EU candidate country rejects demands to sanction Russia — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

EU candidate country rejects demands to sanction Russia — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Georgia has “strong arguments” against imposing restrictions on its neighbor, PM Kobakhidze said

Tbilisi will continue to resist the calls to impose sanctions on Russia, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze said on Monday. Tbilisi previously declined to join many Western countries in adopting restrictions aimed at Moscow, citing security concerns.

Kobakhidze made his recent comments during the meeting with EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell in Brussels. He was asked by reporters about demands from Kiev to open “a second front” against Russia.

“These statements were very regrettable,” the PM said. He stressed that Georgia is providing “strong political support” for Ukraine and is sending humanitarian aid to Kiev.

“As for the sanctions, we have a very clear position on this matter. We are not imposing sanctions, and we have strong arguments for doing so,” Kobakhidze explained, adding that Tbilisi will not be “used to circumvent” the third-party restrictions placed on Moscow.

Borrell promised to “pass messages to the Ukrainian side of the good will of Georgia to have the best possible relations.” He further argued that quarrels between the two states would only be a “benefit” for Russia. He also promised to continue working with Georgia, which in December 2023 was granted the status of a candidate to join the EU.

In 2022, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council head Aleksey Danilov urged Georgians to “stand up and defend their country” against Russia. President Vladimir Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, similarly criticized Georgia’s stance, arguing that “values are more important than profit.”

Georgia formally cut diplomatic ties with Russia following the five-day military conflict in August 2008. Russia has since recognized Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries. Georgia continues to accuse Russia of “illegally occupying” parts of its territory.

Nevertheless, Tbilisi has maintained that adopting economic restrictions directed at Moscow would only lead to more tensions. “Georgia does not intend to impose any bilateral sanctions because of the national interests of our population,” Shalva Papuashvili, the speaker of the country’s parliament, said last year. He added that Georgia does not wish any “escalation” with its northern neighbor.

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