Georgian PM accuses internal, foreign “ill wishers” of “twisting” comment on Ukraine

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday said the country would proceed with its development, despite the presence of “ill wishers both inside and outside the country”. Photo: Government press office, 06 Jun 2023 - 16:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday accused the country’s “ill wishers both inside and outside” of “twisting” his comment at the Global Security Forum last week, where he named Kyiv’s “will and determination” to join NATO as “one of the reasons” that led to Russia’s invasion of the country last year. 

In his press comments, the PM stressed Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had later made similar remarks, while a part of the domestic opposition and some foreign politicians had accused the Georgian Government head of being “pro-Russian” in his assessment. 

We heard the European Commission President's comments the day after my remark, that Ukraine’s wish to become the member of the European family was one of the main reasons of the conflict, while Macron said the absence of security guarantees for Ukraine and Georgia, amid their prospects to join NATO, had encouraged Russia to invade Ukraine”, Garibashvili said, noting his Government's critics had “remained silent” on the comments of the foreign politicians.  

He also cited Zelenskyy as having said earlier this month that his Government could not see a reason to attend the alliance’s Summit in July without “real guarantees for NATO membership”. Garibashvili urged domestic media to “focus on such comments” in their reports, instead of “unfounded allegations and fake campaigns”. 

Misinterpretation, distortion and misrepresentation serve only one purpose”, Garibashvili said without identifying the goals. “In this difficult situation, all sane people should think about peace, peacekeeping and stability”, he added. 

The PM also noted Moldova and Ukraine being granted the European Union membership candidate status last year, while Georgia was only given a European perspective, despite the country enjoying “better democracy” than its Associated Trio counterparts, and in spite of the Georgian armed forces’ alignment with NATO standards and the country’s commitment to international peace and security through its engagement in the alliance-led peacekeeping missions over the years.

“A member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Moldova, was granted the status [and not Georgia]”, Garibashvili said, and added Georgia’s “irresponsible opposition” had shown “no reaction” to the outcome, amid their “fake claims” on protecting national interests.