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President Zourabichvili Presents Annual Report In Parliament

By Khatia Bzhalava
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili presented her annual report to the Parliament on Monday. The session was also attended by a representative of the Ukrainian Embassy in Georgia, Andrei Kasanov. President started her speech by reaffirming support towards Ukraine.

“I want you to know that here, we express a unanimous aspiration of the whole of Georgia. We all, assembled here today, express the support of the state institutions, all political forces and our citizens,” the President noted, adding that Georgians have the best understanding of the ‘Russian imperialism’ and therefore, “Georgians are to best share the pain of Ukraine”.

Underlining that Georgia and Ukraine share a common path and history, the president remarked that “no one could make us deviate from the historical European path we have chosen”.

During her address, the Georgian President also called on her Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskyy to return Ukraine’s Ambassador to Georgia.

Zourabichvili strongly criticized both the opposition and ruling party in her report. According to her, while Georgian people should get prepared for every possible scenario as the country is “running out of time”, there are still quarrels, discords, hostility, confrontation, and polarization witnessed in the country.

“You need to realize that our society is more sober, aware, brave, and untied than you. Today, I see the wakening signs of national unity in our people, though no such signs are evident in you. Do you not understand the degree of responsibility imposed on you towards our people?” Zourabichvili addressed the MPs, adding that both the position and opposition commit sins against the country.

According to the President, the majority, instead of striving for unity, declares every dissent position as a betrayal or war-supporter, while the opposition declares any statement of the government as strongly pro-Russian. As she noted, this situation causes division within the country, weakens, misleads, and scares the society.

As she stressed, the government commits sins when it does not dare to express the position, which is dictated by the history and dignity of Georgia, stressing that the arguments of fear and precaution cannot justify not raising voices and not standing where the conscience and national identity dictates. She also criticized the government for discussing the main decisions without the engagement of the state institutions.

As for the opposition, Zourabichvili stated that they try to undermine Georgia and damage its image before the international partners. According to her, the opposition sins when it urges that allegedly the government and therefore, the country deviated from the pro-Western path. “Such politically motivated attach damages not only to the Government but the country and pours water on the mill of an enemy!” the President noted. She also stressed that the opposition appeals for radical measures and tries to achieve its political agenda by using the international situation.

“However, I agree with both – with the Government in the fact that we need to be careful, and with the opposition in the fact that we can also demonstrate courage”, the President stated.

Zourabichvili also mentioned in her speech that the government restricted her working visits to Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Warsaw. According to her, considering the situation, she annulled all official formats and used her personal contacts to transform the working visits into personal meetings. “I believe that this approach and such restrictions are damageable for our country, especially in such a complicated region,” she noted.

The President welcomed the Prime Minister's statement on Georgia’s EU membership application and the resolution on the country’s accession to the Union that is being worked on by the legislative body and called on MP’s to adopt the resolution unanimously. According to her, Georgia needs to develop a uniform plan which will be a manifestation of national unity. She called on the government and the opposition parties to do their utmost to make the formation of a uniform position possible on the EU membership and not to use any issue in regards with Ukraine for their ‘narrow political interests’.