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Georgia’s Parliamentary Delegation Visits Bucha, Irpin

Georgian cross-party parliamentary delegation, on visit to Ukraine, traveled today to the towns of Bucha and Irpin northwest of Kyiv, which saw egregious crimes during weeks-long Russian occupation.

“No words can describe the suffering [and] misery in Bucha and Irpen — an unspeakable [and] shocking tragedy in the heart of Europe in XXI century,” tweeted Parliamentary Chairperson Shalva Papuashvili, who leads the Georgian delegation.

He said “Russia must end these atrocities. There is no alternative to peace.”

The Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson also wrote on Facebook that the visit “in brotherly Ukraine” demonstrates Georgia’s firm and united support to Ukraine. “We could not have done it otherwise because our nations are very close to each other.”

Speaker Papuashvili said Georgians too have memories of “our own Buchas and Irpins” in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia from the wars in 1990s and Russo-Georgian War of August 2008.

“We have experienced this as well. Our cities and hopes were also bombed and shattered. So, we, Georgians, very well understand your sorrow,” Speaker Papuashvili noted.

“As much as this is painful, we see your heroic resistance, braveness, unbroken hearts and determination. This sacrifice will forever be told as an example of virtue and boldness to our future generations,” the Georgian Speaker added.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, who guided the Georgian delegation in Bucha and Irpin, said on his part, that “Georgia will not help [Russia] in any way.” “So said [Shalva Papuashvili] when he saw Bucha and Irpin with his own eyes.”

Also today, Chairperson Stefanchuk hosted the Georgian delegation in the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv. The Rada Speaker said the visit is an excellent manifestation of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Georgia’s parliamentary delegation, along with Speaker Papuashvili, includes Vice Speakers Archil Talakvadze and Davit Sergeenko of the ruling Georgian Dream party, GD MP Beka Odisharia, Vice Speaker Levan Ioseliani of the Citizens Party, Lelo MP Ana Natsvlishvili, MP Giorgi Khojevanishvili of For Georgia, Girchi MP Vakhtang Megrelishvili, and MP Khatuna Samnidze, the Republican party leader.

“This visit is of utmost importance, perhaps coming late but it’s important that it took place,” Georgian Public Broadcaster cited MP Samnidze as saying.

“Georgia and Ukraine have been friends for years. We should have been in support of each other and it is great that with this visit this relationship will be restored,” the opposition lawmaker added.

Speaker Papuashvili’s trip, marking the first Georgian high-level visit to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24, was preceded by worsening relations between Tbilisi and Kyiv.

In the latest showdown, Speaker Papuashvili on April 8 initially turned down Stefanchuk’s “inappropriate” invitation, citing, among others, Kyiv’s “unfounded diplomatic démarches, baseless allegations” against Tbilisi.

Meanwhile, the United National Movement, Georgia’s largest opposition party, refused to participate in the visit alongside its arch-rival GD. The party leaders, including its chairperson Nika Melia, reported about their arrival to Kyiv on April 15. The group was joined by ex-President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

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