Russia on Friday presented as an "attempt" at a Western coup the massive protests in Georgia that forced the government to abandon a bill that critics compared to repressive Russian legislation.

After three days of demonstrations of tens of thousands of people, sometimes punctuated by violence, the Georgian parliament finally revoked the bill on Friday, as promised by the government the day before.

This protest movement illustrates the political crisis that has been shaking Georgia for several years, a country in the Caucasus candidate for the EU where part of the population fears an authoritarian drift on the Russian model.

"They brilliantly resisted brute force"

"Germany supports Georgia on the way to Europe," German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, according to a tweet posted Friday by his spokeswoman, Cerstin Gammelin.

In a telephone conversation with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, a pro-Western critic of the Tbilisi government, Steinmeier assured that "Germany supports Georgia on the way to Europe. This path includes freedom of the press and civil society."

Imprisoned former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili on Friday also praised the protesters' "resistance" to the authorities' "brutal force" and Russian influence. "As an old revolutionary, I can say that they brilliantly resisted the brutal force used against them," he said in a Facebook post. "No Russia with its brutal oligarch is able to defeat them," he added, referring to the billionaire who created the ruling Georgian Dream party after making his fortune in Russia.

  • World
  • Europe
  • Russia
  • Georgia
  • Demonstration