Speaker: EU Should Distance Itself from MEPs Slanderous Allegations

On February 29, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili calls on EU to “distance itself from the slanderous allegations of MEPs”, in response to amendments initiated by MEP Anna Fotyga to two European Parliament resolutions adopted on February 28 to include the issue of the pardon of former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

According to the amendments, the European Parliament “reiterates its calls to release former president Mikheil Saakashvili on humanitarian grounds and encourages President Salome Zurabishvili to use her constitutional right to pardon him, which would contribute to reducing the political polarization in the country.” In addition, MEP Fotyga emphasized that “Mikheil Saakashvili is a personal enemy and prisoner of Putin” and that the EP “cannot allow for him to perish in prison.”

Papuashvili writes on social media that “a huge gap of misunderstanding about Mikheil Saakashvili between his foreign patrons and the Georgian people continues to harm our foreign relations”. He notes that “while Saakashvili’s lobbyists hail Georgian ex-President’s ‘deeds’”, the same person is a “widely despised authoritarian figure” for Georgian public. Therefore, Western pro-Saakashvili statements create a “cognitive dissonance” and raise “suspicions about as to whether hailed ‘Western values’ are a mere ruse for promoting certain geopolitical objectives.”

The Speaker underlines that the issue of Putin-Saakashvili confrontation “may represent an appealing idea” for EP, but this is a “misperception” and in reality, Saakashvili is the leader during whose rule 20% of Georgia was occupied. Papuashvili notes that “Saakashvili’s foreign friends and protectors” stayed loyal to him “despite mass human rights violations”, meanwhile vilifying “Georgian Dream’s impressive democratic record” for over a decade.

Papuashvili stresses that United National Movement, the largest opposition party in Georgia, has lost all the elections since 2012 and “even struggles to clear the electoral barrier for this year’s elections and is quickly becoming a marginal, fringe political group in Georgian politics”, which he notes is “a good indication of what people think of the UNM’s chieftain”. The Parliament’s Speaker calls out Saakashvili supporters for “having completely lost touch with reality.”

Concluding the statement, Papuashvili writes: “The time has come for the European Union to officially distance itself from the slanderous allegations of MEPs. Our question to the EU is whether they share common values with Georgian people or MEPs’ particularistic interests guide them. We believe what matters is our common cause of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration. We should look to the future.”

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


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