The United National Movement, founded by Georgian-born, U.S.-educated, still-current Ukrainian government official Mikheil Saakashvili, has been clamoring for the nation to open a second front against Russia in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as sharpening their knives for a reprise of the Western-backed coup that brought Saakashvili to power in 2003. As the full article more than amply demonstrates, “Euro-Atlantic integration” entails acceding to harsh and unrelenting diktat from the U.S. and Brussels regarding most every aspect of life in a nation: the judiciary, electoral processes, government “transparency,” transformation of the entire defense and security sectors into NATO-interoperable appendages of the Pentagon and NATO, the educational system from kindergarten to graduate school, the press and other news media, (formerly) national culture and popular entertainment, religion, social mores, etc. See the feature that follows, particularly:

“Perhaps, some Georgian mother shed Ian Kelly’s [former U.S. ambassador to Georgia still involved in agitating for regime change there] weight in tears [somewhere], weeping quietly for her children sent to various battles in defense of [Georgia’s] European and western choice,” [Vice Prime} Minister Tsulukiani claimed.

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Civil Georgia
May 19, 2022

U.S. Official Meets Georgian PM, Opposition, CSO Leaders

U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet, who arrived in Georgia yesterday for a two-day visit, met today with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, as well as members of the opposition, and civil society representatives.

During the meeting with PM Garibashvili, the parties discussed the strategic partnership, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and regional security in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Significance and strengthening of democratic institutions on the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration were highlighted at the meeting….,” said the Georgian Government’s press release.

On his part, Counselor Chollet said “we welcome Georgia’s active support in multilateral efforts to call out Russian aggression and to support the people of Ukraine.”

The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the USAID Mark Simakovsky, U.S. Department of Defense Official Jason Ham (Balkans, Caucasus and Black Sea Region), and Florence Akinyemi, Special Adviser to Derek Chollet. Head of the Georgian Government Administration Revaz Javelidze was also in attendance.

Derek Chollet also had the opportunity to meet with Defense Minister Burchuladze. Per Georgian Defense Ministry, the parties discussed further deepening of strategic partnership in the defense and security sphere.

Meeting with Opposition Parties

Counselor Chollet met with opposition leaders, including Chair of the United National Movement Nika Melia, his party colleague MP Khatia Dekanoidze, MP Giorgi Vashadze of Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Lelo MP Ana Natsvlishvil, MP Khatuna Samnidze of the Republican Party, Girchi-More Freedom leader Zurab Japaridze, For Georgia’s Natia Mezvrishvili and Elene Khoshtaria of Droa party.

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Nika Melia, UNM Chair, told reporters after the meeting that “I do not doubt concrete steps, concrete actions will be taken from their [U.S.] side.”

Natia Mezvrishvili from For Georgia said they asked “our strategic partners not to leave the Georgian people alone, the Georgian population supports the Euro-integration process.”

Meetings with CSO Leaders

Earlier in the morning, Counselor Chollet met with civil society leaders to discuss the judiciary and key reforms in Georgia.

Nika Simonishvili, Chairman of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) told reporters after the meeting that the U.S. was particularly interested in how the judiciary is run in the country.

“He expressed particular interest [in the alleged] existence of Russian influence in the country from different groups,” Simonishvili emphasized.

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Chollet Pens Op-Ed

Ahead of his arrival, Counselor Chollet published an opinion piece that touched on the 30-year partnership between the U.S. and Georgia, Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and the occupation of Georgian regions, and the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

“We appreciate the people of Georgia’s vocal support for their Ukrainian neighbors, as well as Georgia’s provision of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Yet, there is more we all can and should do,” said the article.

It said that “just as Georgian soldiers have exhibited leadership, bravery, and sacrifice for the common good, we have also seen civil society in Georgia passionately and fearlessly advocate for the steps required to achieve a democratic, peaceful, prosperous, and Euro-Atlantic future.”

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Taking note of the Georgian government’s pledge to make important electoral and judicial reforms, he said “these must be fulfilled if Georgia is to achieve its full potential.”

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Civil Georgia
May 19, 2022

Georgian Vice PM Lambasts ‘Natsi’ MEPs, Former U.S. Envoy

Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Culture Tea Tsulukiani has slammed several respected international Georgia-watchers, including MEPs Viola von Cramon-Taubadel and Anna Fotyga, and former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly as “foreign Natsis” (a derogatory term by Georgian Dream to designate the United National Movement members and supporters) wishing to overturn the GD government.

“This is a small group of foreigners, among them I mean for instance German politician Ms. Viola von Cramon, who almost turned into a Georgian politician,” noted Minister Tsulukiani.

She said, “it seems [von Cramon] is no longer having as much business in her constituency and is directly interfering in Georgian politics, wagging her accusing finger now at someone, now at someone else, thinking she has the right to do so.”

Lambasting MEP von Cramon as a friend of “Natsis”, Minister Tsulukiani added: “I am sure she does not care much neither about Georgia nor for the Georgian people, because give backing to her friends, she is ready to openly insult a Georgian deputy, the government.”

MEP von Cramon has been a vocal proponent of the UNM during its stint in power.

The long-serving Georgian Dream Minister also criticized Anna Fotyga, Polish MEP, saying when confronted by the government, MEP Fotyga would defend herself by saying “I love Georgia.”

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Former U.S. Ambassador ‘Did Not Love Georgia’

The Culture Minister also lambasted former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly. “I remember too well how much he did not love Georgia.”

“Perhaps, some Georgian mother shed Ian Kelly’s weight in tears [somewhere], weeping quietly for her children sent to various battles in defense of [Georgia’s] European and western choice,” Minister Tsulukiani claimed.

According to her, Ian Kelly “is not shying away from insulting the Georgian nation and its government daily, or multiple times a day, and from wagging his accusing finger at us as if we were pre-school pupils” and said “we should jointly stop and eradicate” such behavior.

She argued the state should have been firmer with this “small group of foreigners,” saying “you know what, this is an independent state, we have shed blood in this statehood from the times of our fathers and forefathers, starting with little girls and ending with big men, and could you please calm down a little because you are speaking to the sovereign state’.”

“These people are driven by narrow, partisan interest together with Natsis to overturn this government because they don’t consider you as their friends,” Minister Tsulukiani claimed.

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Agenda.ge
May 20, 2022

Ruling party MP: opposition working against Georgia, not against Georgian Government

The Georgian opposition think they are working against the Government, but in reality they are acting against the country itself, Nikoloz Samkharadze, the ruling Georgian Dream party MP who chairs the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Friday in an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster.

The comment by Samkharadze followed a statement by Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, who accused representatives of the opposition of advocating against the European Union granting a candidate status to Georgia.

Samkharadze also noted the political opposition’s “disinformation campaign damages the image of the country,” adding the parties “ask for sanctions against Georgia” in meetings with foreign partners, with their allegations of the ruling party helping Russia on the backdrop of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Georgian MP added opposition presented the Georgian Dream party as an “obstacle” to Georgia’s European integration, criticising the parties for claiming Georgia would not be able to become a member of the EU if the Government did not step down.