, of course, come first for any patriotic administration, and pertinent threats from both allies and foes should be avoided. The public should be informed honestly and openly when someone intends to send the nation into war, as this will prevent the choice from being made against the wishes of the general populace. Making such a choice without consulting the public is obviously against the core tenants of democracy, which have long been the bedrock of the West. It is evident that you do not want the best for these people when you keep the truth from them out of fear of their power.
For the past three years, the public has observed an attempt to change the government against the will of the people, which was fully coordinated by the embassy. The main goal of this attempt was to bring to power people who were stateless and devoid of patriotism, who would blindly sign the war, no matter how devastating it would be for Georgia.
The embassy had little chance of receiving assistance from the "Georgian Dream" to enlist the nation in the conflict. They were fully aware that their leaders would not be given a chance to annihilate their own nation out of a sense of patriotism. It is difficult to love your country, even just a bit, and fight in a war when it will completely destroy your country. Naturally, "Georgian Dream" leaders would not support this at any costs, whereas stateless nationalists would use Georgia as a second front without even considering the repercussions. In order to bring the National Movement and its satellites to power, the embassy worked tirelessly both before and after the legislative elections.
As we've already indicated, the revolutionary scenario has been put into practice for the past three years. Everyone remembers how the embassy forced the release of Ugulava and Okruashvili from prison in 2020 and how it altered the voting system to the National Movement's advantage and that of its satellites. The National Movement's chances of retaking power enhanced as a result of the government's forced acceptance of the 120/30 system with a 1% electoral threshold. However, the "Georgian Dream" prevailed in this conflict and garnered 90 mandates in the legislative elections despite the severe tactical sacrifices.
The administration transparently conducted the 2020 parliamentary elections and didn't even give the OSCE/ODIHR or other international observation missions a reason to declare them invalid. However, an unprecedented event occurred: the radical opposition alleged election rigging and rejected parliamentary mandates, contrary to the recommendations of the foreign missions and without any justification. With "Georgian Dream" and earlier refusals to recount 200 voting precincts, the opposition has long evaded discussions about the elections, as is widely known to the general public. Everything happened because the opposition actually had nothing to say or demonstrate over the elections. The embassy "couldn't manage" to introduce its own preferred radical opposition parties into the parliament in spite of this. Natelashvili's "arbour," which most of society did not even find amusing, was made to fit the revolutionary embassy setting.
Based on the findings of the parallel vote-counting, which the embassy logically planned to fudge before the elections, the opposition claimed that there had been electoral fraud. Even in a television interview, the executive director of the non-governmental group "Fair Elections," which receives funding from the United States, claimed that USAID staff members knew about the issue back in November. However, it wasn't until December 11 that the problem was discovered.
The falsified parallel vote count, which the US embassy immediately referred to as a "political crisis" and urged that the administration resolve, was essentially the basis on which the opposition based their failure to enter the parliament. The embassy only needed to clarify the obvious truth—that the opposition would cease sabotaging right away—that their exclusion from the parliament does not always signal a political disaster. Instead, a new round of talks got underway, which culminated in the signing of the April 19 deal. Unfortunately, the embassy's forced enforcement of the April 19 agreement demonstrated its disregard for Georgia's statehood and sovereignty by partially removing our state from the constitutional framework.
