Georgia “fully supports” Ukraine’s sovereignty, integrity as “initial target” of Russian aggression - Parliament Speaker

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Tuesday addressed the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre in Bucharest. Photo: Parliament press office, 26 Sep 2023 - 18:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Tuesday told the Euro-Atlantic Resilience Centre in Bucharest his country “fully supported” Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, amid its ongoing defence from the Russian invasion, as the “initial target” of the Russian invasion in 2008.

Papuashvili said the Georgian Government was acting “in full compliance” with the West’s policies on the backdrop of the war. 

Calling the Kremlin’s aggression a “vivid demonstration” of Russia's attempts to change borders in Europe by force and "dismantle existing security architecture on the continent”, Papuashvili claimed the international community's “proper response” to Russia’s invasion of Georgia could have prevented the current developments in Ukraine. 

He stressed the Georgian Government had co-sponsored and supported “all international legal and political efforts” for Ukraine, and accepted tens of thousands of refugees while having 300,000 of its own population internally displaced from the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions, while also ensuring “all necessary services” to them. 

Explaining reasons behind Tbilisi’s refusal of direct military aid to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict, the official noted “we are walking on a fine line between war and peace in our own country”, and pointed to continued occupation of Georgian territories by Russia and its illegal activities in and near the regions. 

He stressed the Government had “steadily followed” the policy of peaceful conflict resolution, “relying exclusively on political and diplomatic means”, “despite provocative steps by Russia”.

Papuashvili also noted a “firm stance” of the international community was “essential” to send a “clear message” to Russia that the policy directed against sovereignty and territorial integrity of states was not acceptable.