U.S. Ambassador Talks EU integration, Elections with Formula TV

During her live interview with Formula TV on February 29, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Robin Dunnigan emphasized the “deep friendship and strategic partnership” between the U.S. and Georgia and spoke about Georgia’s EU integration, the upcoming parliamentary elections, as well as the recent mention of Georgia by U.S. Senators in connection with Russia’s sanctions evasion.

EU Integration

The U.S. Ambassador said now “there is an embracement in the EU for enlargement,” and expressed hope that “the government, the Parliament, opposition parties, all of Georgia can unify and take advantage of this moment and make progress on these [nine steps defined by the EU Commission for Georgia] steps.”

She also said that Georgia has a “vibrant” and “active” civil society which will also need to play a role in the process. “What I hope we can see in the coming months is a consensus in unity in Georgia that includes all of these sectors.”

The U.S. Ambassador also noted that the EU candidacy was not “the good news” only for the EU accession, but also Georgia’s NATO aspirations. “The reason is that NATO is a military Alliance and also a political Alliance,” She explained adding that “the steps that Georgia has to take in order to open accession negotiations [with the EU] will also help Georgia further along on its NATO path…”

Elections 2024

As for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia in October 2024, the journalist recalled that during her recent hearing at the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee the Ambassador emphasized the challenge of Russia’s interference in this process. The journalist also recalled that the Parliament Speaker, addressing the same issue “said we have to speak about the interferences of other countries, not only of Russia…How real is the threat of Russian interference in the Georgian elections and what form of interference are we talking about?” the journalist asked.

According to the U.S. Ambassador, “Russia is not a positive force” and “we know that in the past Russia has used propaganda, disinformation and other tactics to try to interfere in democratic processes all over the world and I think we can expect to see a similar behavior this year in elections across the globe.”

Following the journalist’s question whether the Speaker could be imply that West can be the other force which may be interested in changing the election results in Georgia, the Ambassador said she “can’t speculate on the meaning of the comment,” adding that the only interest of the United States in this election is for it to be free and fair. “We don’t pick winners and losers in democratic elections in democracies,” she stressed.

Sanctions Evasion

When asked about two U.S Senators mentioning of Georgia in the context of Russia’s sanctions evasion at the Subcommitee on Investigations hearing, the Ambassador said that the hearing was more about “ensuring that U.S. companies are doing everything they can to ensure Russia is not receiving help in building its war machine to continue its aggression in Ukraine…”

The U.S. Ambassador also added that “the Georgian government and authorities have worked very closely with us” to help prevent sanctions evasion.

Also Read:

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


Back to top button