The ruling Georgian Dream Honorary Chairman, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has declined to meet with the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O'Brien, who is scheduled to visit in Tbilisi tomorrow, May 14. Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze announced this during today's briefing, stating that any meeting will be possible after the "de facto sanctions" are ended.

"Firstly, Bidzina Ivanishvili himself is not interested in this issue [sanctions], considering it unserious. Regarding O'Brien's visit, I can confirm that there was a request for a meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili, which was declined. This decision had its own explanation and context. Additionally, I would like to mention that over the past months, there have been instances where Bidzina Ivanishvili declined meetings with other foreign diplomats and politicians. I am aware of this because I had to coordinate on certain matters.

In all instances, the reason for refusal has been the same: Bidzina Ivanishvili maintains that he is already under de facto sanctions. He alleges that $2 billion he entrusted to the West ended up in the hands of the Global War Party. Consequently, Bidzina Ivanishvili's stance is that he cannot engage in any meetings under such conditions of blackmail. This position is very clear. Once this blackmail and de facto sanctions are lifted, any meeting can be scheduled immediately. However, as of today, this is Bidzina Ivanishvili's position on the matter.

Therefore, such blackmail and threats have not ceased since March 2022, when his funds were frozen following the start of the war in Ukraine, and they will not cease now. No one can compel Bidzina Ivanishvili to take actions against the state under any circumstances of blackmail and threats," Kobakhidze said, adding that the sanctions include blackmail and threats.

Today, prior to the Prime Minister's briefing, the government's propaganda TV channel, Imedi, reported that it is presenting Ivanishvili's "concrete package of sanctions" to the Assistant Secretary of State of the United States. Imedi stated that there was a meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili to discuss sanctions. This information was announced at 17:00 in the news segment Kronika and was also published on, but later it disappeared from the website.

Tomorrow, Georgian Dream will introduce the Russian Law to the plenary session of Parliament, and as Prime Minister Kobakhidze stated, it will be adopted.

The State Department has repeatedly criticized the Georgian government for reintroducing the Russian Law. According to official information, O'Brien will meet with representatives of the government, civil society, and the private sector in Georgia.

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