Photo by Kent Tupas on Unsplash
The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament say they “reject the false and harmful” claim made by Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, who said in a Georgian TV interview on Sunday that the European Parliament wishes to “drag Georgia into the Russian war against Ukraine.”
At the request of the S&D group, the Parliament in Strasbourg debated the situation in Georgia this week.
Reaction was swift with comment from S&D vice-president in charge of foreign affairs, Pedro Marques.
On Tuesday, Marques said, “We deplore Prime Minister Garibashvili’s misleading statements on the European Parliament. The EU’s support for Ukraine and for Georgia and Moldova should not be played off one against the other. The war of aggression against Ukraine was waged by Russia and requires our unity, unwavering commitment and determination in order to protect peace, security and prosperity for the people in Ukraine but also in Europe.Last year, Georgian leaders stated their determination regarding their country’s European reforms when, together with Ukraine and Moldova, they submitted an application for EU membership. They should now effectively and unambiguously demonstrate this political determination by implementing the necessary reforms in the areas of democracy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms.
“The European Parliament closely monitors political developments in partner countries, in particular when they are prospective EU members. It also supports their democratic reforms through cooperation on parliamentary capacity building.”
“We S&D MEPs will always stand by people who defend democracy, promote democratic reforms and strive to fulfil their European aspirations. We support the Georgian people who, last week, protested against a Russian-style law on ‘foreign agents’. Such a law has already supressed civil society and critical opinion in Russia over the past decade. Such law has no place in a country aspiring to join the EU.”
“We welcome the fact that Georgia’s parliament listened to its people and dropped the bill. We encourage all political parties in Georgia to work together on the necessary EU-related reforms, so that Georgia fulfils – as soon as possible – the conditions set by the European Commission and the Council to be granted candidate status for EU membership.”