Putin opposed the adoption of economic sanctions against Georgia and said that for the sake of restoring relations with the southern neighbor, for the sake of the Georgian people, that's the way he put it, he wouldn't adopt any restrictive measures. No criminal proceedings should be initiated against the Rustavi 2 host who insulted Putin and his parents on live television, says Putin. Let him stay, he doesn’t deserve the honor.
- That's on the one hand. We also try to be generous, but not everyone is good at it. The patience of the State Duma members is running thin. They don't intend to withdraw their sanctions proposal. They want to ban Georgian mineral water, wines, and transactions. The reasoning is simple: to punish the authorities and not the people of Georgia. In case someone forgot, I'd like to remind you that the former called us all occupants and enemies. The Georgian authorities never took it back. Today, we discovered that the journalist who insulted Putin is on leave. He'll come back after his vacation. The director of Rustavi 2 is happy that they're getting good ratings. He's happy and proud of the fact that he's not going to fire the host.
But let's hear Putin first.
- These anti-Russian sentiments are being promoted in Georgia by people who either know nothing or know something but prefer to ignore it. In the end, they inflict irreparable damage upon Georgia and the people of Georgia. The rest is derivative. The swearing and the insults are all derivatives. One must have a serious and deep understanding of the issue, instead of reacting to provocations by some bastards.
Speaking of various sanctions against Georgia, I wouldn't do that our of respect for the Georgian people. One man blabbed something on live television trying to puff himself up. Nobody knew him before. Now, he's famous. In this sense, he succeeded. He got suspended for two months and went on vacation. He'll come back and continue working. But there are people in Georgia protesting against this. For the sake of those people, for the sake of restoring a healthy relationship between Russia and Georgia, I wouldn't take any steps that would further complicate our relationship.
- Someone proposed to initiate criminal proceedings against the Georgian host, charging him with offense against the authorities.
- He doesn't deserve the honor. He doesn't deserve the honor of having criminal proceedings initiated against him. Let him carry on.”
- The opinion of the Russian president is assumed to be his final, non-appealable decision. But the State Duma objects anyway. What's going on, Mr. Kalashnikov?
Leonid Kalashnikov, member of the State Duma:
- You shouldn't be laughing.
- We aren't.
- We're scared for you.
- That's the opinion of a president named Putin. I can understand him. He had his memory and his parents insulted. He may not feel comfortable talking about himself. But it's not just about Putin. It's not just about him. Representing my committee, I was talking about the hostile actions performed by Georgia against Russia. You call them neighbors. Are they, though? A hostile state calls us an occupier, an aggressor, a douchebag, and constantly provokes us. Our schoolgirls marched in Adjaria, Georgia. I mentioned it today in my speech. Other schoolkids also marched across Batumi. The Russian flag made the Georgians outraged, some officials got fired, the Minister of Culture had to resign. Wait, why did they march there? A kids' competition was held there. That happened on May 24th, over a month ago.
Regarding our journalists and our tourists, we didn't submit the proposal just because the president was offended, even though it was a flagrant and insulting incident. Regardless of one's attitude towards the president of my country... I don't want to get back to what that douchebag was saying on Rustavi. But there's one thing I'd like to say. The Georgian authorities must realize that they need to put an end to hostile actions against Russia. We said it in our declaration today. The offense against Putin or money transactions weren't our main focus. Our declaration is very specific. Here it is.
“To the government of the Russian Federation: Determine the range of measures that can be adopted against the hostile country.”
If a hostile country does something against America or any European country, what do they do? They at least sever their economic relations. They don't shrug and tell them, "Go on, profit off of us. Let's increase our commodity trade." 25% of Georgia's trade is provided by Russia. Am I supposed to be happy that the Georgian authorities indulge these provocations? Even though they scolded him a little. I don't care about Rustavi at all. I care about their actions towards Russia. I said today in my speech: For two years we've been demanding... We recently adopted a declaration on Latvia. Latvia banned education in Russian. Ukraine did the same thing. In our declaration, the same as today, we demanded that the government take measures of economic and restraining nature. Back in 2006, we adopted a law called "measures of economic and restraining measures in case of a violation of the rights of our citizens or hostile actions against our state."
I insist that, regrettably, some people, such as the Georgian authorities, especially the president... The president of Georgia talks about occupation and calls us occupants, aggressors, douchebags, and etc. How can we teach them a lesson? I used Ukraine as an example today. They had been bullying us for five years, and then, finally, adopted our resolution. My colleagues and I were demanding that all along.
- As we know, Mr. Kalashnikov, the sanctions fixed our relations with Ukraine.
- "Could you please open the transit?"
- Why did you open it then?
- "Could you gave us gasoline?" We opened it again. How can we teach those people? How can we teach PACE, for instance? First, they finally recognized the Ukrainian aggression after two years. Secondly, we finally stopped paying Ukraine. That's the only efficient way. Do you think the German or French members of PACE love us more now? Did they suddenly fall in love with us? Of course not. But those financial measures were necessary. The OSCE has recently held its Parliamentary Assembly. My colleagues have just returned from it. I wasn't invited, but Tolstoy and others were. Tsereteli, a Georgian, holds a meeting and adopts an anti-Russian resolution, he's the president there. At that moment, our MP Ryzhak stands up and says, "Guys, you don't have a quorum, you have no right to adopt a resolution according to your own rule." He shut off his microphone, "Shut up, Russian." How can you talk to those people? Sanctions are the only language they'd understand. That's an unfortunate fact. They impose sanctions against our country and we turn the other cheek, "Go on, hit us more."
- "We're out of cheeks", says the president of a Duma committee.
- I have no problem with decent Georgians. But how can we teach their government, they'll be in charge for five years. The Ukrainian government is implementing this sneaky policy. They feed off Russia and call it an occupier at the same time. "Those aggressors, bastards, and douchebags." They've adopted laws against the Russian language and education in Russian. Do we have to put up with it? How do we make them stop? That's how the world works. Trump runs around, making everyone do his bidding. Do they complain?
- And who did he make do his bidding?
- The telegrams of that British diplomat got leaked, right? He only said that Trump was inept. "I won't deal with him anymore. He's nobody to me." Good job, that's a sanction. That's the right thing to do. Go replace your ambassador.
- The British ambassador also called the American president "inept" and "clumsy."
- I wouldn't change a letter in today's statement. It's very clear and specific. Either the state of Georgia reconsiders its policies regarding Russian citizens and the Russian establishment, or it can go get help from its favorite America.
- What you're saying is just. Let's recall the statement by the Georgian president. She still hasn't taken it back. She actually called Russia both an occupier and aggressor. Let's hear it.
“Russia's our enemy and occupier. The fifth column controlled by Russia is probably even more dangerous today than open aggression. I'd like to repeat it one more time, the divide in our country and society, as well as internal confrontation, work only in Russia's favor. Today, it's the most efficient weapon in Russia's possession. It's time that our state reacted to all violations and restored order. We also need to prevent Moscow's destructive forces from implementing their plans.”
- I don't understand how you'll be able to continue demanding sanctions against Georgia. You've addressed the government, the executive branch of power. Putin's the head of the executive branch. You're the legislative. There won't be any sanctions.
- Once again, first, there's a law.
- That's clear.
- It was adopted back in 2006 by other MPs.
- That's clear. So you've addressed the government.
- The government sits idle. When there was an issue in Latvia, we told them to take action. They always sit idle for some reason. After we adopted the resolution today, we were addressed by a government representative.
- That's clear.
- Putin commented on the incident. Now, they're going to sit idle again. We can't do this. We can't let anyone get away with insulting Russian citizens, the Russian state, and its leader.