Georgian PM says Ukraine receives EU candidate status 'thanks' to the wartime situation
Garibashvili’s comment on the granting of EU candidate status
Two days before the final decision of the Council of Europe, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili delivered a speech in the Georgian Parliament. During the day, the bailiff’s service was mobilized in the parliament building.
PM Garibashvili did not talk about ending polarization and judicial reforms – the main recommendations of the European Commission that Georgia must fulfill in order to be eligible for EU candidate status.
Instead, the prime minister spent a lot of time talking about Ukraine and Bidzina Ivanishvili.
“Traitors” and “enemies” – that’s what the Prime Minister called the opposition.
EU candidate status
According to the Prime Minister, Ukraine is in a state of war, which is why it will be given the status. As Garibashvili explained, Moldova is also associated with war. According to the Prime Minister, everyone recognizes the achievements of the current government. The decision of the European Commission, he believes, is historic, it recognizes the European perspective of Georgia.
“Georgia is the undisputed leader in all the parameters. This applies not only to the trio [Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova], we are ahead of many EU and NATO member countries in all respects. But the war in Ukraine turned out to be the decisive factor for granting status to Ukraine”, Garibashvili said.
According to him, it is common practice for the European Commission to take a similar approach in relation to other countries, including existing EU member states. As Garibashvili points out, the only difference is that Ukraine and Moldova are given status in advance with the proviso that they must fulfill all the conditions themselves:
“In our case, the opposite is true. We were told that we deserved the prospect of becoming a member of the EU, and the European Commission also recommended to the European Council to grant Georgia the status of a candidate with a number of reservations, but later. It’s disappointing.”
Garibashvili repeated that Georgia is being punished for not joining the war. He also addressed the opposition, saying: “If Mr. Ivanishvili had not entered politics, you would have created a second Mariupol here”.
The prime minister also addressed opposition MP Salome Samadashvili, calling her a traitor.
“This is almost the same as accusing Obama of oligarchic rule”, Garibashvili said about Bidzina Ivanishvili. According to him, there is no problem with oligarchs in Georgia.
“I want to remind you that this topic – deoligarchization – was also voiced in the case of Ukraine and Moldova, and in fact, it concerns Ukraine more than us. We don’t have such a problem at all, we never had it and we never will have it”, Garibashvili explained.
The Prime Minister repeated the main message of the ruling party and said that the main oligarchs in this country are Khazaradze, Japaridze, Saakashvili and Saakashvili’s mother Julie Alasania. According to him, Ivanishvili is the greatest philanthropist who always thinks about Georgia and Georgians:
“Who said it, who wrote it down, where did they say that Ivanishvili is the main oligarch? Where did they say it? Who said it? It’s a lie”.
The European Commission prepared a report on the issue of granting the status of an EU candidate to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova on June 17. As a result, Ukraine and Moldova will receive the status of candidate members of the EU and will be required to fulfill certain obligations, while Georgia will first be obliged to fulfill the conditions, and then will have a chance to receive the status of a candidate.
The resolution on the violation of media freedom in Georgia and the safety of journalists was approved by the European Parliament on 9 June.
On June 20, an unprecedentedly large-scale rally was held in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi in support of the European course of Georgia. The purpose of the thousands of people who gathered at the rally was to demonstrate the loyalty of the Georgian people to Europe and European values.
This action preceded an important decision for Georgia, which the European Union should take on June 24. On this day, it will be decided whether Georgia will receive the status of a candidate for EU membership.
Garibashvili in Parliament