On the following day of his resignation, the former deputy foreign minister Nikoloz Vashakidze, on 22 January, spoke about the reasons of his decision on the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s talk show Akcentebi.
“Statements made [by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili when on a visit] in Armenia raised serious question marks for me. In response to a question about the Euro-Atlantic integration, he [Prime Minister] said that this political course will not change in the foreseeable future. The phrase ‘foreseeable future’ gives rise to doubts that the change in the political course is acceptable after the foreseeable future. Moreover, the Prime Minister went on saying ‘however, the life goes on, positions change,’ etcetera.
“The second serious statement made [during the visit] was that Armenia’s foreign policy is a good example and an object of envy for Georgia. For all my respect to our neighboring country, Armenia is not free in its foreign policy given the situation created there. They [Armenia] are not completely happy about that situation. Russian military base is deployed in Armenia. All the bases and infrastructure is actually in the hands of Russia. The most important thing, perhaps, is that the Russian military forces defend Armenia’s state borders. I strongly doubt that this is exemplary for my country,” Vashakidze said.
According to the former deputy foreign minister, his disagreement with the government’s foreign policy vision was first noted by the Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili himself.
“That my views do not coincide with the [government’s] foreign policy course was first noted not by me but by Prime Minister during one of meetings when we discussed several issues. A serious debate took place there and the final assessment made was that those approaches which I voiced did not coincide with the Prime Minister’s political course. Those approaches, however, were traditional and agreed with the leadership of the foreign ministry,” said Nikoloz Vashakidze.