European Commission Head: Russian Flight Ban is Unjustified

European Commission Head Donald Tusk assessed Russia’s decision to ban direct flights to Georgia from July 8. According to him, this decision was “disproportionate, unfair and unjustified.” 

Tusk made the relevant statement at the joint briefing with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili on the sidelines of the 16th Batumi International Conference.

"Russia's recent decision to ban flights to Georgia is unjustified and disproportionate. But your country has weathered external pressure before and will do so again this time. The EU stands with Georgia in solidarity and with full commitment to your sovereignty and territorial integrity," he noted.

At the same time, according to him, the judicial system is gaining more public confidence in Georgia and the economy becomes much more attractive for foreign investments.

"EU-Georgia relations are built on our common values. Georgia’s greatest asset lies in its demonstrated commitment to democratic reform and the rule of law. This is a process that needs to be taken forward with continued determination. As you know, a credible, independent and transparent judiciary is essential for public trust, for economic and social development and also for attracting foreign investments”, Tusk said.

He welcomed the decision of the Georgian Dream ruling party to conduct the 2020 parliamentary elections within a fully proportional system.

"I see this initiative as a real chance to enhance the plurality of Georgia’s democratic landscape. I encourage all stakeholders to use this opportunity to work in good faith", he noted.

Donald Tusk also touched upon ongoing, anti-occupation rallies in Tbilisi, and said that “democracy is for development and not to trigger civil rivalry and wars.”

According to him, Georgia should wait for solidarity from Brussels.

"My Brussels experience tells me that you can count on European solidarity as long as your Georgian solidarity lasts, and as long as you respect your common strategic political goals. Democracy is a constant debate and not a civil war. Therefore, everything is in your hands", he added.

International Conference “Georgia's European Way” dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership has been opened in Georgia’s seaside city of Batumi. The conference is attended by high-ranking officials from several countries.

The conference aims to assess the EaP, its main deliverables, as well as present geopolitical context.

By Ana Dumbadze 

11 July 2019 14:21