NGOs: Georgian Government must take a clear position in support of the West

NGOs have issued a statement saying the Georgian Government must take a clear position in support of the West.

The statement said that the ruling party should openly and unequivocally voice the country's support for Ukraine. At the same time, NGOs say the Government must clearly state that it is committed to the international sanctions regime imposed by Western countries.

"Today, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the events surrounding it, we are witnessing a revision of the world security architecture and the world order in general. The Western world, unexpectedly for some, shows unprecedented unity and not only stands by Ukraine to increase its military and defense capabilities, but also makes Russia pay a very high and painful price.

With open and closed-door statements made by Western top political officials and their representatives at various levels, Western unity is unshakable, and their determination is firm to ensure that Putin's guilty regime receives an adequate response. It is obvious that a very clear dividing line is being drawn between the civilized world on the one hand and the Putin regime and its few open or passive supporters on the other. Most of the world has made choice in favor of Ukraine's freedom and unity, but this is far more than just Ukraine fighting an evil machine - it is a choice in favor of world peace, unity of the Western world, stability based on order and equality.

This choice has always been clear and natural for Georgia. Our country was one of the first and many times suffered from Russian aggression and expansionism, at which we have paid a very high price with the lives of thousands of our citizens.

At the same time, there is now a historic chance to successfully realize the desire and aspiration of many generations of Georgians - for Georgia to actually become a full member of the Western world, as defined by the Constitution of Georgia. Therefore, today no one should doubt Georgia's position - it must stand unequivocally and clearly on the side of the West and the developed world, the Georgian people will not allow the opposite decision! Unfortunately, the steps taken by the Georgian Government, its vague and inconsistent rhetoric raise doubts about its credibility and loyalty as a partner of the West.

In order for the strategic interests of Georgia to be fully and clearly stated and pursued, we consider it necessary to take the following steps:

The ruling team should openly and unequivocally voice the country's support for Ukraine, as well as for the pro-Ukraine steps taken by the West, and stop positioning in a way that damages the country's international reputation; It must clearly state that it is committed to the regime of international sanctions imposed by Western countries;

The Georgian Dream should immediately stop intimidating its citizens with war and thus demoralizing them, which has been a clear propaganda line not only for the statements of the ruling party, but also for the rhetoric of those affiliated with them;

Georgian Dream should renounce hate speech, rise above narrow party interests and do everything possible to reduce polarization in society;

Government should regularly inform the public about the steps that are being taken to advocate for Georgia as a candidate for EU membership;

Extended meeting of the Security Council should be held with the participation of the President of Georgia and the opposition to provide information to the public about the challenges facing the country and ways to address them;

Parliament, with the participation of the majority, the opposition, the Government and expert circles, should hold a discussion on how the consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its retaliatory sanctions will affect the Georgian economy and what is the best way out of this situation.

We believe that these steps must be taken immediately to enable our country to face the challenges with dignity, to avoid making fatal mistakes, and to firmly take its rightful place alongside the civilized world. We express our readiness to be involved in the implementation of the above-mentioned steps, wherever possible," NGOs said in a statement.

The following non-governmental organizations join the statement: Transparency International-Georgia (TI Georgia); International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED); Georgian Reform Association (GRASS); Open Society Foundation (OSGF); Center "Empathy"; Center for Research Journalism and Economic Analysis; Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI); Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI); Society and Banks; Media Development Fund (MDF); United Nations Association of Georgia (UNAG); Green Alternative; Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC); Institute for Democracy and Safe Development; European Foundation; Rights Georgia; Civil Society Institute; Liberal Academy; Atlantic Council of Georgia; Human Rights Center; Cover; Institute for Tolerance and Diversity (TDI).

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