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Speaker Papuashvili Lambasts EU, Targets President, Opposition; Talks Elections, China

On June 13, Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili held a press briefing in which, among other things, he accused EU-funded organizations of orchestrating hate campaigns and threats against high-level officials in Georgia. He called on the “relevant EU structures” to investigate the issue, “state its position” and criticized the EU for its alleged lack of response to these alleged cases. He also lashed our at the opposition and its “patrons,” attacked the Georgian President, and talked about the upcoming Parliamentary elections, and China.

EU-funded Organizations

“Once again I appeal to the European Union Representation in Georgia and in general, the European Union and the European Commission, to study the cases when the organizations financed from the European Union budget and their employees are engaged in threats, terror, intimidation, and making phone calls,” Papuashvili said during his press point in the Parliament.

Papuashvili also claimed that these campaigns are coordinated between NGOs and the “radical” opposition. Talking about the financing of these groups, the Parliament Speaker claimed that some of them are financed by the EU, and in this regard he particularly emphasized the European Endowment for Democracy.

He claimed that “turning a deaf ear” by the EU could be perceived by those groups as an “encouragement,” saying it damages Georgia. In terms of “encouragement”, he recalled an incident when an NGO worker [GRASS-Georgian Reforms Associates] confronted GD MP Viktor Japaridze at the airport over his support for the Foreign Agents Law. In this context, he accused civil society of “radicalization” and “violence”.

“Imagine that an organization funded by the Georgian government in Belgium…called high-ranking officials of the European Commission, swore at them and threatened them. Imagine that a non-governmental organization funded by the Georgian government in Belgium published the telephone numbers of the highest officials of the European Union, went to their homes, did writings, threatened their family members, if there was such an NGO in Belgium and it did this in Brussels – you can imagine what the reaction would be, what would happen to this NGO and what would be the reaction towards the Georgian government and the state,” Papuashvili said.

Opposition, President

During the press conference, Speaker Papuashvili also lashed out at the opposition, accusing their foreign “patrons” of trying to bring them back to power in order to turn Georgia into a “marionette” state again.

He also attacked President Zurabishvili, accusing her of violating the Constitution by refusing to appoint ambassadors, “campaigning” and representing Georgia in foreign affairs without the government’s consent.

Speaker Papuashvili also asserted that on April 4, he and the Prime Minister formally petitioned the President through a letter, requesting the National Football Team members and coaching staff to be honored with the Awards of Honor. However, he said they have not received a response and “the signature on this document.”

The Presidential Administration has refuted this claim, labeling it as “disinformation.” President Zurabishvili’s administration clarified that the President issued the necessary acts in May, following established practice. The award ceremony, initially slated for May, was rescheduled for September due to the National Football Team’s unavailability in Georgia during the original timeframe.

Parliamentary Elections

Asked whether observers could be restricted in the 2024 elections, Papuashvili said that “on the contrary,” he encouraged “as many of them as possible,” especially international observers, to come and see the choice of the Georgian people.” According to him, the 2024 parliamentary elections will be a referendum on “whether we want to be an independent or a vassal state.”


He also criticized the opposition for allegedly labeling China as an “enemy” of Georgia, calling it a country that “has done nothing but good for Georgia”. He added that foreign money was being spent on an anti-China campaign in Georgia. In this context, he mentioned an NGO that he said was “funded by the Taiwanese separatist regime.”

In response to questions about China’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity, Speaker Papuashvili mentioned that there could be no questions given China’s “very clear” position in the international arena on the principle of the territorial integrity of all countries. As for Georgia specifically, Papuashvili referred to “numerous statements” by China.

Commenting on the UN General Assembly resolution on Georgian IDPs, where China abstained despite its strategic partnership with Georgia, the Speaker said that this resolution was not about territorial integrity and that it was “important” for Georgia that China maintained its position on the resolution issue. In this regard, Papaushvili noted that all countries, including Georgia, have their own agendas according to which they make decisions at international platforms.

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


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