Georgia Apologize to Russia for TV Host Insults

Following the insults towards Russian president Vladimir Putin made by the host of a Georgian TV station Rustavi-2 during a live broadcast, Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili condemned TV host calling it a provocation by the radicals against Georgian interests and pleaded Russian government not to impose sanctions on Georgia in response. TV station Rustavi-2 have also issued apology and temporarily suspended it's TV host responsible for the incident.

Russian parliament Duma have passed bill that imposes economic sanction on Georgia following the incident but they were vetoed by president Putin who said that: "with regard to sanctions against Georgia, I would not do this out of respect for the Georgian people" and added that TV host does not deserve the honour of having a criminal case launched against him. "Let him continue broadcasting," he said.

Georgia is heavily dependent on Russia economically because of the trade, tourism and large number of Georgians who seek work in Russia to send money back to their families at home. Russian economic sanctions would cripple Georgian economy which isn't in a good shape anyway. Russia have already banned flights between Russia and Georgia for the security reasons following outbreak of the violence and anti-government protests in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, negatively affecting Georgian tourism. If the flight ban continues longer, tourism in Georgia might take irreparable damage. Tourism makes large part of the economy of the small Caucasian country.

Relations between Russia and Georgia were damaged after pro-American authoritarian president Saakashvili launched surprise attack on Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway region of the South Ossetia during Olympic Games of 2008, provoking all out war. War ended after mere days with Georgian army trained by the USA and NATO advisers summarily defeated. Saakashvili then lost 2012 elections in Georgia and had to flee the country following criminal charges of corruption, abuse of power, torture and assassinations of political opposition. New government is trying to improve relations with Russia since.

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By: krak.en (6336.10)

Tags: Russia, Georgia, Putin, Rustavi-2, TV, scandal, sanctions, host, presenter, Zurabishvili, Gabunia

Location: Russia