“The Georgian government took concrete steps in terms of expressing support and solidarity with Ukraine. And this was done not only for the sake of Ukraine but also for the sake of upholding our own national interests,” the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani told GPB’s Moambe when speaking about the results of Georgia’s foreign policy course.
Zalkaliani responded to the opponents’ claims that the Georgian government’s policy is to avoid irritating Russia and that the government is required to take more active steps.
“The Government took concrete steps. What else can we do to assure our opponents of our consistency? I’d like to remind you of the steps that had been taken previously by the Georgian Prime Minister and other high-ranking government officials. It’s not yesterday or today that we started this process. Russia launched military buildup near Ukraine in 2021. Let me remind you that the Georgian Prime Minister paid an official visit to Ukraine. We visited Lvov, Kiev to hold high-level meetings there. The Prime Minister attended the Crimea Platform, which many countries did not have the courage to join. I’d also like to bring to your attention the Prime Minister’s very clear statements, as well as the format of the Associated Trio and the speeches the Prime Minister delivered within the scope of this format during the Eastern Partnership Summit in December. Let me also recall the statements of solidarity and support for Ukraine, which I made within the framework of the OSCE, Council of Europe and NATO ministerial meetings. This is what we are doing. There is no such high-level format, which we have not used. Today I also had a telephone conversation,” Zalkaliani stressed.
According to Zalkaliani, “political opponents are spreading the absolutely groundless and erroneous information that the government is allegedly trying to adopt a position on Russia that is damaging to Georgia.”
„Our opponents are claiming that they are more patriotic and their support for Ukraine is greater. According to them, the government is trying to adopt such position on Russia that will be detrimental to the interests of Georgia. I just want to ask the society, don’t they consider the activities I’ve enlisted above as the Georgian government’s important and serious steps in support for Ukraine? The reference here is not only to Ukraine, but to our national interests as well. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Georgia learned to its cost the effects of occupation, which still continues. While there is no direct military confrontation between the two countries, Russian soldiers are still installing barbed wire fences and kidnappings are reported daily. We try to confront these challenges through maximum level of consolidation and international support,” David Zalkaliani is quoted as saying.
As the Foreign Minister highlighted, “none of the international partners has voiced the opinion that would in any way match the rhetoric of the opponents. The latter will not be happy even to see Georgia become a member of NATO, as long as they are not in power.”
“Our international partners have hardly uttered a phrase that would tone with the rhetoric we hear from our opponents. Let our people tell black from white, let them judge how consistent are the steps the government is taking to uphold our interests and how far our political opponents go to lead our society into error. I sometimes doubt whether they will be happy if our government brings Georgia to NATO, as long as they are not in power. I think they are acting out of spite and seem to be lying in wait for us to make something wrong. This is unacceptable especially when our country’s interests are at stake,” Zalkaliani added.