The President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, states that with this week’s decision of the Tbilisi City Court, not to postpone the sentence of former President Mikheil, “the Georgian people were sentenced to go around in a closed circle and remain hostage to this situation.”
She claims that “pointing to the President will bring nothing, if not an attempt to deceive the public once again, “as if everyone, or one or the other, does not know that Mikheil Saakashvili will not be released by the President’s pardon.”
At the same time, the President notes that with this signature, the country will not be able to regain its image and reputation, nor will it achieve decisive results on the European path.
According to Zurabishvili, everyone should “stop speculating and playing with the future of this country, take responsibility and stop damaging the face of Georgia.”
“On February 6, Tbilisi City Court did not postpone the sentence of Mikheil Saakashvili.
“The President does not and cannot discuss the justice/injustice of this decision, but the political assessment of this decision is up to all of us – one thing is clear that with this decision, the Georgian people were sentenced to go around in a closed circle and remain hostage to this situation.
“The unprecedented discrediting of the country continues, it prevents the development of our relations with our partners in the right way, prevents us from expressing our solidarity towards the Ukrainian people and the country during this most difficult trial, damages the Georgian tradition, prevents our recognized European perspective, prevents us from working on the 12 recommendations and its implementation, hence our candidate status.
“The country is hostage to this one and only issue. At this time, all other crucial issues for us are not even discussed at the public level today. The necessary strategy is not being developed by the government – neither on the growing trends of the outflow of our manpower, mostly young people, nor on the mass influx from Russia and preventing its possible threats.
“The completely offensive question and doubts, for the largest part of our population, arose about us – whether Georgia follows its declared orientation or returns to Russia’s orbit.
“The country’s reputation was damaged, trust was shaken, our place in the new geopolitical context became uncertain. That in itself could be dangerous if Russia believes that we have lost the clear support of our traditional partners.
“This kind of discrediting is the result of the joint efforts of the ruling party and the opposition: on the one hand, the government’s rhetoric, stubborn decisions and incomprehensible leniency towards Russia (excessive caution when mentioning Russia, persistent rhetoric of evasion of sanctions, or a positive assessment of the resumption of flights) which contrasts with a strict attitude and often offensive criticism towards Ukrainians and our partners. On the other hand, messages damaging the country’s reputation by some representatives of Mikheil Saakashvili’s family, which turned into a well-planned and implemented campaign (selective and unjustified equating with Putin’s Russia and Navalny’s imprisonment, mention of Auschwitz), were no less damaging, beyond the “humanitarian positioning”.
“No presidential pardon can help this mutual discreditation, because it is only an expression of the individual and personal will of the President, and not a sign of a new approach or a real depolarization, which Europe demands from us. Considering the statements of the former president and as a result of his unrecognized and unrepentant crimes, it is expected that, in case of his release, he will become an active opponent, not only of the government, but actually of the country’s reputation and therefore of its European chances.
“The responsibility for plunging the country into this state is shared equally between those who convinced the former president to arrive, and those who let him in and actually don’t let him out anymore,” reads the statement.
The president claims that authorities managed to practically remove the European way and the implementation of the 12 recommendations from the political agenda.
“Everyone should stop speculating and playing with the future of this country, take responsibility and stop damaging the face of the country. This issue should be removed from the Georgian political space and this country should be given the opportunity to breathe, live, develop and receive the status of an honored candidate of the European Union! This is the will and order of the people of Georgia towards their government, and no one has the right not to do everything to fulfill this will!” the President says.