Parliament Speaker: some MEPs, NGOs “trying to create false dilemma” of Western demands for Georgian sanctions on Russia

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili said the EU and NATO member countries had not requested from Georgia to impose sanctions on Russia. Photo: Parliament, 10 Nov 2023 - 17:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Friday said the European Union and NATO member countries had not requested from Georgia to impose sanctions on Russia for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, in comments that alleged “attempts to create a false dilemma” around the subject by some members of the European Parliament and domestic non-governmental organisations.

Papuashvili was responding to comments by MEP Marina Kaljurand, who this week indicated in her statement the need for the imposition of sanctions against Russia by Georgia.

The Georgian official stressed "with full responsibility that at the meetings I had at all levels - be it at the European Union, its member states, NATO member states - nowhere was there a demand for Georgia to impose sanctions on Russia. This must be said emphatically”.

The most surprising and disturbing thing is that Kaljurand, on the one hand, describes this situation - the severity of the [Russian] occupation [of two of Georgia’s regions], the fact that recently our citizen was killed [adjacent to the occupation line], [and another was] kidnapped - and [then] continues to say that despite all this, if we want Europe, we must risk the lives of our citizens, the territorial integrity of our country, the welfare of the population [by imposing sanctions on Russia”, Papuashvili said.

The Parliament Speaker also said “several non-governmental organisations, opposition parties and their allies abroad” were “trying to spread disinformation” and create an impression of Georgia’s European integration “means risking the lives of citizens, entering into the risk of territorial integrity and military conflict, [and] risking economic well-being of the population”. 

He called on the alleged groups - “especially some foreign actors” - to refrain from engaging in the “anti-European disinformation” and said the actions were ”against European approaches”.

In his comments around the subject, Papuashvili also alleged “polarisation between the opinions of some MEPs and [those of] the European Commission”.