"The European Commission says we shouldn't pay attention to the European Parliament": How Irakli Kobakhidze's press conference unfolded
Irakli Kobakhidze press conference
The Chairman of the ruling party “Georgian Dream,” Irakli Kobakhidze, held a press conference about to the 12 recommendations of the European Union that Georgia must fulfill to obtain candidate status for EU membership. During the press conference, Kobakhidze referred to the current condition of Mikhail Saakashvili as a “stomach surgery advertisement” and stated that the European Commission advised the Georgian authorities not to pay attention to the European Parliament.
What did Irakli Kobakhidze say?
●”I don’t want to delve into this issue for the simple reason that it concerns the president of a country in a state of war. However, in general, such a position of the [Ukrainian] government is offensive to us. Our opponent himself admitted that certain high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government were involved in sending Saakashvili to Georgia, and today, when the same government demands the return of Saakashvili to Ukraine, it is undoubtedly offensive.”
“Russia, with the hands of the Georgian authorities, is killing a citizen of Ukraine,” Vladimir Zelenskyy on July 3, demanding that Mikhail Saakashvili be transferred to Ukraine for treatment.
According to Zelenskyy, he instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmitry Kuleba, to summon the Georgian ambassador, express a strong protest to him, and instruct him to leave Ukraine within 48 hours for consultations with the Georgian authorities regarding the transfer of Saakashvili.
● What I saw yesterday was an advertisement for a stomach resection, a stomach surgery (referring to Saakashvili’s virtual appearance in court, where he demonstrated how much weight he had lost – JAMnews).
● These days [including Pride Week], relevant gatherings are also taking place, and the police are mobilized to ensure security.
● When we meet with high-ranking representatives of the European Commission, they tell us not to pay attention to the Members of the European Parliament, that their assessments are not important and will not affect the candidate status. This was said by a very high-ranking person in a closed session. They cannot say it publicly because they cannot publicly disrespect the European Parliament. But they tell us that the decision is made by the European Commission, the European Council, not the European Parliament.
● The requirement that all 12 recommendations must be fulfilled for Georgia to obtain candidate status was not set by anyone.
● We have followed all 12 points as meticulously as possible. Our task was to create the maximum foundation for being granted candidate status, but the decision will be political. The risk is as follows: there are 27 countries in the European Union, and they must make this decision based on full consensus. It only takes one country to step aside and deny us the status. The political risks are quite high. We hope that, unlike last year’s June, a fair decision will be made this year.
● If we do not obtain the status, it will be difficult to explain to the public. In June of last year, society was disappointed, and naturally, if the same thing happens in December, it will cause disappointment once again.
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● I don’t believe that there are contradictions between the assessments of the European Commission and ours. Of course, on one hand, there is a report stating that only three recommendations have been fully implemented. But everything that we could have done up to this point, everything that could have been done from a practical point of view, was essentially the development of legislation – and that has been accomplished.
● Granting candidate status is important because it will be a fair decision that will ultimately have a positive impact on reducing the degree of polarization [in Georgian politics]. We often discuss with our international partners the need for a fair assessment of the current situation in Georgia. When a judge is unfair, it contributes to the exacerbation of polarization.