Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has backed the government’s decision not to seek the conditional EU loan, and addressed the 27-member bloc’s response that Georgia had “failed to sufficiently address the conditions” of the assistance.
“Sufficiently is the keyword in the statement,” stressed the Georgian top diplomat on September 1. “The EU notes that in some parts it accepts the judicial reforms carried out by the Georgian government, and in some parts it says they were insufficient.”
Noting there is a “difference in the perceptions” between Tbilisi and Brussels, FM Zalkaliani argued that Georgia’s amended court legislation “to a significant extent fulfilled” the Venice Commission recommendations.
The top diplomat reiterated the authorities’ reasoning for refraining to ask for the EUR 75 million loan, noting it would have been “unjustified” to take on further debt because the “positive dynamic of the economy allowed” to refuse the assistance.
The move should not be interpreted as Georgia changing its foreign policy course and diverging from its EU integration path, the Foreign Minister stressed, responding to the opposition criticism.
Deputy Foreign Minister Teimuraz Janjalia on his part noted the EU deal included both grant and loan components, adding that the authorities did not consider it “expedient” to take on the additional debt after the grant component had been exhausted.
“The country aims to reduce foreign debt and be less dependent on financial resources that come from abroad,” he noted.