WASHINGTON – During his first public remarks in the United States today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili called on the international community, and specifically the West, to support the Ukrainian people by putting more pressure on Russia, and said, “the international community needs to send clearer messages that will underpin the notion that no third party can influence the aspirations of regional countries striving to fulfill their choices of democratic political systems.”
Garibashvili spoke at the Atlantic Council following meetings with White House and Congressional leadership.
“We strongly condemn the use of excessive force to subdue free speech,” said Garibashvili. “Georgians declare our solidarity with the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to build a true European nation… Ukrainians should be able to decide if they want to go back to the past, or towards Europe.”
US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced the prime minister, praising his country for its democratic aspirations.
“Over the last few weeks, Ukrainian flags have been displayed in the Georgian Parliament in solidarity,” said Murphy. “Georgians have also made great sacrifices for their independence and sovereignty. In Georgia, we have seen what is possible when people take control of their own future.”
Garibashvili’s Georgian Dream coalition was brought to power peacefully through Georgia’s first democratic transfer of power last year. He stressed that his government is forward-looking and committed to elevating its democratic values to another level: “Georgia has proven that it is a sure democracy and we can be an example to other states in the region,” he said.
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