Protecting “national interests”, people “my duty” - Georgian PM to Qatar Economic Forum

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Wednesday addressed the panel discussion at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha. Photo: Government press office, 24 May 2023 - 13:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Wednesday told a panel discussion at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha it was his “job and duty” to protect his country’s “national interests and people”, in comments on positions of his Government on the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. 

Garibashvili stressed his Government had joined more than 500 resolutions and applications in support of Ukraine since the launch of hostilities in February 2022, adding his office had also acted in “full accordance” with international sanctions imposed on Russia for its aggression against Kyiv.  

However, the official told the Forum his Government imposing individual sanctions on Russia would “collapse” Georgia’s economy and affect its citizens. 


He also said it was “illogical” to see “demands” by unspecified “foreign states” for Tbilisi to impose sanctions on Russia, when “none of the foreign states imposed sanctions on the Kremlin for its invasion of Georgia in 2008”. 

Maybe our Ukrainian friends had different expectations from us. They publicly said they wanted to see a second front [of the war opened] in Georgia. We have had enough wars since Georgia regained its independence - in the 1990s we had two wars, civil wars, then we had a war [with Russia] in 2008”, Garibashvili said while also noting the limited defence resources of his country. 

“What my Government is doing now is to ensure peace and stability in the country. This is the most important thing. My job and my duty is to protect the national interests of my country and to protect our people”, he said.