US Ambassador: We are not going to talk about Georgia without Georgia
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan
US Ambassador Kelly Degnan responded to the ongoing diplomatic talks between Russia and the United States and stated that the “United States is not going to negotiate about Georgia without Georgia”.
According to the Ambassador:
The United States respects the sovereignty of each country – including Georgia and Ukraine. Russia does not get a veto over your sovereign decisions.
● Secretary Blinken has said the United States will not discuss European security without our European allies and partners.
US support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty is unwavering, and the US, along with the overwhelming majority of the international community, will continue to call on Russia to end its occupation of Georgia.
● The United States also remains committed to the Bucharest Declaration: Georgia and other partners will become members of NATO when the conditions for membership are met.
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“The Kremlin insists Russia should be allowed to establish an exclusive sphere of influence throughout Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. President Putin’s goal is to stop these countries, including Georgia, from acting as fully sovereign, independent nations that have the right to choose their own security partners”.
Ambassador Degnan noted that the Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman started this week’s high-level diplomacy in Geneva with a meeting with her Russian counterpart. According to Degnan, this will be followed by meetings in NATO, Brussels and the OSCE, and these meetings are highly relevant to Georgia.
According to the US Ambassador, the Deputy Secretary of State, speaking to the Georgian Foreign Minister last week, said that Russia’s demands were unacceptable and were an attempt to discard 30 years of post-Cold War peace, stability and progress, and to re-establish Soviet domination and control over its neighbors:
“Georgians know Russia very well. You know how the Kremlin twists the truth and distorts history, trying to confuse and divide people. Russia is the country that destroyed the Republic of Georgia in 1921, desecrated Georgian Orthodox churches and tried to smother the Georgian language”.
Degnan emphasizes that Russia has been trying for years to divide the United States and its European allies, including Georgia, but the United States will not allow it.
“The United States and Europe have worked too hard and sacrificed too much for the 80 years of peace and prosperity we’ve enjoyed because of NATO and transatlantic cooperation. Georgia has been a strong partner in this effort, and we will continue to consult with Georgia every step of the way”, she said.
Degnan said the Kremlin could offer nothing but fear, oppression and disinformation. These are not the values that Georgia and the United States stand for. According to her, the United States continues to believe in a united, free and peaceful Europe:
“We will continue to work to make this a reality, together with our European partners and allies. We are willing to meet with Russia to attempt to prevent conflict and de-escalate, but we cannot, and will not, trade away European security, sovereignty or freedom. The Georgian motto is our motto: United We Stand”.