I understand that business with Russia is good and the growth of Georgia’s gross domestic product last year was impressive, but being in the European Union is about common values and common obligations, and it is not only about the growth of gross domestic product, said European Parliamentarian Marina Kaljurand at the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association session in Brussels.
She claimed that Georgia lags behind Ukraine and Moldova, and this is not because it failed to expel Russian troops from the occupied territories.
“It lags behind due to lack of political justice, judicial independence, intimidation and violence against independent journalists, hate speech against Western diplomats, members of the European Parliament and representatives of civil society. Because of police brutality against people who were peacefully demonstrating because of the scandalous bill on “foreign agents”, because Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said in Budapest that promoting LGBT rights is minority violence against the majority. Because of the ambiguous position of the government and the ruling party towards Russia, which is expressed by the government’s persistent refusal to join the EU sanctions and the recently renewed direct flights between Russia and Georgia,” said the MEP.
She added that Georgia is at a crossroads today.
“As I said, the window of opportunity is still open. The government of Georgia and the ruling party will have to choose between two ways. One goes to the future with the EU, the other back to the past. The choice is yours. I understand that business with Russia is good and the growth of Georgia’s gross domestic product last year was impressive, but being in the European Union is about common values and common obligations, and it is not only about the growth of gross domestic product,” said the MEP.
She claimed that the opposition is also responsible. As the MEP said, the opposition made a huge mistake by refusing to enter the Parliament in 2019 and not participating in the mediation process.
“All this does not spare the opposition parties from responsibility. I have said many times that they made a huge mistake by refusing to enter the Parliament in 2019, by not engaging in the mediation process. Their work in the Parliament and constructive contribution to the implementation of the 12 priorities is also important. I want to clearly state that in this Parliament, Georgia has many friends on many sides of the political spectrum. I want to repeat that the European Parliament remains committed and ready to help the Parliament of Georgia in resolving political polarization and moving forward in terms of an inclusive and reformist agenda,” said the MEP.