Zurabishvili Says Gov’t Makes Hard to Defend EU Candidacy

President Salome Zurabishvili has decried the Georgian authorities’ reaction to the European Parliament’s critical resolution, saying it prevents her from “effectively” defending the country’s cause for securing EU candidacy.

“Unfortunately, such a resolution was approved [by the European parliament] and even more unfortunately this resolution was greeted with such comments from the Georgian ruling team, that do not allow me to effectively defend our [EU] candidacy,” the President said in her address from Brussels.

President Zurabishvili stressed that she had gone to Brussels “in order to spare no effort for generating support to our candidacy.”

President said she intended to travel to France, Poland and possibly Ukraine, “but I had received yet another refusal for this trip [by the government,” the President said.

“I was told that, apparently, the Government has done everything to generate support to our candidacy and that extra activity was no longer required. [Hearing this] I concluded that it would indeed not be wise [to continue my visit]. This is not the kind of affair, where I can make up for the inaction of the entire government.”

The President reiterated that she is responsible to the Constitution to do “everything that is possible to move this process [of EU accession] forward.”

Saying she does not see any future for Georgia other than the European future, President Zurabishvili said it could be forsaken for “[ex-President Mikheil] Saakashvili, [imprisoned TV chief Nika] Gvaramia, or for Bidzina Ivanishvili. Nobody is worth forsaking the future of our children,” she proclaimed.

“I will return to Georgia and defend that future there,” she said.

The non-binding EU Parliament resolution called on the government to release imprisoned president Mikheil Saakashvili on humanitarian grounds, and to review the sentence of TV Chief Nika Gvaramia. It also recommended to sanction GD founder Bidzina Ivanishvili. The EU Parliament called upon EU institutions “to work towards granting EU candidate status” to Georgia on the basis of merit and on the condition that the Georgian authorities fulfill all criteria.

The ruling Georgian Dream party responded in anger and claimed that the resolution was “not worth a dime.” A decision to grant Georgia the EU candidate status is expected to be delivered by the end of June.

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