Tibilisi, June 21: About 39 police officers and 30 protesters sustained injuries during a protest as thousands of angry demonstrators gathered and attempted to storm Georgia's parliament here over a controversial visit by a Russian lawmaker on Thursday.
According to Russian state news agency TASS, Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov opened a session of the assembly at the Georgian parliament building and infuriated Georgian opposition deputies by sitting in the chair of the parliamentary speaker. According to Reuters, the lawmaker also addressed delegates in Russian, rather than the local language.
Representatives of the opposition rushed the podium in protest. Gavrilov told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that he was doused with water by protesting Georgian deputies.
"They broke into the hall, seized the rostrum and my seat," he said. "We had a break, they started looking for me, tearing up documents, pouring water on me ... showing portraits of Putin."
Russia and Georgia have fought over two breakaway Georgian regions. Abkhazia and South Ossetia were occupied by Russia in 2008. Moscow recognises them as independent states and Russian troops have remained there since.(UNI)