Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met Georgian counterpart Irakli Garibashvili today in the coastal city of Batumi, to discuss Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, among other issues.
Following face-to-face and expanded meetings, the two officials delivered remarks to the media.
The Georgian PM, in his speech, expressed support to Ukraine, addressed the consequences of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war and discussed the country’s European aspirations.
“Our position is absolutely clear, we are of course in solidarity and I wish to reiterate our firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” PM Garibashvili announced.
He said that Georgian and Polish states as well as people, share “a lengthy history of friendship” with Ukraine, and will continue to support the country “firmly.”
“It is our common wish for this war to end and for peace to take hold in Ukraine,” the PM added.
The Prime Minister said he briefed his Polish counterpart on Georgia’s political and humanitarian support to Ukraine amid the war.
“Unfortunately has Georgia already experienced the great misfortune, tragedy that is happening in Ukraine today,” he also said during the address, adding “we have already paid a heavy price.”
“20% of our territory is occupied by Russia and we have to live with Russian troops on our territory,” the PM said.
“Unfortunately, following the August war, no sanctions were imposed by the world leaders then against Russia,” PM Garibashvili noted, going on to assert that instead “we saw refreshed policy toward Russia, new trade and economic projects.”
He added that “unfortunately” the previous, United National Movement administration did not impose any sanctions on Russia.
“Instead, the Government back then sold strategic objects to Russian state companies, waived the visa regime for Russian nationals and backed Russia’s accession into World Trade organization.”
The Prime Minister argued that as a result of all the aforementioned, “Georgia is occupied up to this day, the status quo has not changed.”
He noted that the country has to deal with “borderization; ongoing abductions of our citizens, their temporary detention and unfortunately in many tragic cases, their murder or death.”
According to the Prime Minister, during the meeting, the Polish side also pledged support for Georgia’s European integration.
“We understand it well that this is a long path, that we need to carry out reforms, prepare the country, develop the economy, overcome many challenges to become a member of the EU,” he said.
He stressed, however, that the Georgian Government is “motivated” to fulfill its commitments under the Association Agreement with the EU.
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On his part, the Polish PM during his speech expressed solidarity to Ukraine and stressed the need for “strong sanction packages to be adopted, executed and enforced” in response to Russian aggression.
He highlighted that Poland is in “the vanguard of constructing new and ever-reaching sanctions,” adding the measures should get “stronger with each day of the war, with each house bombed and every additional person murdered barbarously in Ukraine.”
PM Morawiecki said he also discussed the issue with PM Garibashvili, as “there are voices in Europe saying that Georgia may not be fully implement these sanctions.”
The Polish PM said the Georgian counterpart assured him that he is trying to do everything to “help Ukraine fight for its freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Who know this better than Georgia, 20% of the territories of which is still occupied by Russia to this day,” he added.
The Polish PM also expressed support to the country amid “very difficult political and economic situation which is the result of the Russian aggression against Georgia.”
“That is why Poland supports Georgia’s path to the European community – to Europe,” he stressed, adding “we are convinced that every sovereign nation has the right to choose the path it wants.”
“Georgia’s place is definitely in Europe, Georgia’s place is the European Union,” PM Morawiecki asserted.
NB: This article was updated with remarks delivered by the Prime Minister of Poland.