Speaker of the Georgian parliament Shalva Papuashvili on Tuesday told the first parliamentary summit of the International Crimea Platform his country’s support for Ukraine was “unconditional and timeless”.
Papuashvili stressed Georgia “stood by” the Ukrainian people in their self-defence from the ongoing Russian invasion, despite itself facing the “existential threat” stemming from the ongoing Russian occupation of two Georgian regions.
Russia must recognise Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdraw from the occupied territories and respect the country’s independence, the parliament official told colleagues at the event.
“Georgian people experienced [Russia’s] ruthless invasion in 2008 - which is well known - but also in the early 1990s in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. We have seen Russian tanks raiding Georgian villages and Russian airplanes bombing our hopes for the better future”, he noted.
We have witnessed hundreds of thousands of people expelled from the homes of their ancestors, escaping the massacre and ethnic cleansing, and finding shelter for their children and loved ones inside the cold walls for many months and years”, Papuashvili said in reference to the conflicts on the territory of the country.
The head of the legislative body stressed Georgian authorities “strongly condemned” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexations of its regions.
He also pointed out “documenting all crimes of the aggression” was “key” in “serving justice and curtailing any temptation” for other parties for similar acts in the future, noting Georgia had co-authored the application to investigate Russia’s activities in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court.
“Maintaining unity and solidarity of the international community matters until the territorial integrity of Ukraine - and of others similarly violated by Russia - is fully restored”, he stressed.
Otherwise, Russia will not stop its military adventurism in its neighbourhood and beyond. We voiced our solidarity to Ukraine in all major international organisations, and will continue to do so in future”, the official told the summit.
Papuashvili also stressed the Georgian government would not allow use of the country’s territory and financial system for easing the effect of, undermining or avoiding the existing international sanctions imposed on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.
The international community must insist on upholding the fundamental principles of international law. Violating the principle of territorial integrity by force is unacceptable and may only lead to the undermining of the international order [...] I wish Ukraine strength and victory in this epic fight for freedom and independence. The Georgian people and government will always be with you”, Papuashvili concluded in his remarks.