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CSOs Slam Gov’t over “Vague, Inconsistent Rhetoric” on Ukraine War

Twenty-two local civil society organizations said today the Georgian Government’s “vague and inconsistent rhetoric” on Russia’s war against Ukraine raises doubts on its credibility and allegiance as a partner of the West.

Arguing that Russia’s invasion has united most of the world behind Ukraine and created a “historic chance” for Georgia to solidify its place within the West, the CSOs outlined steps for ruling Georgian Dream and the Government to implement the country’s strategic “interests fully and clearly.”

The GD must “openly and unequivocally” declare Georgia’s support for Ukraine and abandon its stance that “harms the country’s international reputation,” the third sector said.

The signatories also urged the Government to clearly voice Georgia’s commitment to comply with the international sanctions regime against Russia.

The GD should immediately stop intimidating and demoralizing its citizens with the possibility of Russian war against Georgia, the civil society organizations asserted.

The signatories claimed such rhetoric has become “a clear propaganda line,” not only of the GD members but also its affiliates.

The third sector also saw it necessary for the Government to hold an extended meeting of the National Security Council with the participation of President Salome Zurabishvili and the opposition amid the war in Ukraine.

The signatories also called for a parliamentary discussion – involving GD, opposition, Government officials and experts – to assess the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and retaliatory sanctions on the Georgian economy and seek solutions.

Besides, the outfits urged the ruling party to “renounce hate speech, rise above narrow party interests and do its best to reduce polarization in society.”

The Government should provide regular updates to the public on its steps to advocate for Georgia receiving the EU candidate status, the CSOs added.

The signatories include Transparency International (TI) Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), UN Association of Georgia (UNAG), among others.

The statement comes as the Georgian Dream government has received widespread criticism over its controversial rhetoric on Russia’s war against Ukraine.

PM Garibashvili has faced resignation calls, over his remarks that sanctions were not an effective measure and that there was “no one to stop the bombing of Kyiv.”

Meanwhile, the Georgian PM has decried pro-Ukraine, anti-Government protests as “anti-state rallies.”

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