Overall, the administration was under intense pressure from the embassies following the legislative elections, but the "Georgian Dream" was able to cross the precipice:
· After Bidzina Ivanishvili left politics, "Georgian Dream" passed the first tough test on February 17-18. We all remember well how Giorgi Gakharia initially demanded the removal of immunity for Melia, and then how he claimed that his arrest by the police was unjustified. This plan, written in advance in the embassy, served the only purpose - the people's perception of the government should be lost, which should cause irreversible revolutionary processes. In the end, the leaders of "Georgian Dream" showed their principles, they did not give the opportunity to the embassy and Gakharia to implement the plan, and moreover, they even managed to clean up the team on the principle of "a blessing in disguise". How did Gakharia keep the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs after June 20, 2019, how did he become the Prime Minister in a few months and what did all this have to do with the most serious problems (Bassiani special operation, Pankisi special operation, breaking up the June 20 rally with rubber bullets, Saralidze's case, Chorchana, etc.), which Gakharia created for "Georgian Dream", we will not dwell on it now;
· Nikanor Melia and Giorgi Rurua were released by the government after the April 19 deal was signed as a result of two ambassadors' pressure, which negatively impacted the country's reputation. The public's confidence in the government is immediately damaged when it does not uphold the law. Because everyone is fully aware that Ugulava, Okruashvili, Melia, and Rurua have no personal worth for the embassy, this is the purpose for which each criminal's release was intended. The administration ultimately made a tactical action that was required, suffered a significant setback, but ultimately prevailed in the contrived crisis;
· The embassy has been asking "Georgian Dream" for months to schedule a referendum on the issue of extraordinary elections, which, with almost a hundred percent probability, would lead the country to snap parliamentary elections. However, the government withstood the pressure and managed to replace the referendum with a 43-percent threshold, and in the end, it overcame the 43-percent threshold in the municipal elections with a large allowance and ended this battle with the embassy with victory. "Georgian Dream" made a painful tactical concession here as well, took a risk, agreed to 43 percent, and overcame this completely incomprehensible barrier;
· "Georgian Dream" annulled the April 19 agreement in time, which did not give the radical opposition the opportunity to further escalate the polarization. With the formalization of the 43-percent threshold, the municipal elections would take place in a much more polarized environment, which would favor the embassy's favorite radical opposition and the embassy's planned radical agenda;
· Two weeks before the elections, with the efforts of the EU ambassador, it was planned to refuse to issue a 75 million loan to Georgia, which was calculated to harm the "Georgian Dream" electorally. However, "Georgian Dream" acted promptly here as well, refusing the loan and thwarting the plan of the embassy;
· The provocation of July 5 also served electoral purposes from beginning to end. In this case, the embassy played an invincible game - it was easy to calculate that the so-called Pride and the expected incidents would cause serious damage to the "Georgian Dream" before the elections. It is a fact that the "Georgian Dream" received a serious blow with violence against journalists, which was impossible for the government to avoid. However, fortunately, this blow did not have any significant impact on the election results;
· Finally, "Georgian Dream" detained Mikheil Saakashvili, who had been flown in from Ukraine just for the pre-elections, and prevented him from interfering with the election itself. The public will be able to evaluate for itself on whose orders the high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government at the time attempted to muddle the traces and falsely claimed that Saakashvili was in Ukraine.
Last year, the attempt to change the government against the will of the people failed, which, unfortunately, was coordinated from the beginning to the end by the embassy.
The decision to deny the EU membership candidate status was the fundamental justification for the proposal to change the government this year. The process of forcing the three nations to receive candidate status was created for Georgia, and it was calculated with the end goal of granting Moldova and Ukraine candidate status instead of Georgia. This, according to the calculations of the embassy, should result in a serious public uproar and the revolutionary scenario discussed in Bakuriani. It was obvious that the embassy had placed an excessive amount of faith in the impact of the EU rejection. Otherwise, it would not have reached its top NGOs to demand the resignation of the government and conduct a thorough political self-examination. Even before then, they would not have been as concerned with convincing Salome Zurabishvili excessively, and because of this, they would not have ensured that her two children received quick promotions. If they hadn't already invested a lot of resources in a nearly dysfunctional president, they have now done so and placed Salome Zurabishvili on the same path as Giorgi Gakharia.
However, the government showed firmness in this case as well and successfully thwarted another coup attempt.
Not to denigrate the embassy or exact retribution, but rather because the threat of unrest and war threatening Georgia has not yet been entirely eliminated, as the most recent interview with the ambassador has finally confirmed, we are reminding the public about all of this:
· It is evident from Kelly Degnan's response to our inquiries that the embassy's strategy has not yet changed and that the objective of both a coup d'état and the launching of a second front remain vitally relevant. The ambassador is airing television footage stating that the USA does not desire war rather than providing an effective reaction to demonstrate that she is not planning a revolutionary scenario for the purposes of the second front. When the public sees something different from the action, believe us, justifying yourself with clips will not be effective;
· The immutability of the embassy's approach is confirmed by the fact that, parallel to the work process created by the government around the 12 points of the EU, the embassy's favorite radical parties launched a parallel process, which is another expression of the sabotage of the constitutional system;
· In addition, calls for war by high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government in full coordination with the USA continue, which the embassy does not dissociate as a matter of principle;
· Once again, a chauvinistic campaign against Russian tourists was launched, in which, together with the embassy's favorite radical opposition and the NGOs, as paradoxical as it may sound, another prominent embassy favorite - the public defender - was also involved;
· Also, the blackmailing of Bidzina Ivanishvili continues through the Swiss bank, from which the suspension of transfers immediately after the start of the war was followed by a request for an immediate meeting with the American ambassador.
