Sanctions for the oligarch, freedom for the opposition - EPP resolution on Georgia
EPP resolution calls for sanctions on Ivanishvili
The largest party in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), adopted a resolution “On the retreat from democracy and political persecution in Georgia,” which calls for sanctions against the oligarch Ivanishvili and the release of the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and founder of the opposition TV channel Mtavari Arkhi, Nika Gvaramia.
The European People’s Party calls for:
- the Georgian government to submit to the will of the Georgian people and return the country to the European path by taking concrete steps and fulfilling the EU’s twelve recommendations so that the Georgian people may achieve a free, democratic European future;
- the government and parliament of Georgia to clearly identify and condemn the hate speech and false news promoted by the ruling majority against the EU and the US, accusing the latter of trading on EU candidate status and wanting to open a second front in Georgia against Russia;
- the government of Georgia to stop the political persecution of political opponents and free media, and ensure the immediate release of ex-president Saakashvili and send him abroad for proper treatment, as well as the release of Mtavari Arkhi chief director Nika Gvaramia from prison;
- The European Union and democratic partners to impose personal sanctions on the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili for his role in sabotaging Georgia’s European integration and for creating threats to the security of Georgia and the region.
The resolution negatively assesses the recent situation in Georgia. It says that the ruling party has ignored the EU’s recommendations. According to the document, justice in Georgia is still politically motivated. In particular, the EPP criticized the latest court verdict in the case of Nika Gvaramia and called Saakashvili “Putin’s personal prisoner.”
“Oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili is playing a personal destructive role in strengthening oligarchic rule, taking over the state, and taking full control of the government and democratic institutions in Georgia”, the resolution states.
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According to a compromise document passed by the European Parliament on November 8, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, whom opponents of the Georgian government consider a shadow ruler, is no longer referred to as an oligarch. However, the name of the businessman is still used in the context of “deoligarchization”, and a demand is made to curtail his influence.
The document also refers to the persecution of opposition media in the country, political persecution, the procedure for electing a public defender, and that the European Parliament calls on the Georgian government to send former president Mikheil Saakashvili for treatment abroad “for humanitarian purposes and for reducing polarization in society”.
On July 13 it became known that the European Commission had postponed the assessment of the fulfillment of the twelve points outlined by the European Union for Georgia until 2023, instead of 2022.
On June 17 the European Commission prepared a report on granting Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova candidate status for EU membership. It was decided to grant this status to Ukraine and Moldova, while Georgia was first obliged to fulfill the twelve points.
Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova jointly applied for EU membership on 3 March.