A new scandal hits the European Commission after Commissioner Várhelyi suggested that Georgia's Prime Minister could meet the same fate as Slovakia's Fico if he continues with his attitude. EPA-EFE/BORIS PEJOVIC


Georgia accuses European Commission of assassination ‘threat’


The European Commission has denied issuing any form of “threat” to see Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze shot over the country’s anti-foreign interference law.

It came after Tbilisi accused EU Neighbourhood Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi of hinting that Kobakhidze could face possible assassination should he not abandon the legislation.

“During our conversation, the European Commissioner listed a number of measures that Western politicians might take if the veto on the transparency law is overcome,” the Georgian PM said.

“While listing these measures, he mentioned, ‘You’ve seen what happened to Fico and you should be very careful.'”

Georgia saw the line as a reference to the recent assassination attempt against Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot four times on May 16.

“It is extremely disturbing to us when the Prime Minister of Slovakia, who recently suffered a terrorist attack and is still undergoing treatment, is mentioned in the context of blackmail related to the transparency law,” Kobakhidze said.

The Commission has since acknowledged warning the PM that he could end up sharing Fico’s fate, although it has insisted that the statement was not intended as a threat.

“The latest tragic event in Slovakia was made as an example and as a reference to where such high levels of polarisation can lead in a society even in Europe,” Várhelyi said.

The Eurocrat went on to accuse the Georgian Government of taking his reference to Fico’s shooting “out of context”, adding that he would continue to push Kobakhidze to abandon the anti-foreign interference bill.

“I regret that one part of my phone call was not just fully taken out of context but was also presented to the public in a way which could give rise to a complete misinterpretation of the originally intended aim of my phone call,” he said.

“I am still urging the Georgian authorities not to adopt this law.”

Tensions are running high between the European Union and Georgia, which is trying to implement a Russia-style law that would classify some EU-funded NGOs and media outlets as “foreign agents”.

Kobakhidze has linked some EU leaders to foreign interference in Georgian politics, adding that outside forces were now even trying to destabilise the country.

He has now linked this latest EC statement to such efforts.

“The parallel drawn with the attempted assassination of Robert Fico reminds us that the global war party is an extremely dangerous force willing to do anything to bring chaos to Georgia,” he said.

The “global war party” is a term increasingly used by the Georgian leader and others relating to what they claim is a shadowy international organisation that aims to “artificially create problems” for the country.

Despite these tensions with Brussels, Georgia continues to insist it is fully on-board with joining the EU, having repeatedly claimed that accession to the bloc is its primary foreign-policy goal.