Russia was not the key cause of the November riots in Tbilisi, Mikhail Saakashvili, who resigned from the presidential position on 25 November, said in an interview with Georgian Rustavi 2 TV. According to Saakashvili, several people, including businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili who openly urged the ousting of the Georgian authorities, were involved in the riots.
According to Saakashvili, Georgia has never been as independent from Russia as it is now. In mid November the last of the Russian military left Georgia. The country has almost completely ceased the import of Russian gas and power. Moreover, in summer Georgia exported its own power to Russia. Despite the embargo which Russia imposed on the import of Georgian wines, Georgia planted a million vine saplings this year.
The Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Nino Burjanadze will fulfil the duties of Georgian President until the inauguration of a new President. Saakashvili will stand for a second presidential term.
After the events which took place in Tbilisi on 7 November, when an opposition demonstration was dispersed by batons and water jets, Saakashvili set the dater for early presidential elections - 5 January 2008. A public vote which will determine a date for the parliamentary elections is set for the same day. In accordance with the Georgian Constitution, the President shall resign 45 days before the next presidential elections.