Georgian Opposition Politicians to Visit Kyiv

The United National Movement, Lelo and Droa opposition parties are kicking off separate visits to Kyiv on February 2-3 in show of solidarity to Ukraine amid the threat of possible Russian invasion.

The delegations from the parties will include among others MPs Khatia Dekanoidze and Tinatin Bokuchava from the UNM, lawmaker Salome Samadashvili and party chair Mamuka Khazaradze from Lelo, and Elene Khoshtaria and Batu Kutelia from Droa.

The opposition politicians said their visits aim at demonstrating support to Kyiv, particularly following the Parliament’s endorsement of the controversial Georgian Dream-tabled resolution that did not explicitly mention “possible Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Lelo party MP Salome Samadashvili told reporters before departing for Kyiv earlier today that “it is especially important for us to show solidarity to Ukrainian people and politicians in light of the shameful resolution the governing [GD] party adopted.”

According to the lawmaker, Lelo members will hold meetings with their colleagues in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian legislature, and also plan to discuss the recently-announced cooperation format between Kyiv, London and Warsaw.

Discussing the UNM’s planned trip, MP Bokuchava said today the party believes it is important to show the Ukrainian people and the legislature “there are political forces in Georgia that understand that we are part of one common struggle.” “With supporting them we also defend dignity and national security of our country.”

On her part, Droa party leader Elene Khoshtaria highlighted today that the “opposition is obliged to inform Ukraine and our partners that the Georgian Dream’s stance is not the position of Georgia.”

Khoshtaria argued the opposition politicians will talk solidarity with Ukraine but also about “the security architecture currently being established in Europe, which Georgia should be a part of.”

The Droa party said in a statement that it would coordinate with UNM and Lelo colleagues and hold several joint meetings as well.

The visits come as almost all opposition parties in the parliament, except for the Citizens and European Socialists, refused to back the GD-tabled resolution on “possible military escalation in Ukraine,” which they said showed the ruling party’s appeasement to the Kremlin.

Explaining the decision on not mentioning Russia in the resolution, Georgian Dream lawmakers argued the document was free of “provocative rhetoric.” GD Chair Irakli Kobakhidze said the resolution was worded in accordance with Georgia’s national interests and accused the UNM of “clearly wanting” war in Ukraine and Georgia.

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