President Saakashvili (file photo) (official site)
17 November 2005 -- Georgian President President Mikheil Saakashvili has backed the decision of the speaker of the Georgian parliament to boycott a CIS parliamentary assembly in St. Petersburg after Russian authorities reportedly denied a member of her delegation an entry visa.
Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze announced her decision on 16 November, saying the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi had refused to grant Georgian parliamentarian Givi Targamadze a visa to attend the two-day meeting.
On 16 November, Saakashvili said Burjanadze's decision was the "right" one. He was quoted as saying Russia has "harmed" itself by refusing a visa to a lawmaker because of his statements.
Targamadze, the chairman of the parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, had criticized Russian peacekeepers.
The Russian Embassy in Tbilisi said in a statement on 16 November that Targamadze's request for a visa was initially rejected, but the issue was reconsidered and a visa was issued later in the day.