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U.S. warning viewed differently

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, September 17
Various political actors in Georgia viewed the recent statement made by the U.S. Department of State differently. The Georgian Dream coalition could see nothing alarming in it, while the United National Movement opposition appealed to the government to listen to the country’s key strategic partner.

The U.S. Department of State is concerned that political prosecutions pose a danger to Georgia’s democracy. This statement was made on September 12 through which the United States urged all of Georgia’s pro-democracy and pro-Euro-Atlantic forces to focus on common interests, further develop recent achievements, work together to move the country forward and address the current economic and regional security challenges.

The statement, “In Support of Georgia's Multiparty Democracy and Euro-Atlantic Future”, also says: “We are concerned by the continued investigations and criminal charges against opposition figures and the risks that politicized prosecutions pose for Georgia’s democracy. The United States continues to support Georgia’s democratic development, which must include respect for political pluralism and open debate.”

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili initially declined to comment on the statement. However, he eventually had to respond to the warning anyway. Gharibashvili claimed that there was nothing alarming about the statement and said that the current government of Georgia has fulfilled all of its obligations transparently.

Responding to the statement and reactions, Ambassador of the United States to Georgia, Richard Norland, emphasized that the United States remains Georgia’s senior ally and a strategic partner.

It is obvious that the US State Department will not be convinced by the reassurances offered by the Georgian Dream, and continue to give more merit to the statements coming from the opposition. Such statements appear to be more offensive than convincing. If the West and the United States do not believe the legality of the current developments against former Georgian officials, it means that Georgian embassies and the Foreign Ministry have failed to provide them with appropriate and timely information.

On the other hand, the United National Movement is still taken as a pro-western force by the international community. As it was mentioned above, the United States appeals to all of Georgia’s pro-democracy and pro-Euro-Atlantic forces to collaborate. However, the current government will not cooperate with the UNM and does not intend to suspend the process of restoring of justice. Some Georgian analysts believe that the GD’s position might cause some disappointment in the West. Even if the disappointment is avoided, the current policy, sadly enough, will not provide positive scores for the coalition owing to the fact that the West still holds Georgia’s former administration in high esteem.