Politicians React to PM’s Speech at Qatar Panel Discussion

Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum panel discussion on May 24, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spent most of his time speaking about Georgia’s decision not to impose economic sanctions on Russia, saying that the country’s economy would suffer a significant loss. He also discussed the war in Ukraine and the health of Georgia’s imprisoned ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.

The Prime Minister’s remarks triggered mixed reactions from the ruling party and the opposition. offers a complication of these reactions.

Remarks by the ruling party

Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the Georgian Dream: “The Prime Minister delivered an excellent speech. He put all the emphasis on the policy and priorities of Georgia. Of course, the Prime Minister touched on the important issue related to the ongoing war in Ukraine and our relations, including Russia-Georgia relations…”

Gia Volski, Vice Speaker of the Parliament: “Irakli Garibashvili presented quite pragmatic opinions… instead of using political coquetry like some politicians. He said exactly what we are facing.”

Mamuka Mdinaradze, chairman of the Georgian Dream faction: “The Prime Minister’s speech was an example of how you can follow national interests and make them a priority. Naturally, it is in the interest of each country for the number one in government to speak primarily based on the country’s national interests. That’s what happened in this case. There is nothing surprising, and such an approach of the Prime Minister is only welcome….”

Reactions by the opposition

Levan Bezhashvili, the United National Movement: “During this one year a significant change took place. The Georgian Dream practically took off its mask, and behind this mask we saw the Russian dream, with Russian intentions, Russian goals, opened borders, more economic dependence on Russia… Georgia became completely dependent on the Russian economy, and today Garibashvili considers it a success.”

Giorgi Vashadze, “Strategy Agmashenebeli”: “Irakli Garibashvili dealt a severe blow to Georgia’s EU integration perspective at the Qatar Economic Forum… unfortunately, it was not the Georgian Prime Minister who spoke there, but Putin’s personal representative… in fact, he supported the Russian model for resolving the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine… he echoed the main narrative of Dugin’s ideology that without trade with Russia, Georgia’s economy will collapse…his statements were so shocking.”

Ana Natsvlishvili, Lelo for Georgia: “The person acting as the Prime Minister of Georgia has turned into a mouthpiece of the Russian war machine and propaganda. This is a great insult to Georgia, Ukraine and the status with which this person appears in public.”

Khatia Dekanoidze, independent MP: “Portraying Georgia as an ally of Russia is a disaster for the statehood of our country – the country that aspires to join the European Union and NATO… these messages are very grave.”

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

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