The US Department of State’s Spokesperson, Ned Price, addressed the recent political developments in Georgia during a news briefing.
The journalist questioned Ned Price on whether the US is aware of the new list of sanctions that Zelensky assigned last week targeting the inner circle of the “Georgian oligarch who has been controlling, orchestrating Georgian politics for the last 10 years” and whether the United States had consultations with Ukrainians on sanctions and lists generally, or on specific names on those lists.
“We have a close working relationship with our Ukrainian partners. I would need to defer to them to speak to any sanctions that they may have issued,” Price answered.
He stated that the United States remains committed to working with Georgia’s government as it implements the reforms demanded by the European Union, specifically the European Commission in this instance, in regards to Georgia.
“We want to work with Georgia on its path and on its broader European aspirations,” he outlined.
The journalist questioned the spokesperson about worries over Georgia’s apparent political drift towards the “Russian orbit.” The journalist cited instances that unmistakably demonstrated the Georgian government’s unprecedented ideological shift in the 30 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. The ruling party MPs have repeatedly attacked the US ambassador in Georgia, accusing the US of masterminding a plot to invade the country and trying to draw Georgia into a new conflict with Russia.
Ned Price claimed that the United States has expressed its disapproval of some of the alarming statements that have come from Georgia’s political system, as well as of the government’s practices.
“The government’s actions, including stalling or moving backward on important democratic reforms, have created setbacks. They have created setbacks to the clear, overwhelming aspirations of the people of Georgia for EU membership and for broader EU Euro-Atlantic aspiration,” he highlighted.
“These actions – we’re concerned because they have also deepened polarization within Georgian society rather than unify the country around the core issues of Euro-Atlantic integration. There has been a degree of polarization which is not helpful for the country. It is not helpful for Georgia’s broader political aspirations,” he continued.
Price stated that the US “remains committed” to assisting Georgia in implementing the “reforms needed to meet its Euro-Atlantic goals.”
“We urge Georgia to demonstrate its commitment to EU integration by adopting reforms necessary to move forward on that path,” he underlined.
The journalist questioned Ned Price on whether Georgia’s political climate jeopardizes American interests in the region in light of the ongoing war in the area.
“Well, we think some of the actions, some of the rhetoric, has worked against the interests of the Georgian people,” he said.
“That’s what we care most about when it comes to Georgia and its chosen path, its chosen path of greater Euro-Atlantic integration and its EU aspirations. We want to see Georgia advance along that path. We stand ready to continue to be a partner to the Georgian people, to Georgian society, to the Georgian government as they seek to do so,” he continued.