Ruling Party Not to Support European Georgia’s Initiative on Sanctions against Russia

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party says they will not support the initiative of the parliamentary opposition European Georgia party on imposing sanctions against Russia and pushing the occupation of Georgian territories in the international agenda.

“The executive branch of Georgia does not need to be dictated how and in what way to ensure the protection of our national interests,” Vice Parliament Speaker Gia Volsky said.

Volsky noted that the aim of the ruling team is Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, adding that this position will not be changed.

“Consequently, we will not support the malicious initiative of European Georgia which will place our citizens living abroad in a bad situation,” he added, going on to underline that any country that recognizes the violation of Georgia’s territorial integrity, that recognizes breakaway Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, is subject to economic sanctions from the United States.

“Additional moves and sanctions in this direction mean that Russia may impose economic sanctions on us and it certainly has the resources to do so… This will lead to a real response from Russia- a disaster for Georgian wine and citrus exporters,” Volsky stated.

Sophio Katsarava, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, also commented on the draft resolution of European Georgia. According to her, the resolution potentially creates a precondition for Russian sanctions against Georgia.

“To put it simply, it will cause economic harm to thousands of Georgians. Our aim is to reduce economic dependence on Russia, and we are doing so but all this takes time and a higher standard of production to compete with the very diverse and very high standard products of the EU market,” she said.

The draft resolution prepared by European Georgia members Sergi Kapanadze and Giorgi Kandelaki reads that Russia continues the occupation of the Georgian territory and urges the Georgian government to carry out necessary diplomatic and political moves against the illegal borderization.

In particular, through this resolution, the opposition party urges the government to:

• Demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Georgian territory, in accordance with the 2008 ceasefire agreement.

• To ask for the US and EU sanctions to include the Otkhozoria and Tatunashvili List, which includes those accused of or convicted in absentia for ‘the murder, kidnapping, torture, and inhumane treatment’ of Georgian citizens in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

• Ask the EU and the US to impose sanctions against all foreign companies which are implementing illegal economic activities on the occupied territories of Georgia, for instance, renting out the properties of the victims of ethnic cleansing there.

Swiss Ambassador to Georgia Patric Franzen told media he believes that all sanctions have consequences.

“The minority, as well as any force in Parliament, has the right to introduce any initiative, while the majority can approve or disapprove that initiative, and if the majority does not support any initiative, the people should respect its decision,” he said. “I cannot comment on the sanctions, though all sanctions have consequences. The consequences that these sanctions can have for Georgia should be taken into consideration.”

The draft resolution has been registered in Parliament and the lawmakers will discuss it next week.

By Thea Morrison

Image source: 112 International

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