Georgian Dream Accuses Ukraine Officials of Hybrid War

Executive Secretary of the ruling Georgian Dream party, MP Mamuka Mdinaradze claimed today that “representatives of Georgian opposition, the party of war, holding various posts in the Ukrainian Government and their colleagues are waging an open, unhidden hybrid war” against Georgia.

The senior GD official held a press briefing in response to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry Intelligence’s accusation on April 4 that Georgia allows Russia to set up a smuggling channel through its territory, and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba’s subsequent comments that Kyiv awaits “evidence and convincing arguments” that Tbilisi is not aiding Moscow.

Alluding to the Defense Ministry Intelligence’s claim, MP Mdinaradze said “we have heard another, this time completely unheard-of statement, which is insulting to our country as well as each and every Georgian citizen.”

Continuing on about FM Kuleba’s remarks, the GD leader claimed the initial claim was compounded by “a demand on part of the Ukrainian Government about something that does not exist in nature and absurd, [and] no one has even thought of such filth on our part.”

The Executive Secretary of the ruling party maintained that “to demand evidence from someone, who you accused of unimaginable intentions and crime is a know-how [of hybrid warfare] specifically invented [to target] Georgia.”

He pinned the blame for “such statements” on “certain persons” in the Ukrainian Government and the Georgian opposition, including Giorgi Lortkipanidze, a United National Movement-era Deputy Interior Minister who recently became the deputy chief of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence.

“We categorically demand that relevant Ukrainian agencies present any type of evidence about the horrific accusation against Georgia, or publicly, in the same channels and form, deny their own absurd statements toward Georgia, a friend and a partner country,” MP Mdinaradze asserted.

He further claimed that “now it is obvious and logical that in the nearest days we will see a new wave of disinformation campaign and provocations targetted against Georgia, focused on causing a commotion in Georgia and also opening a second frontline.”

MP Mdinaradze went on to argue that “the ground is already being prepared for this, and the statements made by the authorities of our friendly Ukraine against our country, as it seems, are part of this campaign.”

“It is also astonishing that they enter into confrontation into a country, 20% of which is occupied by the same state, Russia, that is currently [invading] Ukraine’s territory and wages a war against it,” the GD leader further said in the briefing.

Meanwhile, MP Mdinaradze noted, that Kyiv has not reprimanded multiple countries that “not only do not join the sanctions, but unlike Georgia, do not state their support to Ukraine on any international platforms.”

Georgia on its part has supported Ukraine on “every international platform,” including by voting to kick Russia out of CoE and co-sponsoring resolutions in the UN, as per MP Mdinaradze’s account.

Still, he said, “as part of the hybrid war waged against Georgia, the representatives of the party of war as well as of the Ukrainian Government often reiterate the claim that Georgia has done nothing to support Ukraine.”

The Executive Secretary of the GD claimed that the participants in the alleged hybrid war “are using their complete resources and the degree of the disinformation, fake news and the provocations spread by them has crossed any red lines.”

MP Mdinaradze also called on “everyone involved in this campaign” to cease the alleged hybrid warfare and “trying to drag Georgia into the war.”

Ukrainian FM Dmytro Kuleba was cited today in the media as saying that if Kyiv had not “influenced Georgia, other countries through which the Russians are trying to circumvent sanctions, they would have done it long ago and the impact of the sanctions on Russia would be minimized.”

FM Kuleba said that Kyiv awaited information from Tbilisi and it would subsequently “decide what actions to take if this evidence and arguments are not convincing enough.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Intelligence claimed on April 4 that Georgia’s political leadership had instructed security services not to interfere with the activities of Russian smugglers, trying to circumvent international sanctions through a route in Georgia.

The accusation came amid already strained relations between Tbilisi and Kyiv, after Ukraine recalled its Ambassador to Georgia over the “immoral position” of Irakli Garibashvili’s cabinet on Russia sanctions and for barring Georgian volunteers from flying to Ukraine. 

Georgian officials have also seemingly defied Kyiv’s calls to distance from Moscow’s decision to allow Georgian dairy import.

Amid growing criticism from Kyiv, Georgian Dream leadership has repeatedly claimed that former United National Movement officials “occupying some quite high positions in Ukraine” are influencing the decisions of the Ukrainian authorities.

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