Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili addressed a letter on July 18 to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen complaining about the “falsehoods” in the European Parliament’s June 9 resolution, which slammed the ruling Georgian Dream party over handling press freedom and called for sanctions against Bidzina Ivanishvili, ex-PM and GD founder.
PM Garibashvili writes that the resolution’s labeling of Ivanishvili as a destructive oligarch controlling Georgia’s government is problematic. In particular, the PM took issue with the resolution’s critical view of Ivanishvili’s perceived ties with Russia and the calls to impose personal sanctions against Ivanishvili.
According to PM Garibashvili, that resolution “is not based on any evidence and is aimed at discrediting the current system of governance in Georgia.”
He reiterated that there is no evidence of Ivanishvili’s involvement in Georgian politics, justice, or of his ties with Russia. “Everything written in the resolution about informal governance is totally fictional,” PM Garibashvili added.
Repeating a recent mainstay of the ruling party’s narrative, PM Garibashvili underscored that the allegation of Ivanishvili’s staying power over the government insults both the PM and the country.
While the PM thanked President von der Leyen for the European Commission and European Council not repeating similar calls for sanctions in their decision to grant the European perspective to Georgia, he called on the Commission to “express its clear position […] to fully neutralize the negative impact of the resolution passed by European Parliament.”
PM Garibashvili claimed this was an “essential precondition for staying away from deepening the perception of unfairness among the Georgian people towards European institutions and for keeping the radical wing of the opposition away from deepening the polarization on the grounds of the resolution passed by the European Parliament.”