Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili who founded the movement “Georgia Dream” was denied of restoration of scitizenship by the Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Justice. It took employees of the organization three months to “suddenly” discover the imperfection of the application – it is drawn up incorrectly. It was found that Ivanishvili, who remains a citizen of France, had to ask for the restoration of Georgian citizenship not by naturalization - the case was about the conferment of second citizenship.
But Tbilisi lawyers say about some confusion. The point is that in Georgia a second citizenship is not provided for by law. By acquiring it, a person automatically loses the Georgian one, and to restore the latter he/she should appeal to the president and refuse the available citizenship. Ivanishvili seems to have done everything like this. But the snag is in the law of France: withdrawal from citizenship is only possible when a person already has another citizenship. It’s a vicious circle: a person can not regain the citizenship of Georgia, because he is a citizen of France, and he can not terminate the citizenship of France because he is not yet a citizen of Georgia.
It is for President Mikhail Saakashvili to decide. He can eliminate the problem by his order. His affirmative answer will show the public he is afraid of nobody at the domestic political arena. But will Saakashvili go to it? In Georgia, the issues such as that of Ivanishvili do not remain without the President’s attention. So, in the refusal of the Ministry of Justice, observers see his order. Uncoordinated Georgian opposition is united in the opinion that: the ruling National Movement feels the approach of the end and in a panic takes illogical decisions.
If Saakashvili denies citizenship to the opposition billionaire, the scandal is on the cards. The question is under the control of France watching over the fate of its citizen. Embassy of this country, according to some reports, has informed the Georgian authorities about the intricacies of the law and asked to take them into account – i.e. it must have been the case of providing guarantees for the restoration of citizenship to Bidzina Ivanishvili, on basis of which Paris could revoke his French passport. But this was not done.
Washington is aware of these peripeteias too. Its reminders to follow the democratic path of development in recent years acquired a systematic character. The other day the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the same to Georgian president in Brussels: an important factor for Georgia joining the alliance may become the compliance with democratic standards of parliamentary election scheduled for this autumn. However, the authorities, nodding and agreeing to the criticism and recommendations, seem to go their own way. And a number of opposition leaders’ statements that Americans are getting tired to take care of the disciple who has turned of the exemplary and obedient into wayward and capricious, and is ready to stake on the other, seem to be not as groundless as may seem at first glance. This is also indirectly confirmed by the fact that the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Bass was the first to react harshly to the authorities’ refusal to restore the citizenship of Ivanishvili. “The Government of the United States of America believes that issues related to the appropriation or deprivation of citizenship should be decided taking into account the equality of all citizens before the law,” he said. The Ambassador’s words translated from diplomatic language into the usual mean nothing more than “reconsider the decision on the billionaire.”
Ivanishvili himself behaves quietly, and if the authorities staked on his impulsive erroneous moves, they proved wrong. In any case, for a while. At a press conference the businessman did not comment on “the helpless and senseless decision” and said that on April 21 he as a citizen of Georgia will create a political bloc “Georgia’s dream - Democratic Georgia”. “I have a program... In two weeks or so we will start to act... we will gradually force violence to back away and Saakashvili to be unable to resort to it, to police... I promise that by the autumn we will create such a situation that Georgians will have no fear, they will be free to make the right choice, and we will reject the oppressor Saakashvili,” said Ivanishvili, noting that he has not waived the claim to the post of prime minister after electoral success.
The mysterious billionaire’s pledge to leave the president without help of the police may become a key to an answer to the question about strange militarized units in Western Georgia. Ivanishvili’s companion-in-arms - former Georgia’s ambassador to the UN, Irakli Alasania was the first to talk about them. He sent a request the National Security Council on armed detachments he had seen during his visit to Georgian regions, which according to his data were not included in any of the state structures. At the same time, he expressed the suspicion that Saakashvili is ready to start a civil war if the ruling “nationals” fail in the parliamentary elections.
The authorities immediately accused him of irresponsibility, and the opposition as a whole – of the desire to violently overthrow the legitimate government. Then the Security Council has officially denied Alasania’s information, explaining extensively that he might have seen police units or the transfer of the Ministry of Defence units. But later, under the irresistible “pressure” of photos and videos placed on the internet, the representatives of authorities announced these were the reserve forces, which are formed in Mingrelia – a region bordering Abkhazia. Another time there was a new explanation, according to which the training of reservists by the Israeli methodology used till then, has not proved its value, so it was replaced by the Swedish one.
Military experts from the opposition environment, significantly stating that, if military methodology of Israel, which is considered one of the most effective, has not proved its value, then what can be expected from the method of Sweden that has not been at war since the middle Ages! Meanwhile, a new preference was explained by the fact that the Swedish reservists can keep arms at their place, instead of wasting time on going for it somewhere when necessary. Let us leave the reliability of information about the rules that exist in the Scandinavian system of reservists to their conscience; in any case it does not cancel the detachments revealed in Western Georgia.
The opposition claims that the authorities will involve them if the election results are undesirable. But then the question arises: if militarized units were needed, what then about the police special forces and its numerous special detachments? Hitherto it had unquestioningly carried out any orders up to brutal dispersals of opposition rallies. Or Saakashvili no longer trusts the powerful Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili? Did Ivanishvili do something that allowed him to say on Thursday that the president will not be supported by the police? Or are these detachments designed to act in Abkhazia? Incidentally, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has recently voiced a suspicion, speaking at the Geneva multilateral talks on prevention of tension in the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflict?
All these are questions that have no answers. More precisely, they may have, but few know about it.