On February 28, Georgia’s Deputy PM, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani backed and explained PM Irakli Garibashvili’s “cautious” stance on Ukraine developments and refusal to join international sanctions against Russia.
In his press briefing in the Governmnet Chancellery, the top diplomat explained: “They [Russian troops] are standing 40 kms away [from Tbilisi]… they don’t even need additional mobilization of troops for months like they did in Ukraine.”
The Foreign Minister continued: “we see the result of the occupation from the [major east-west] highway. It will take them few minutes to turn Georgia upside down.” “What do you think, don’t we possess information on what they are going to do?!”
“I don’t want to see in Georgia what I’ve seen in 2008. I don’t want to see the Russian tanks driving to Tbilisi. I don’t want to see Tbilisi and aiports being bombed.”
In his remarks, the Foreign Minister stated Georgia “does not shy away from firm steps.” He recalled that Georgia is subscribing to the western sanctions against Crimea since 2014.
“But when we talk about individual sanctions imposed by the country, the Prime Minister clarified really well what threats we do see [in this regard].”
He said Georgian authorities are discussing these threats with both European and Ukrainian colleagues.
“When the Prime Minister shows such caution, it comes from the responsibility that he owes to you, to each and every citizen of Georgia.”
“We are no less patriots and we have demonstrated with both our work and life the committment to Georgia and the fight against the lawlessness that is the occupation [by Russia] in Georgia.”