President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met with the Penitentiary Ministry staff

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met with the Penitentiary Ministry staff at the President's Chancellery and awarded 7 of them with precious presents. President spoke about the success of the penitentiary system and recalled the period when criminal authorities ruled prisons. President got interested in the existing situation in prisons and how good is the quality of food there. Georgia is one of those countries among former Soviet Union countries that is not ruled from prisons - he said.

President noted the government's share and devotion was also great and he expressed his gratitude to the staff of the Ministry of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance.

"One of the largest reforms was carried out in penitentiary system", noted Mikheil Saakashvili "When I was the Minister of Justice 40-50 tetries were spent on each prisoner, now this amount reaches 4 GEL. In reality we have resolved social problems for tens of thousands of families regarding the issue of meals. In previous years criminal facts took place almost every day. The Chief of Prison was a thief as a matter of fact. The Ministry of Justice was an addition to the MIA, and criminal authorities ruled these entities as well. We have changed this system totally", stated Mikheil Saakashvili and noted that the crime has decreased three times.

"We aren't happy to have many people in prisons, they must leave the prisons reformed and not criminalized", said Mikheil Saakashvili.

During the meeting President referred to the fact of the Russian soldier Dymitry Artemiev who left his military unit, which was located in Perevi and said that this Russian soldier chose freedom instead of authoritarian regime.

"In the morning I was told that a Russian soldier fled from the occupational army and asked us to give him shelter. This is already the second Russian soldier who chooses freedom. But there are many more who would do it. Today Georgia defends not only its freedom but the freedom of the people living in Russia and neighboring countries", stated Mikheil Saakashvili.

Today President made a comment on the opposition leaders' meetings abroad. He stated that every politician must take into consideration the fact that it is impossible to start negotiations with Russia in order to satisfy their own ambitions.

As he said Georgian politicians' meetings with people carrying out Russia's interests cannot be considered as personal.

Mikheil Saakashvili doesn't consider it useful to ask the representatives of Russia about something and thinks that the politicians met those people in Kiev and Berlin who carry out Russia's interests.

"Georgian politicians must recognize that they have more responsibility. Russia decided to divide Georgia and deprive it of its independence. Internal disorder in Georgia speaks about it. Everything needs money and Russia doesn't retreat often", stated President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.

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