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Georgia's Ivanishvili Launches TV Talk Show To Counter Rustavi-2

TBILISI -- Former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has launched a television talk show he says will counter a TV channel he accused of being a "propaganda and lie machine" serving the opposition.

Announcing the launch of a talk called 2030 on March 15, Ivanishvili said it will "help society see developments correctly."

He said it would "stand against" Rustavi-2 television, which he accused of being a mouthpiece of former President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM).

Billionaire Ivanishvili led the Georgian Dream coalition to victory over the long-dominant ENM in a 2012 parliamentary election and served as prime minister for a year before ceding the post to an ally.

He is widely believed to continue to wield powerful influence from behind the scenes.

Ivanishvili said that he will be a frequent guest on the program, which is named after an organization he created with the aim of making Georgia a genuinely European state by 2030.

Privately owned Rustavi-2 was founded in 1994 and is considered the most successful private broadcaster in Georgia.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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