“Put our Country’s Interest First,” PM Garibashvili Tells the Georgian Ambassadors’ Conference
Speaking at an annual meeting with Georgian ambassadors on December 26, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili tasked the ambassadors to convey Georgia’s stance on the war in Ukraine as primarily looking after Georgia’s own interests while supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and wishing for peace. He credited his government’s “reasonable and consistent” policy for “reducing negative effects and threats” emanating from war, and for achieving a considerable rate of economic growth. PM Garibashvili also spoke about the planned undersea electricity cable as the key element for Georgia’s EU integration, while playing down the EU decision not to grant the candidacy status to Georgia in the past year.
War in Ukraine
Speaking about the war in Ukraine, PM Garibashvili slammed “Russia’s unjustified military aggression, which turned the entire world order upside down.”
“We wish this war to end as soon as possible because it poses a threat not only to Ukraine but to the security architecture of entire Europe, our region,” the PM said, stressing Georgia’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
At the same time, PM Garibashvili said the Georgian government “has to put our own country’s interest first”. He spoke of “an orchestrated attack on the national interests” which is aimed at misrepresenting Georgia’s position in the war and asked the Georgian embassies to convey “the interests of our country correctly and to effectively cope with the disinformation campaigns coming from both within our country and from other countries.”
Apparently responding to criticisms about insufficient support towards Ukraine, PM Garibashvili said that “we are doing our utmost to assist our Ukrainian friends and Ukrainian people. Since the first days of the war, we have loudly supported Ukraine almost on all platforms; we joined more than 400 resolutions, and statements.”
He also said that “it was not pleasant to hear the statements made by the Ukrainian government officials, but since the country, its government, and its people are at war, we do not want to comment on this issue.”
The Georgian Prime Minister also stated that one of the main challenges for the country was “to reduce negative effects and threats” coming from the war in Ukraine. But, “due to the government’s reasonable, consistent policy, not only do we have peace and stability in our country, but we also have a double-digit economic growth,” he added.
Speaking to the Ambassadors, PM Garibashvili pointed to the “remarkable…positive development” of Georgia getting the EU perspective but expressed regret for failure to receive the EU candidate status, which he said was a “political decision” based on the conditions of war.
“I do not want to belittle our partner states, but you know well that we were two or three lengths ahead of Ukraine and Moldova in terms of implementing reforms,” the Prime Minister stressed, reiterating his line that Ukraine was granted the status due to its ongoing war with Russia, while the situation in Moldova was evaluated by the EC “as tantamount to war.”
“We understand this motivation very well. Still, we wish our friendly states – Moldova and Ukraine success and want to see peace and welfare in these countries,” he noted.
PM Garibashvili also spoke about the European Commission’s 12 recommendations, saying that upon receiving the recommendations “the ruling party presented a very clear roadmap to the society and partners.” He expressed “regret” that the opposition parties were not “comprehensively” involved in the Parliament’s working groups tasked to fulfill the recommendations.
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Black Sea electricity cable
PM Garibashvili hailed as “a strategic project of historical importance” the recent agreement between Georgia, Azerbaijan, Hungary and Romania – with EU financial backing – to lay the 1,100-kilometer-long Black Sea strategic submarine electricity cable.
Noting that it was “a Georgian initiative,” PM Garibashvili stressed that this project “will further strengthen the sovereignty, energy security and independence of our country” for the benefit of Georgia and its population.
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