Moscow denounces an “attempted” coup in Georgia

Russia on Friday presented as an “attempted” Western coup the massive demonstrations in Georgia that forced the government to abandon a bill compared by its critics to repressive Russian legislation.

After three days of demonstrations by tens of thousands of people, sometimes punctuated by violence, the Georgian Parliament finally revoked this bill on Friday, as the government had promised the day before.

This protest movement illustrates the political crisis that has been agitating Georgia for several years, a Caucasian country candidate for the EU where part of the population fears an authoritarian drift on the Russian model.

“They brilliantly resisted brute force”

“Germany supports Georgia on the way to Europe,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, according to a tweet posted Friday by his spokesperson, Cerstin Gammelin.

In a telephone interview with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, a pro-Western critic of the Tbilisi government, Steinmeier assured that “Germany supports Georgia on the way to Europe. This path includes freedom of the press and of civil society”.

Imprisoned Georgian ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili also hailed the protesters’ “resistance” to the authorities’ “brutal force” and Russian influence on Friday. “As an old revolutionary, I can say that they resisted the brutal force used against them brilliantly,” he said in a message posted on Facebook. “No Russia with its brutal oligarch is able to defeat them,” he added, referring to the billionaire who created the ruling Georgian Dream party after making his fortune in Russia.

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