The answer to Russia’s aggression is European Union and European integration, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said during her visit to Brussels on Thursday where she met the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
The Georgian President, who also took part in a discussion entitled Women in Conflict, highlighted the presence of Russia’s occupation troops only 40 kilometers from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
“There are no words to express what we have been watching in Ukraine for 106 days. There are no words to talk about this brutal war that Russia is waging against a country that it presents as its brother and neighbor.
“The paradox is obvious – such things can’t be done to a close country and close people. Women and children are dying every day. I want to say that women are the first victims of conflicts and in Georgia, we have experienced such conflicts. The three Russian aggressions against Georgia have shown that women were both victims and refugees, but I think Ukraine has shown us that women have ceased to be victims, they are fulfilling their role, standing firm and fully demonstrating the extraordinary unity of the nation. This is not a war waged by men, this is a war waged by the entire Ukrainian nation.
“It deserves our complete admiration and I want to deliver this message to Ms. Zelenska – the message of solidarity from all Georgian women that I present here.
“My family experienced the first Russian, Soviet occupation on themselves. When Russian soldiers stand 40 kilometers from the Georgian capital, you can never say never. This is a very clear threat.
“So there is a danger, but now, here in this building, I want to say that it is a danger not only for Georgia, but for all European countries. What was not done during the Russian aggression in Crimea and Georgia must now be done and even partially done – the EU and European leaders have recognized the real face of Russia and Russia’s real goals. But, after that, there is another step to be taken – Russia must be held accountable, and this answer is only one – the European Union and EU integration,” said the President of Georgia during the discussion.
The international conference, held in Brussels, is attended by women and women leaders affected by the conflict, including Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad and European Council President Charles Michel.
The event is focused on the importance of women leaders in conflict, the realization of the rights of women and girls, and the need for their full participation in peace processes.