Monday, July 6, 2009

Ruling party on Saakashvili's meeting with Pinchuk: No comment

სააკაშვილ-პინჩუკის შეხვედრაზე მმართველი პარტია კომენტარს არ აკეთებს

Tamta Karchava

[This is a translation of an article published in Georgian daily "Resonance" (Rezonansi) on July 4; I have not been able to find an online edition of this article. If I do, I will provide a link to it.]

Nino Burjanadze's meeting with Viktor Pinchuk, son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, is in the news again. The authorities claim that Burjanadze sought funding from Pinchuk for large-scale protests. Burjanadze has denied the accusation and is saying that a few months ago, Pinchuk invited Saakashvili to a Paul McCartney concert in Kiev, and that the President of Georgia accepted his offer.

Neither the President's administration nor Parliament has made any comment on Saakashvili's stay at Pinchuk's home. Member of the ruling party Murtaz Zodelava did not even wish to speak with us on the matter.

Zurab Melikishvili, one of the leaders of the ruling party, offers this piece of advice to Burjanadze: tell the public about this secret meeting, which the ex-Speaker of Parliament [i.e. Burjanadze] says was a "personal meeting."

"It would be better for Mrs. Burjanadze to tell the public about this meeting, which she says was a 'personal meeting.' She needs to explain why she is having secret meetings with a person like this--someone that is directly linked to Russian money which was used by Russia in it's war against Georgia last August, and which is still being used against Georgia today. It would be good if she explained similar meetings.

Resonance: Burjanadze says a few months ago, Saakashvili was a personal guest at Pinchuk's home.

Zurab Melikishvili: Aren't I the one giving the interview...

R: Was or was not Saakashvili a guest of Pinchuk?

Z.M.: Fine. Whatever you have asked, I have already answered.

R: Isn't this a question? Was or was not Saakashvili at his home?

At this point, Zurab Melikishvili hung up the phone. Ukrainian news outlets broke the story of Burjanadze's and Pinchuk's meeting on July 1. The meeting took place on June 29. It should be noted that Pinchuk, who is known to be a friend of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, has made several strategic acquisitions in Georgia.

"Saakashvili considered it a great honor to be a guest of this man. A few months ago he was a personal guest. If there were something unacceptable in this man, then why did he hurry to accept the invitation to the Paul McCartney concert in Kiev? If this man associates with criminals, then why was he [Saakashvili] at his home? He [Pinchuk] is a very honorable person, who commands great authority not only in Kiev, but also in the West," noted Nino Burjanadze in a conversation with Resonance last Thursday.