"The reason for the war in Ukraine was its desire to join NATO" - Prime Minister of Georgia at forum in Bratislava
Garibashvili in Bratislava
Speaking at the Global Security Forum in Bratislava, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that the reason for the war in Ukraine was its desire to become a member of NATO, and “we all see the result.”
What else did the Prime Minister of Georgia say?
● I think everyone knows the reason for [the war]. One of the reasons was NATO, the expansion of NATO. And many other reasons. I do not want to speculate on this and do not want to quote the Russian government, but one of the reasons was the will and intention of Ukraine to become a member of NATO, so we are seeing result.
● The ultimate goal of the population of the country and our government is to achieve the so-called de-occupation by peaceful means. In 2012 when we came to power we introduced a new approach — we call it strategic patience.
● Georgia has a direct border with Russia of 600 kilometers. This is a big challenge for us. Although, on the one hand, this occupation puts our country at great risk, on the other hand Georgia has managed to achieve security, stability and peace.
● When we regained independence in the 1990s, the only period when peace really reigned in the country was during the period of our government. Under a different government, since the 1990s, we have had war, escalation and conflicts. With me, this was not the case, we did not lose a single territory.
● When Georgia received a list from the European Commission [out of 12 points on which Georgia’s status as an EU candidate country depends], we immediately started working on them, joined the process, and by June everything will be ready. Everything will be done, except for one recommendation — depolarization.
● If we want to avoid such questions and such polarization at the next summit, then give us status. That status will put an end to polarization in Georgia.
One of the forum participants, a researcher at the Center for Economic Policy Research, Shota Gvineria, who used to be a representative of the Georgian authorities, asked Garibashvili whether the Georgian government understands the consequences of increased dependence on Russia and what effect Russia’s defeat in the war will have on Georgia in the context of deepening relations with the occupier.
The Prime Minister called this question provocative.
“I want to explain to the audience who this person is. He is from the ranks of the opposition. A couple of years ago he was a member of our government. Isn’t it strange that he came to Bratislava and asked me this provocative question?
Everyone in the hall understands that Georgia is demonstrating a very reasonable, very pragmatic position. We are trying to cope with this difficult situation as we move forward on our path to the EU. During our tenure, we have done everything possible. Therefore it is better to focus on unity, we must be united. And such false information that our relations with Russia have intensified should not be spread,” Garibashvili replied.
The same is repeated by Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party. He speaks of “one of the reasons” for the start of the war in Ukraine in the sense that the occupying country “did not forgive” Ukraine’s desire to join NATO. However, according to him, Western leaders themselves are talking about the same.
“This is confirmed by the entire West, and this was one of the reasons for the military aggression. Western leaders say that Russia – and there are many such statements – has not forgiven Ukraine for its NATO aspirations. There is such a position – this is the opinion that Ukraine was punished for its desire to join NATO. Western politicians talk about this very often, it’s just a statement of fact,” Kobakhidze said.
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On May 24, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, during a speech at the panel discussion of the Qatar Economic Forum, reiterated that 20 percent of the territory of Ukraine is already occupied by Russia and “no one knows when” this war will end and everyone is surprised that Ukraine “lasted so long.”