U.S. Ambassador Comments on Ukraine, Russia, Rule of Law

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan commented on tensions between Georgian and Ukrainian officials, the exchange of positive signals between Moscow and Tbilisi, and the rule of law concerns. Ambassador fielded media questions after having attended the opening of the American Studies Center at the International Black Sea University (IBSU).

Regarding Kasianov’s Statement

Ambassador Degnan referred to a statement of the Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Kasianov that Georgia refused to transfer weapons to Ukraine and called on Tbilisi and Kyiv to discuss these issues privately in this sensitive time.

According to the Ambassador,  “the United States has asked all our allies and partners to look to see what they’re comfortable doing to support Ukraine.” In this context, she noted that “Georgia has done many things, especially in the humanitarian area, in voting in the international fora,” adding that “everyone is very, very aware of the sensitive situation that Georgia is in because 20% of your territory is occupied by Russia.”

Russia flights

Ambassador Degnan commented on the proposal broached by FM Sergei Lavrov about the opening of the direct flights, and the Georgian officials’ positive reactions. She noted that, in her opinion, “most Georgians would rather hear that Russia was withdrawing its troops from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, and finally complying with its obligations under the 2008 treaty – rather than direct flights.”

Referring to the justification advanced by Irakli Kobakhidze, the ruling party chairman, that Georgians residing in Russia were negatively affected by the suspension of flights, Ambassador added that she is “not aware” of any difficulties Georgians are experiencing in returning from Moscow,  “while we certainly know there are many, many Russians who are coming into this country.”

She also touched upon the New York Times report which said Russia may be evading sanctions through Georgia and said the U.S. is working with the Georgian authorities to “help ensure Georgia has the capacity to comply with international sanctions.” Kelly Degnan also underscored “the tremendous opportunity” Georgia has by being a middle corridor for the flow of goods from Central Asia to Europe. 

Khazaradze, Japaridze, Tsereteli Case

Answering the question regarding the ongoing appeals hearing of Mamuka Khazaradze, Badri Japaridze, and Avtandil Tsereteli case, U.S. Ambassador said she was waiting for the verdict. However, she noted that “when cases like this come up, that just raises more questions about the administration of the law and the ability of judges to administer the law, in accordance with the evidence presented and without interference. It just undermines overall confidence.”

Also Read:

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


Back to top button