Speaker Says EU Drive Should Not Come “at all Costs”

Commenting on the ruling GD intention to reintroduce the so-called Foreign Agents law, the Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili told Netgazeti: “We want to enter the EU peacefully, we want to enter the EU in a stable condition, not as a ruined country. This is the task.”

“The task isn’t to move forward on the path of the European Union at all costs now, is it? Our task, the goal of the Georgian people is to move forward in the European Union in such a way that we do not harm ourselves” – Papuashvili said.

The Speaker was responding to the online publication’s question whether the Georgian Dream would take responsibility for the possibility that the comeback of the “Russian law” could complicate relations with the EU and halt the opening of EU accession negotiations.

In his lengthy answer to the question, he recalled that GD government had done things that were considered “a red line for the EU” and yet Georgia was given EU candidate status, mentioning in particular refusal to impose sanctions on Russia and refusal to “send fighters to Ukraine and (“some have said that sending fighters to Ukraine was essential for us to move forward with the EU – to hurt ourselves and go to war with Russia”.)

The speaker then went on to say: “Now some are saying that it turns out that the precondition is that we turn a blind eye to the foundations that are spending money here in a clandestine way,” adding: “We can’t turn a blind eye to this because it is harming our country and our people.” He noted: “We see that there are foundations and donors in Georgia that directly fund radical groups and illegally fund parties.”

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