“The capital of Ukraine is being bombed and we see that there is nobody to stop this, and let us say directly that sanctions are not effective means,” Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said today, responding to public outcry over his clear-cut rejection to join international sanctions against Russia.
“Who is fighting in Ukraine? Ukrainian troops, Ukrainian army are fighting,” he stressed, adding “We must all remember that the country and the whole world are facing huge challenges and in this situation, any emotions, miscalculated steps, words, actions, of course, contain great risk.”
In the Government meeting, Garibashvili also reiterated that the Georgian authorities must act “as per the interests of the people only, and then think about the interests of other countries, naturally.”
“We sympathize with everyone, but we must protect our country and people first.”
In his address, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili went on to argue that hitting Russia with sanctions would deprive Georgia’s own population of income, citing trade, tourism and remittance statistics.
In total, Garibashvili claimed that Georgia has in the said sectors made up to USD 12 billion from Russia over the past eight years of the Georgian Dream administration.
Facing opposition criticism over the refusal to impose sanctions or shut airspace to Russia, the PM lashed out at his opponents, claiming the “radical opposition are happy with the war in Ukraine and are pursuing their self-interest in every misfortune.”
He went on to claim that the United National Movement aims for the 2008 Russo-Georgian war to “repeat,” also stressing the previous administration was unable to “avoid” the conflict back then.
If former President Mikheil Saakashvili was in power now, “the war would start in Tbilisi first and then in Kyiv,” the Prime Minister also claimed.
Garibashvili again reiterated the Georgian Dream’s line that the UNM administration blamed the beginning of the war on Georgia by backing the October 2008 resolution in the Council of Europe.
“When people are dying, they are holding concerts here,” he also noted, referring to an event held in support of Ukraine following a demonstration on February 26.
Meanwhile, the PM maintained that the Georgian Government continues to support Ukraine on the international platform as well as by delivering about a hundred tons of humanitarian aid.
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