TBILISI, May 11 (RIA Novosti) – A Georgian lawmaker sought by Russia over his suspected role in an alleged plot to topple President Vladimir Putin has returned to Georgia from Lithuania.
“It was very difficult for me not to stay in Georgia in such a situation for three months… I am very glad that I had a possibility to return to my homeland and be engaged in domestic politics,” Givi Targamadze told journalists on Saturday.
Targamadze said he had to explain to Lithuanian prosecutors in a letter that he is not hiding anymore.
Georgia's foreign minister, Maia Panjikidze, said earlier this week Targamadze - an ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili and the former head of the Georgian parliament’s defense and security committee - was free to return home.
Targamadze has been in Lithuania for the past few months. Lithuania refused to extradite Targamadze in April.
Russian investigators charged last year Targamadze and three Russian leftist activists with plotting to seize power in a number of Russian cities as part of a plan to overthrow Putin.
One of the men charged, Konstantin Lebedev, a former member of a pro-Kremlin youth group, was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail last month after pleading guilty to the charges. His lawyer said he would also testify against Targamadze and his former fellow activists - Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and another member of the leftsit movement, Leonid Razvozzhayev.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.