Assistant Secretary O'Brien: Georgia, all NATO partners to be invited to partnership events
Assistant Secretary O'Brien: Georgia, all NATO partners to be invited to partnership events

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O’Brien, on Monday said Georgia and all NATO partners would be invited to participate in the partnership events.

“We are very troubled by the decisions and the rhetoric coming from a very small number of leaders of the Georgian Dream,” he told Alex Raufoglu, DC Correspondent covering the South Caucasus and beyond.

O’Brien went on to say “It’s clear 80 to 85 percent of the Georgian people want further integration to the EU and NATO.”

“The government, and we’ve seen the prime minister recently say that they anticipate their recent actions would not jeopardize that path.

We have tried to be very clear. And I think the high representative, Joseph Borrell, has been very clear today that these recent actions, the violence against opposition figures, the violence against civil society, the Moscow-based foreign agent law, the apparent decision to award a new port to a Chinese company, all of these things are incompatible with wanting to join the U. S. and EU based international organizations.

So, we’re asking the government to reconsider its positions and we’ve noted that we’ll continue reviewing our bilateral or multilateral engagements with the government. It’s really pretty simple since we’re in the period of the Euro football championship. Georgia has said it wants to come and play in our football league. And then it has said, oh, by the way, we want to have 15 players on our side of the field. And we said, no. You get the same number of players everybody else has. You do these things that you want. You do them in the way everyone else does. That’s the rules of the club. So, it’s not really a decision about Georgia’s sovereignty, it’s Georgia in its sovereign right has decided to join the club, and we’re just making clear what that means.

So, we’ll continue those discussions with the Georgian officials in the meantime. Our embassy is very active in communicating with them. A number of European leaders have been very active. And we’ll continue those conversations as well even as we head into the partnership events of the NATO summit,” James O’Brien added.