One of leaders of the Georgian parliamentary majority Giorgi Bokeria expressed extreme indignation at a recent statement by Russia’s Ambassador to Georgia Vyacheslav Kovalenko, who predicted soon extinction of the Georgian nation. “I would like to express my extreme indignation at the statement made recently by the Russian ambassador who forecasted extinction to the Georgians. I believe that such statements are extremely incorrect being made by any diplomat. Moreover, from the country that is still carrying out aggression against Georgia and that is a moral and legal inheritor of the Soviet Union, which really did its best for extinction of the Georgian people, luckily, with no success,” Giorgi Bokeria said. The parliamentary majority expressed confidence that the Georgian foreign ministry would claim that the Russian ambassador provide explanations. Earlier, at an informal meeting in Tbilisi with Georgian artists Russian Ambassador Vyacheslav Kovalenko announced that the Georgians became “a relic nation,” “Georgians are a nation on the verge of extinction” and “you will extinct.”
Civil Georgia adds:
Vyacheslav Kovalenko, the Russian ambassador to Georgia, said that he did not have on his mind to offend the Georgian nation, when he said that Georgia was “a dying-out nation” in light of growing globalization. Remarks by Russian ambassador made last week at a meeting of the Russian-Georgian Friendship Union, triggered an angry reaction of Georgian politicians. “Statements of this kind from any diplomat are utterly inappropriate,” Bokeria said on September 24, “especially from a representative of the country, which is pursuing an aggressive policy and is the moral and legal inheritor of the Soviet Union, which really tried hard to achieve the extinction of the Georgian nation, but failed.”
“Maybe, certain forces in Russia really want to see the extinction of Georgian nation, but this will not happen,” Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson, Nino Burjanadze, said. “I would advice Mr. Kovalenko to think about Russia and its demographic problems and we will ourselves take care of Georgian problems, including the demographic ones.” Meanwhile, dozen of Georgian students rallied outside the Russian embassy on September 24 protesting against Kovalenko’s remarks and demanding his apologies. The Georgian Foreign Ministry has even summoned the Russian diplomat over this issue. “There was no attempt to somehow offend the Georgian people,” Vyacheslav Kovalenko told reporters after visiting the Foreign Ministry. “On the contrary, I say that there is a huge [demographic] problem in Georgia which needs to be urgently addressed.” He also said that he was speaking at the meeting of the Georgian-Russian Friendship Union about democratic problems which is equally important both for Georgia and Russia.