Ivanishvili abstains from Putin`s criticism
Bidzina Ivanishvili abstains from Putin`s criticism - France Press has published an article and an interview with the leader of the opposition coalition Georgian Dream.
`Georgia’s billionaire opposition leader called President Mikheil Saakashvili a `professional liar` and a `son of a dog`, threatening million-strong protests if parliamentary polls are rigged - with this passage the article begins.
`The tycoon refused to criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin, who once reportedly vowed to hang Saakashvili `by the balls`. `I do not want to criticise him because I do not want to imitate Saakashvili and start criticising a big country. We will have to talk to (Russia) and to normalise our relationship, and I do not want to hamper this,” he explained. `How can we criticise Putin when we have Saakashvili?` he added.
Ivanishvili says he supported Saakashvili after the 2003 `Rose Revolution` that swept the Georgian leader to power, but broke with him after a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in 2007.
`I was very angry then. I was calling him every minute and swearing at him,` he said.
To defuse the crisis after the crackdown which shocked his Western allies, Saakashvili resigned and then successfully ran for re-election.
`He is a son of a dog because he told me the lie that he was resigning because of my advice — in fact, the Americans pressurised him,` Ivanishvili said.