The US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, states that the letter penned by Mikheil Kavelashvili, the deputy that recently left Georgian Dream, was “full of lies and conspiracy theories”.
Degnan noted that she couldn’t even finish reading the letter.
“That letter was so full of lies and conspiracy theories that I couldn’t even finish reading it; and it sounded really unhinged to me. What he clearly doesn’t understand is that the United States is here to support the people of Georgia, not a particular political party, one way or the other; or to support the independent institutions established by your constitution, like the Public Defender’s Office that exists and is constitutionally mandated to protect the rights of every Georgian citizen. It’s very dangerous when independent institutions are undermined like that. That’s very dangerous for any democracy. And I will say again, quite clearly, since he seems to insist on repeating disinformation that has already been clearly identified as false: the United States and Europe do not want to drag Georgia into Russia’s war against Ukraine. We are doing everything we can to stop this war, to prevent it from expanding. We are working for peace, and anyone who wants to work for peace with us is who we are working with, who we are trying to have on our side. And there are many countries, as I’m sure the Prime Minister saw when he was recently at the NATO summit in Madrid: the extent of support and the effort to stop Putin’s war against Ukraine. And that is the serious issue that is at stake here. It is very strange to me though – I suppose it shouldn’t be – but this supposedly former GD MPs’ narrative tracks very closely with some of the ruling party leaders who also are repeating disinformation that has been clearly identified as false. What is their motive in continuing to repeat what has been identified as lies and false information? That’s my question,” Degnan said.
The Ambassador noted that what MP Kavelashvili says seems to be echoed by members of the ruling party leadership, “so, it doesn’t sound like he’s really distanced from the party as he says”.
“What I know, per your question, is the people of Georgia have said repeatedly what they want, and that is European Union membership; that is Western integration; that is a path toward a democratic future. You have already made great progress in building your democratic institutions that are needed for that. Where I think the energy should be going right now is into fulfilling the recommendations set forth by the European Commission, because the Commission has made it clear: as soon as those recommendations are fulfilled in a meaningful way, not in a superficial way, not in a one-party approach way, but in a meaningful, inclusive way, then Georgia will have candidate status as well. There’s no time to lose. There are already some very good proposals put forward by various opposition parties, by GD, by civil society. In civil society’s proposal, 22 organizations sat down and made a concrete action plan for steps to take it. There’s no question about what needs to be done. The leaders in society have been talking about this for as long as I’ve been here, certainly in the last year. There’s a very clear roadmap, and Georgia’s leaders have already agreed to most of these reforms. It is now a matter of doing it. It’s action, not words, not working groups, but action to move: to fulfill these 12 points and get Georgia candidate status. It’s there waiting for you, but you need to do the work,” Degnan told reporters.
MP Mikheil Kavelashvili, who recently left the Georgian Dream, addressed the United States Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, with an open letter and declared that no Russian soft power can shake America’s reputation in Georgia as much as Degnan’s statements or silence, “which people may perceive as an attempt to return the National Movement to power.”
Kavelashvili stated that the narrative that the US wants to get Georgia involved in war should not be looked for in FSB manuals, but in the statements of people funded by or affiliated with Degnan and the Ambassador’s no efforts to distance herself from them.
“When you are told that there is an attack on MEPs and at the same time the Ambassador insults an elected member of the Parliament of Georgia, it is, to put it mildly, disappointing and insulting to the Parliament and the state. It’s sad when you accuse a member of the Parliament of Georgia of lying, Misha Kavelashvili is a parliamentarian elected by the people, our colleague, and the answer of this form and content, was very sad and disappointing for me,” chairman of Georgian Dream Irakli Kobakhidze said in connection with US Ambassador’s response to Georgian Dream departee Kavelashvili.
Kobakhidze said on POSTV that “Misha Kavelashvili, who is an independent deputy and an exceptionally decent man, has the right to ask questions.”