Parliament Speaker: Georgia invasion “not alarming enough” for democratic world

Georgia's Parliamnet Speaker: "Without NATO Georgia will despair from the map.”, 08 Apr 2014 - 14:24, Tbilisi,Georgia

If countries continue to illegally invade sovereign countries and violate international laws without punishment, these acts will be repeated over and over again.

This is the belief of Georgia’s Parliament Speaker, who spoke out against Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 at the Eastern Partnership Speakers of European Union (EU) Parliaments Conference.

Usupashvili did not blame anyone but believed the occupation of Georgia in 2008 was "not alarming enough” for the democratic world to take notice and learn important lessons.

Georgia’s Parliament Speaker voiced his concern at an inter-parliamentary cooperation session within the Eastern Partnership in Vilnius, Lithuania, today.

He emphasized that if any country went against international law and were not punished, global order would go into disarray, and if those countries would continue to violate global rules and the same situation "would be repeated again and again”.

"After Russia’s military intervention in Georgia in August 2008, the world somehow decided to live with Russia, who was not implementing treaties or agreements, including President Sarkozy [who] facilitated the agreement about peace in Georgia,” Usupashvili said in reference to the peace deal between Russia’s then-President Dimitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy.

"I believe it should not be repeated and we Georgians are glad to see our Ukrainian friends are getting more and support in this difficult time.”

Usupashvili highlighted that Georgians did not want to be "a problem for the rest of the world but a world partner”, because he believed any violation of international law or breach of internationally recognized borders was not the problem of one country but a global issue.

"EU - a destiny of Georgia”

Describing the political situation of Georgia, Usupashvili reminded the conference attendees that Georgia had not changed its course of international development after the 2012 elections despite difficulties, problems and skepticism from "Georgia’s friends in Europe”.

Usupashvili also mentioned that the political parties represented in Parliament debated with each other about whether or not to join the EU or Russia, and who was more pro-NATO and ‘more European’.

Usupashvili called Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration "a destiny of local people”.

"…we were taken out from the European development by the force. And now we just want to come back, therefore, I must let you know that there is not such question whether Georgia is a European country, a European state or if Georgia is a European nation. We are the Georgian country, European country, and we are a European state,” he said.

Usupashvili stressed that EU membership was not an issue for Georgia at this moment.

He praised the success of Easter Partnership (EaP) initiative said it did not matter how many countries were preparing to sign the Association Agreement and how many were not planning on signing it.

"The very fact that this issue has become so important between the democratic world and Russia indicates that this was the right projects,” he said.

Usupashvili believed the "weapons and armies could guaranty peace only until the next war”.

"The guarantee of peace is democracy forever,” he said.

Usupashvili argued the world needed to increase its efforts in terms of spending, time and energy to be directed to the democratization of neighbouring countries, including Georgia.

"The mission of creating Georgian democracy has not been even completed. But we are going in the right direction. We would like to increase the freedom of Georgian people and in that regard your help is essential. This is the direct we spend most of our efforts,” he said.

"Without NATO Georgia will disappear from the map”

Usupashvili explained to session participants that "without NATO protection Georgia would disappear from the map and that could happen very soon”.

He argued for the world leaders to do everything possible "to come up with a creative decision [to alleviate the problem] during the NATO 2014 summit in Wales”.

While discussing the risks of Georgia’s NATO integration, Usupashvili said Georgia was taking a risk and if it made steps towards NATO, this could annoy Russia and they could make further aggressive steps to stop this action.

"There is such risk in this direction … but then we need the answers to other kinds of risks including what we are going to do if Georgia becomes the next target. And I don’t think that this is only about Georgia or our security,” Usupashvili said.

"I believe this is about whether Europe will have free access not only to south Caucasus but the central Asia and region beyond or not,” he said.

On the up side, Usupashvili promised the Eastern Partnership Speakers of European Union (EU) Parliaments that Georgia would become a more reliable and predictable partner.

"We understand that we have to coordinate all our decisions with the EU. And we see this readiness from your side. We see this climate and spirit during this conference as well. I will go [back] to my country with more enthusiasm that solutions will be found and Georgia will become closer to Europe,” Usupashvili stressed.

He also believed Russia would become a democracy as well.

"This will be the long term solution of this problem,” he said.