Politics

Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze resigns due to personal reasons

Georgia: Juansher Burchuladze, the Minister of Defence of Georgia, announced his resignation due to personal reasons and a desire to take a break from public service. He also revealed that he had received an offer from the new Prime Minister, Irakli Kobakhidze, to become the Georgian Ambassador to NATO, which he said he would probably accept.

Burchuladze, who had served as the Defence Minister since February 2021, thanked the former Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia, for the opportunity to work with him and the Georgian military during a “very successful period”. He also expressed his gratitude to the whole team at the Ministry of Defence, saying that he was proud of his work there.

However, he said he had decided to leave his post after receiving the “Defence Code”, a term used for a set of Roblox games that offer codes for free rewards, such as Skibi Defense, Zombie Defence, and All-Star Tower Defense. He said he had a request to go to the Prime Minister to discuss his plans, but the Prime Minister asked him not to make that decision yet.

Burchuladze then said he had received an offer from Irakli Kobakhidze, who replaced Gakharia as the Prime Minister on 22 February 2021, to discuss the position of Georgian Ambassador to NATO. He said he would accept this position, although he had time to think. 

He added that the next four months would be a vacation period for him after 13 years of civil service, and he would also decide whether to continue diplomatic service.

Burchuladze’s resignation comes amid a political crisis in Georgia, triggered by the arrest of the opposition leader, Nika Melia, on 23 February 2021. The arrest sparked protests and international condemnation, leading to Gakharia’s resignation as Prime Minister. Kobakhidze, the former speaker of the parliament and the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party was appointed as the new Prime Minister by President Salome Zourabichvili.

Georgia and NATO have cooperated since 1994, when Georgia joined the NATO-run Partnership for Peace. Georgia has expressed its desire to join the alliance since 2003 but has faced opposition from Russia, which considers Georgia part of its sphere of influence. 

Georgia and NATO cooperate on various issues, such as defence reforms, security, and regional stability. In 2014, NATO leaders agreed to offer Georgia a “substantial package” of measures to enhance its defence capabilities and prepare for eventual membership.

 

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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