On 20 June 2019, Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov presided over the 26th General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), an international organisation uniting parliamentary delegations of 21 member states from mainly Orthodox Christian countries, including Georgia.
The IAO General Assembly, which was to take place in Tbilisi on 19-22 June, was hosted by the Parliament of Georgia and Gavrilov opened the proceedings while sitting in the seat of the Speaker of Parliament of Georgia. The opposition European Georgia party protested Gavrilov's visit because he supports the Russian government's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and de-facto occupation of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
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