The European Union urges the Georgian authorities and opposition ‘to act with utmost restraint and responsibility to avoid further escalation’ following a court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for United National Movement chair Nika Melia and the ‘subsequent resignation’ of Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.
The European Union strongly believes that the political deadlock can only be resolved through sincere political dialogue. We call for immediate de-escalation in the interest of the country and of all Georgian citizens", Peter Stano, a lead spokesperson for the external affairs of the EU, has stated.
Expressing the EU’s readiness to continue supporting Georgia, Stano said that ‘political courage and genuine democratic leadership are required to reach cross-party agreement and to avoid deepening polarisation’.
Georgia:Authorities & opposition have 2act w/restraint &responsibility. Political deadlock can only B resolved in dialogue. Political courage & democratic leadership R required 2 reach cross-party agreement & avoid more polarisation. EU ready to help https://t.co/2jNl95VxjT— Peter Stano (@ExtSpoxEU) February 18, 2021
The British Embassy to Georgia has also tweeted that ‘a protracted crisis is in no-one's interests’.
This is a difficult period. As a friend of #Georgia, we urge all involved to act responsibly, diffuse tension & allow Georgia’s continued progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration. A protracted crisis is in no-one's interests. The people of Georgia deserve better.— UK in Georgia (@UKinGeorgia) February 18, 2021
Tbilisi City Court ruled yesterday that UNM chair Nika Melia be remanded into custody for failure to post bail for his release in a case that dates back to the June 2019 protests.
Earlier this morning Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation, saying that the step is connected with the upcoming arrest of Melia.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has postponed Melia's detention following Gakharia's resignation.
Welcoming Gakharia's decision, opposition says it is not enough. UNM chair Melia has called on the ruling party and opposition to meet with the facilitation of foreign ambassadors to agree on repeat parliamentary elections.