President Zurabishvili Leads Press Conference with Moldovan President

President Salome Zurabishvili held a joint press conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu on 17 October as part of her visit to Moldova.

President Zurabishvili’s Remarks

President Zurabishvili began her address by highlighting that her visit marks the first by a Georgian President in 12 years.

The Georgian President also brought attention to the ongoing war in Ukraine at the outset of her speech, highlighting, in particular, the indiscriminate attacks taking place across Ukrainian cities, which she said, is “unacceptable in the modern world…”

In that context, she called Russia’s aggression an “anachronism” in the 21st century, and said Russia is “stuck in the last century which was the century of wars and totalitarianism.”

President Zurabishvili hence emphasized that “the war in Ukraine is the greatest danger currently facing our countries, Europe, and the world as a whole, and therefore, aggression, injustice, and inhumanity cannot be allowed to win.”

She noted that as a country whose regions are occupied by Russia, Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine and the resulting challenges are felt more “intensely” in Georgia.

Going further, President Zurabishvili reiterated her condemnation of Russia’s actions against Ukraine, as well as its annexation of Ukrainian territories. “I declare solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people on behalf of Georgia and the Georgian people,” she said.

President Zurabishvili likewise underscored that the main weapon against Russia’s “brutality is the unprecedented solidarity shown by the international community towards Ukraine.”

While acknowledging that the war in Ukraine is a “great challenge” for Europe, President Zurabishvili emphasized that at least Europe now sees the “true face of Russia,” whereas in the past they maintained hope that Russia could be trusted.

President Zurabishvili also noted that this challenge and the fight of the Ukrainian people have opened a new path and opportunities for countries with European aspirations. While on the subject, she accentuated that despite Georgia being granted a European perspective while Ukraine and Moldova received EU candidate status, the trio remains on the same path toward Europe.

“I am deeply convinced that all three of us will see the results of this path and the European integration of our countries,” she stressed. “This war will end with Ukraine’s victory [and] reconstruction, as well as our reunification with the European Union.”

The President also brought attention to the recent Prague Summit, where countries with EU perspectives and candidate status sat down with EU members, and said the meeting was symbolic of the fact that “we are all members of one European family.”

“This is our future and we have no other future or perspective, so we have to show more solidarity between us, our two countries… and more solidarity with the European Union… because our future, independence, and freedom, is indivisible,” she concluded.

President Sandu’s Remarks

President Sandu opened her address by likewise remarking that President Zurabishvili’s visit to Moldova is the first by a Georgian President in 12 years. Hence, she expressed hope that the visit would mark a new chapter in Moldovan-Georgian relations and give a “new impetus to our bilateral contacts and exchanges in several areas.”

Turning to the war in Ukraine, President Sandu emphasized that “these are very complicated times.” She underlined that Georgia and Moldova “condemned from day one” Russia’s attack on Ukraine, called for Russia to be punished for its war crimes, supported Ukrainians fleeing abroad, and rejected the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories.

“We reiterate, on this occasion, our unconditional respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the neighboring country’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” she said.

“This is all the more relevant as Moldova and Georgia also have unresolved conflicts on their territories,” President Sandu added and took the opportunity to express Moldova’s continued support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

While emphasizing that without peace in Ukraine “there can be no peace in Europe,” the Moldova President urged the international community to “do everything possible to stop Russian aggression and help Ukraine restore its territorial integrity.”

“We cannot allow aggression and fear to prevail. We must do everything to restore the rules-based international order, to reaffirm our respect for international law, the sovereignty of states, and their right to decide their own fate. Only in this way can we ensure lasting peace in our region and in the world,” she added.

President Sandu pointed out that despite these difficulties, Moldova and Georgia are both working towards “harmonious development and a peaceful and prosperous future for their citizens” and noted that “intensifying bilateral cooperation can help us achieve this.”

In the context of cooperation, President Sandu highlighted the fields of trade and the economy, as well as the cultural sphere, and the possibility of exchanging experiences in combating propaganda and disinformation, a problem that both countries face.

Intensifying bilateral cooperation can help us to achieve this. We want to continue the work of the bilateral intergovernmental commission for trade-economic cooperation and intensify contacts in the cultural-human sphere.

Regarding the two nations’ European aspirations, President Sandu underlined that it is “our duty to do everything we can to accelerate the realization of our peoples’ European dream.” “The future in the family of European states will anchor our countries in a political, economic, and value space where people have more opportunities to live and develop freely, safely, and prosperously,” she said.

President Sandu also recalled her visit to Batumi in the summer of 2021 and invited President Zurabishvili to Chisinau in the spring of 2023, for the next European Political Community Summit.

“Open dialogue and cooperation, sharing the values of freedom and democracy, and exchanging experiences in the process of European integration will help our countries to move forward on the European path and offer their citizens a guaranteed future as part of the free world,” she concluded.

Also Read:

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

Back to top button