The US ambassador reaffirmed that Bidzina Ivanishvili is a powerful role in Georgia in the interview with "Formula." She declined to comment on the "oligarchship" of Ivanishvili, saying instead that the public should make that determination. It is obvious the extent of the fraud when you appear to avoid answering the issue while all the parties you coordinate, NGOs, and foreign lobbyists use the term "oligarch" in their statements. Naturally, if the embassy had not been in charge of organizing the pertinent campaign, the ambassador would have had little trouble distancing herself from this fabrication.
All of Georgia is aware that Bidzina Ivanishvili is an influential person in Georgia, even if the ambassador doesn't explicitly state this. He gained the adoration and respect of the populace via his way of life and the numerous things he accomplished for the nation and its citizens. The embassy is fully aware that Bidzina Ivanishvili does not use his power to manipulate or dominate the government, but rather uses it to help people. Georgia is a small nation; if it weren't, there would be plenty of signs of unofficial government at the embassy.
Nobody would have forced Bidzina Ivanishvili to leave politics or prevented him from doing so if he had desired to be in power. After the people of Georgia were placed in an entirely hopeless and intolerable situation in 2011, Bidzina Ivanishvili made the decision to enter politics. In 2018, he did so after the ruling team was torn apart internally, which posed severe hazards to the stable growth of the nation. The opposition's demands that Bidzina Ivanishvili assumes leadership of the country, organized by the embassy, are without foundation because he has often demonstrated that he never shirks duty in dire circumstances. Bidzina Ivanishvili has no desire to return to politics because the "Georgian Dream" leadership that is in place now solidly oversees national policy.
The embassy urges Bidzina Ivanishvili to use his position of power to engage Georgia in the political processes surrounding the conflict. The unprecedented blackmail, which is applied to it via a Swiss bank, serves the interests of the second front. He was labeled an oligarch in order to leverage Bidzina Ivanishvili's power, with the embassy's help, and he is even facing formal sanctions from several parties.
The major reason Bidzina Ivanishvili is still the target of a coordinated onslaught against Georgia despite removing himself from politics is that there is an interest in exploiting his power. Additionally, everything has been arranged so that this attack will simultaneously target state institutions and Bidzina Ivanishvili. One of the key objectives of declaring Bidzina Ivanishvili an oligarch and an unofficial ruler without any justification is to weaken the state structure. Bidzina Ivanishvili deserves our protection, without a doubt, but he is not in need of it. Therefore, when discussing this subject, our fundamental objective is to safeguard the state structure and its institutions, which we view as a state responsibility.
All of these facts demonstrate that the embassy's strategy toward Georgia and its leadership have not altered, and that going forward, it will attempt to orchestrate a revolution and turn Georgia into a second front while artificially sustaining and widening divisiveness.
Another indication of this is the embassy's persistent calls for the creation of laws that, if passed, would make managing the nation extremely challenging or even impossible. The provision that the CEC, General Prosecutor, and judges must be elected by a qualified majority, which has no counterpart in the practice of advanced Western democracies, is the most obvious illustration of this. The two percent election threshold, which has only been implemented in two EU countries and is already having severe issues there, is another clear manifestation of this. The embassy's blatant attempts to undermine the constitutional system and catch fish in troubled waters present severe threats to our statehood.
Only the people's power, which must be properly armed with the truth as its primary weapon, can safeguard the nation in such circumstances. Since a destroyed nation will have no use for a strategic or non-strategic partner, saving the country is our top priority. In order to avert a major catastrophe and harness the might of truth-armed citizens to defend and save our nation, we have chosen to inform the public of the sad reality surrounding the embassy's actions.
We fully comprehend "Georgian Dream's" reluctance to entirely lift the embassy's veil. They believe that the embassy's interest in the second front will vanish once the conflict in Ukraine is done and that its attitude toward Georgia and its current administration will shift. Therefore, the truth won't surface if the relationship with the strategic partner is to be maintained in the future. However, "Georgian Dream" should also be aware that it might already be too late if society does not recognize the truth at this time. We, therefore, continue to uphold our stance that the public must be informed of the truth regarding what occurs in politics behind closed doors. We still have a lot to say to society, and we will say it when the time is right.