Georgian Parliament Speaker: We condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine
Shalva Papuashvili on Ukraine
“Georgia condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the illegal annexation of its regions; Russia must recognize the territorial integrity of Ukraine and withdraw its troops from the occupied territories,” Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Shalva Papuashvili, speaking at the first parliamentary summit of the Crimean International Platform, has stated.
“On February 24, the Ukrainian people woke up to bombardment. This may have come as a surprise to many in the West, but unfortunately we Georgians, Moldovans and Ukrainians,have already experienced this more than once. The Georgian people fell victim to similar attacks in 2008, as you well know, and in the early 1990s in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region.
We saw how Russian tanks destroyed the villages of Georgia, and how Russian planes bombed our hopes for a better future. We have witnessed the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of people from their ancestral homes; we saw how those who fled from the massacres and ethnic cleansing, for months and years, took refuge in the cold walls, along with their children and loved ones.”
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This statement by Papuashvili was made shortly after his address to PACE, which was taken in Georgia as an anti-Western message. On October 24, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Tiny Cox Martinus.
In the letter, Shalva Papuashvili notes that the ruling Georgian Dream party was unable to support the Council of Europe resolution recognizing Russia as a terrorist regime, due to the fact that PACE in this resolution calls former President Mikheil Saakashvili a political prisoner. This, Papuashvili believes, does not correspond to the essence and spirit of the resolution and “undermines the values of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the authority of the organization in the defense of human rights.”
As Papuashvili explains, despite Georgia’s full solidarity with Ukraine, the amendment made it impossible for members of the Georgian delegation to support the resolution.