Ex-PM Says Georgia Should Ask for ‘Immediate’ EU Membership

Georgia’s former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has urged the Georgian Dream government to demand “immediate membership” in the European Union à la Ukraine.

Calling on the Georgian authorities “to use this historic chance,” Gakharia stressed today it was high time to “remind the whole world that we are the first victim of the Russian aggression.”

“The right answer to the Russian aggression is to immediately accept Georgia and Ukraine into the European family,” he said.

The former PM said “our place together with our traditions is in Europe,” adding “this is our duty both to our ancestors and future generations.”

Gakharia also criticized his successors’ stance on the current events in Ukraine, saying while the world has shown unprecedented reaction towards the Russian aggression, Georgian authorities opted for a stance damaging “national interests.”

The former PM said “every new remark” made by Georgia’s Government on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine “insults the dignity of the people of Georgia and the sacrifice made in 2008 for the unity and freedom of the country.”

“We remind the authorities that the population of Georgia has already made its choice – our place is in the European family,” Gakharia continued.

“Today, this choice is simple – we are either becoming part of the European family, the free world, or we are back to Russian Soviet Union.”

Giorgi Gakharia quit as Prime Minister in February 2021 over the forthcoming arrest of top opposition leader Nika Melia. In May, he launched For Georgia party, which ended third after the governing GD and opposition United National Movement parties in October 2021 local elections.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – whose troops are fighting the advance of invading Russian army since February 24 – called on Ukraine’s immediate EU accession under “a new special procedure.”

Zelenskyy’s call came as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that Ukrainians “are one of us” and that the EU wants Ukraine to join.

The Government of Georgia has yet to reacts on these calls. But Georgia, along with Ukraine and Moldova last year launched the Associated Trio format, pushing for closer ties with Brussels. The GD authorities  claim they will formally appeal for EU membership in 2024.

So far, while condemning the Russian attack against Ukraine, Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili abruptly rejected joining international sanctions towards Russia, advocating for “pragmatic policy” towards Moscow amid the crisis.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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