Topic: Russian Poll Protests
MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti)
- Moscow Officials Ban Anti-Putin March
- Meeting with Opposition Not on Putin’s Agenda - Spokesman
- Protesters Organize as Putin Hints at Dialogue
- Tens of thousands mass in fresh Russia vote protest
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has sharply criticized Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for his nationalist comment about Georgian-born novelist Boris Akunin, Georgia Online news web site reported on Friday.
At a meeting with heads of leading Russian media on Wednesday, Putin discussed the possibility of the dialog with opposition. The premier mentioned Akunin as a possible delegate, adding that Akunin could have joined opposition movement, because “he is an ethnic Georgian” and “may have not accepted Russia’s actions during… the armed confrontation between Georgia and Russia.”
Saakashvili in response said “he [Putin] has a problem with Georgian people, but not with Georgian government.”
“We are not afraid of Putin’s threats since their country is collapsing,” Saakashvili said, adding that Putin’s comment about “armed confrontation” between both countries showed Russia’s real attitude to the 2008 five-day conflict which Moscow has called “a peacekeeping operation.”
Russian-Georgian relations dramatically worsened after a brief war in 2008 when Tbilisi attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Moscow then recognized South Ossetia and another breakaway republic, Abkhazia, as independent states.
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Erdogan will continue to help consolidate Islam’s influence in public life and use Islam as a political issue. It is hard to say what Turkey will do in the Muslim world, but Erdogan obviously does not need any more turmoil in neighboring countries.