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Garibashvili Makes Controversial Remarks on Ukraine, Again

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, visiting western Adjara region today, again made some controversial remarks about Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“As I said on February 25, if someone would be oppressed and punished by this war, it would be Ukraine, that thousands of Ukrainians would be killed, their territorial integrity would be violated, and this is the case,” PM Garibashvili noted.

The PM stated that “Russia occupied a good deal of territories already in Ukraine and this process, you see, continues. And unfortunately we see there’s no one to stop it so far.”

“So, once again, I want to express my solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainians on behalf of our government. We have sent 400 tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine,” he added.

According to the Georgian PM, “we are doing our best to provide maximum attention and care to the citizens of Ukraine who come to Georgia, be it in the field of education, healthcare, or any other needs.”

“We will continue to do so, and of course, it is our great desire and dream that this war will end as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Garibashvili noted.

In his words, “the countries and leaders who are able to stop this war must do everything possible to end this war as soon as possible.”

On Volunteer Fighters, Sanctions

Garibashvili also said that “no government in the world calls on its citizens to go to Ukraine and engage in hostilities there.”

He said American, British, French and other European leaders “called on their citizens to express solidarity in different ways, including by sending humanitarian aid.”

“I join this call of world leaders and call on the citizens of our country once again to show solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in another way, whether it is sending humanitarian aid or other aid, including the help of Ukrainian citizens who have come here. This is the position of our government.

The Prime Minister also doubled down on his earlier statements on the refusal to join sanctions against Russia, while also stressing Georgia’s support to Ukraine in international platforms.

“At the political level, we have supported Ukraine in all formats, be it the UN, the EU, the Council of Europe, or the OSCE formats, everywhere. We were co-organizers, co-sponsors, or just supporters of the Ukrainian resolutions.”

As for sanctions, he continued, Georgia will not impose economic sanctions against Russia.

“With this decision, our team and I are led by the national interests of our country, our people. Our country is occupied today, do not forget and take more responsibility towards our people. 20% of our territories are occupied and we have gone through three wars in 30 years.”

The Georgian Prime Minister also vowed to “do everything” to avoid war in Georgia.

“We want peace, stability and development, this is what our country needs today, no one needs war, and… any patriotic government must do everything to help the country and its people avoid the greatest calamity, the ordeal, which is war. I acting in this spirit, with this responsibility,” he said.

Reactions

Reacting to Garibashvili’s remarks over Ukraine being “oppressed and punished in this war,” opposition Droa party said: “most shameful words from the man that Georgia tragically gets to call its Prime Minister.”

“Georgia will not forgive you for this, [Irakli Garibashvili]. You are a disgrace.”

Ruslan Stefancuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainian legislature, also expressed disappointment today.

I have once thought that the main thing, which unites [Ukraine] with [Georgia] and [Moldova] the most, is that our countries have been territorialy “bitten” by [Russia]. But today’s official position of Tbilisi and Chișinău regarding their neutrality in imposing sanctions on [Russia] has disappointed me.”

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

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