Georgian Parliament adopts statement on Ukraine

The Georgian Parliament adopted on December 11 a statement on developments in Ukraine, which expresses “deep concern” over use of force against peaceful demonstrators and says that “Russia, or any other country, has no right to interfere” in Eastern Partnership states’ European integration process.

The statement, which was drafted by GD parliamentary majority group, was passed with 68 votes; UNM lawmakers were not present at the time of the vote as they staged a walkout in protest against a scuffle that erupted in the chamber earlier on December 11.

Consultations on the text of statement were ongoing between GD and UNM lawmakers prior to the vote. UNM MPs were not happy with the text, saying that its wording was not strong and straightforward enough in respect of Russia’s role.

It was the second attempt by the Parliament to adopt a statement on developments in Ukraine. The first attempt two weeks ago failed as GD lawmakers voted down UNM-proposed text, which was expressing “concern over political and economic pressure and blackmail exerted by the Russian Federation against the Ukrainian authorities” aimed at forcing the latter to reject signing of the Association Agreement with the EU. The text, which was proposed by UNM two weeks ago, was also condemning “doctrine of Russia’s sphere of influence”.

GD MP Victor Dolidze, who chairs parliamentary committee on European integration and who was involved in drafting of the text, said on December 11 that UNM’s rejection to join the statement was “regrettable and surprising.” 

“Russia’s factor is explicitly stressed in the statement; it clearly states that neither Russia nor any other country has the right to meddle into the process,” MP Dolidze said.

But senior lawmaker from UNM, Giorgi Gabashvili, said that the text was failing to “explicitly state that Russia is a problem.”

“So we can’t be part of that... I do not think that the Georgian Parliament should adopt a statement from a position of being scared and with its head bowed [before Russia],” MP Gabashvili said. “There is no other country but Russia and [it’s President Vladimir] Putin, which hinders Ukraine’s European path and it is very regrettable if the Georgian Parliament fails to explicitly state it.”

Adapted from С