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HR/VP Borrell Says Georgian Government is Taking Georgia Away From EU, Announces Initial EU Response

The situation in Georgia, along with Russian aggression against Ukraine, situation in the Middle East and Western Balkans, was one of the discussion items at the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting, which took place on June 24 in Luxembourg. At the press-conference that followed the meeting HR/VP Josep Borrell said the foreign ministers of the EU members states believe that the Georgian government is taking the country away from the EU. He said the EU will downgrade the political contacts with the Georgian government, while increasing support for the civil society, independent media and electoral process.

HR Borrell said that during the “lively debate” about Georgia at the Ministerial the ministers “had to regret that there is a widespread disinformation about the European Union and its values coming from official actors.” He said: “We heard Georgian voices at the highest level, surprisingly stating that this law is bringing the country closer to the European Union, and I want to be clear: no, no, this law and all the negative developments around it are pushing Georgia away from the European Union.” He added: “I cannot be more clear and concise.”

He said this assessment was shared by 26 our of 27 Members states: “This is not unanimity but we don’t need unanimity to make a political evaluation of the situation.”

HR/VP noted that “this dynamic goes against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Georgian population, and the overwhelming majority of ministers today has been very clear that Georgian government is bringing the country away from the EU.”

Josep Borrel stressed that “if government will not change the course of action, Georgia will not progress on its European Union path.”

He also spoke about the EU’s plans, noting that the Union will increase support to civil society and media. He also stated: ” We’ll counter disinformation and increase support to the electoral process.” He noted that the EU will continue monitoring the situation and adopt our measures as necessary.

HR/VP noted that in parallel the EU will downgrade political contacts in reaching out with Georgia, and will consider putting on hold financial assistance to the government, as well as will reconsider the support from the European Peace Facility. This, he said “can be done immediately, but we will continue looking at the situation and taking more measures in case of further deterioration.”

He emphasized: “I want to stress that we stand with the Georgian people and their overwhelming choice in favor of democracy and of Georgian future in the European Union.”

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