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President Slams Government at Ukraine War Anniversary Event

On February 24, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili hosted foreign diplomats at an event marking the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, reiterating support and solidarity with the friendly country. President Zurabishvili slammed the Georgian government for its “pseudo-neutral and balanced” position, saying the government had “isolated itself.” Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili also attended the event.

Support for Ukraine

Speaking at the event, which began with Ukrainian and Georgian anthems, President Zurabishvili noted that the war unleashed by Russia has been ongoing for a year, violating and disregarding all international humanitarian principles and conventions. “The Ukrainian people are enduring with great courage the constant attacks, shelling, destruction of cities, villages, people, military or civilians,” she said.

“This courage and unity has brought the result – Russia is already defeated; it did not manage to dismiss the government, nor did it manage to exhaust people’s patience or weaken international support; on the contrary, trust and support for the Ukrainian government and president is growing every day.”     

President Zurabishvili stressed that Russia did not expect such an amazing unity from the Western democratic world. “It can be said that this war created a new, self-confident and strong Europe, which had not been strategically established. Today, the whole of Europe understands where the threat comes from and that Ukraine today is not defending its own freedom, but the freedom of all,” she said.  

“We are on one side, on the side of Ukraine,” the President noted, adding that “there is no alternative.”

“I believe that the Ukrainian people will win and we will have a peaceful future! Long live Ukraine! Long live Georgia! Long live our friendship and our common future!” President Zurabishvili added.

Criticism against government

In her address, President Zurabishvili expressed regret that “the Georgian government has isolated itself, separated itself from the democratic community and is trying to justify its pseudo-neutral and balanced position.”

“It is especially incomprehensible from the country that has gone through the same ordeal many times, that knows well what the violation of sovereignty and independence means,” she said, stressing the “very clear” solidarity expressed by the Georgian public with Ukraine.  

She also noted that amid the war in Ukraine, as the President of Georgia, she had expressed Georgia’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine in all possible formats, adding that she would continue to do so.

President Zurabishvili criticized the Georgian government for not being in Kyiv today, adding that she would have been in Ukraine, but despite her readiness, she did not receive an invitation.

“However, the Parliament, which received an invitation, did not consider it necessary to send an official delegation. As a result, we are represented in Kyiv by the opposition; nevertheless, I am glad that they are there,” she said.

The President noted that Georgia does not have the means to help Ukraine like “much stronger European countries,” but “since our solidarity is mainly on a moral level, we should defend our principles more firmly.”   

President Zurabishvili paid tribute to Georgian national Hero Maro Makashvili and heroic battle of the Georgian cadets, recalled the Soviet occupation, the “undeclared war” with Russia in the 1990s and the August 2008 war, concluding that all this “unites us with the current suffering of the Ukrainians, not divides us!… Slava Ukraini.”

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

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