"We stand with Ukraine," French, German Ambassadors say in joint statement
"We stand with Ukraine," French, German Ambassadors say in joint statement

“We stand with Ukraine,” said French and German Ambassadors to Georgia, Sheraz Gasri and Peter Fischer, in a joint statement in connection with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine.

“Today, on the sad first year anniversary of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, we the ambassadors of France and Germany to Georgia want to send a signal of hope, unity and resilience.

Hope -France and Germany have shown that long-term peace and reconciliation are possible. Our two countries once considered arch-enemies, destined to be bound in eternal conflict and war, turned into unique, systematic and trustful partners committed to the European ideal. The European Union project has turned a ravaged continent into an area of prosperity, stability and respect for the rule of law. This experience gives us hope. Today, we wish for a peace that reestablishes Ukraine in its rights and brings justice to the victims of the numerous crimes perpetrated against its people. We wish for a peace that will allow us to build an area of stability and security for everyone on our continent.

Unity – We stand united in the rejection of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. We stand united with all those who condemn the blatant violation of the most fundamental principles of international law as enshrined in the UN Charter and refuse the alteration of borders by force.

Our unity covers our partners in the European Union, our NATO allies and the United Nations whose General Assembly has repeatedly and at an overwhelming majority called on Russia to stop immediately its war of aggression, withdraw all of its troops and military equipment from Ukraine, and respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Our unity includes Georgia who knows more than anyone the importance of respect for a country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. In this regard, we will continue to call on Russia to fully implement its obligation under the EU-mediated Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008, withdraw its military and security forces from the territory of Georgia and reverse the recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Since the beginning of the conflict and evidenced by all the Ukrainian flags in Tbilisi, Georgians have demonstrated solidarity with Ukraine. Georgia, Germany and France have sent important humanitarian support to Ukraine. We commend those neighboring states to Ukraine, including Georgia, that demonstrated great solidarity and humanity by welcoming Ukrainian refugees and third country nationals affected by the conflict. We, Germany and France, have also provided essential military and financial support to Ukraine from the beginning of Russia’s aggression, and we will continue to do so for as long as is needed for Ukraine to defend itself.

Resilience – President Putin made a big tactic and strategic miscalculation. He thought that Ukraine would fall in a few days. One year later, we see the result: Ukraine is resisting heroically and has the support of all free, democratic and pluralistic societies who stand up for their values and principles. On the other side, Russia has taken ruthless escalatory steps, including an irresponsible nuclear rhetoric which is putting global peace and security at risk. Russia has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Russia is deliberately causing food and energy shortages, interrupting supply chains and price hikes, deepening its isolation from the international community.

We stand in solidarity with our partners across the world who bear the rising price of President Putin’s unilateral choice to wage war in Europe. Russia cannot and will not win. The European Union is more united than ever in its unanimous support for Ukraine and will impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities – inside and outside of Russia – that provide political or economic support to this war. We will continue to mobilize funds to alleviate the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people and countries caused by Russia’s aggression.

One year later, the EU has opened its arms to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. This is an historic opportunity to spread stability, prosperity and peace to this region – just as previous EU enlargements have done. Joining the EU is a long voyage. It involves adopting not only the goals and values of the EU, but also the full body of EU legislation, standards and norms. In December 2023 the EU will decide about awarding Georgia candidate status, so that membership negotiations can begin. We invite our Georgian friends to focus on this opportunity and join forces around the implementation of the 12 recommendation,” reads the joint statement.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.