Paata Manjgaladze: The government was been given a pretext to talk, I don't know who Khatuna Samnidze meant, but we say what we think, we say that the country needs status - look for a black cat elsewhere!

The government was been given a pretext to talk, I don't know who Khatuna Samnidze meant, but we say what we think, we say that the country needs status - look for a black cat elsewhere! - Strategy Builder MP Paata Manjgaladze said while evaluating the statement of the Chairwoman of the Republican Party, Khatuna Samnidze, who said that there are people in the opposition ranks who are talking behind closed doors with European partners about the fact that Georgia's EU membership candidate status should be postponed and Georgia's status should be granted after the 2024 elections.

Manjgaladze also called "Bolshevik propaganda" the fact that "partners in Europe do not know themselves and learn from the opposition how many recommendations Georgia has implemented".

" The government was been given a pretext to talk, I don't know who Khatuna Samnidze meant, but we say what we think, we say that the country needs status, so that autocracy is not finally established in the country. Governments come and go, the country remains, the country needs Europe. This is our message. It [Samnidze's statement] doesn't cause me any inconvenience. If Khatuna Samnidze has information, she will talk about it, I don't have such information. Look elsewhere for a black cat in a dark room, we don't have this cat.

We should use the influence mechanisms as much as possible to implement the 9 out of 12 unimplemented recommendations. This is what Borrell told us publicly a month ago. It is Bolshevik propaganda, as if our partners do not know this, and someone comes and tells them that the recommendations have not been implemented. The representative of the European Union is in daily contact with the Georgian authorities, they know very well what is happening and it is not necessary to tell something to someone in the dark corridors, this is nonsense and Bolshevik propaganda.

We have a dilemma, if we are not given candidate status, how processes will develop, how we will take responsibility for all this and what the next steps will be – this is the inner kitchen of the opposition, while Georgian Dream has another dilemma - if they give us the status, the Russians will demand an answer from us", Manjgaladze said.

Steven Blockmans: If Georgia misses the opportunity to get closer to the EU, it will take a long time to repair the damage caused by the autocratic regime