Bidzina Ivanishvili: We still have to fight for freedom and sovereignty in order to fulfill Ilia Chavchavadze's admonition that "we should embrace ourselves"

Greetings, dear friends!I greet the honorable children of our freedom-loving nation!I would like to wish you all a blessed Palm Sunday, and happy Easter in advance!Georgia restored its state independence 33 years ago. However, Merab Kostava, one of the leaders of the national movement, warned us: “Remember, you will witness the time when Georgia is free! But know that if you stop fighting for freedom even at that time, in an independent country, then neither you nor your country will remain free.”

This counsel by Merab Kostava should be kept in mind at every step.Georgia should be governed by the authorities elected by the Georgian people!In 2004-2012, we went through difficult years, when the country was ruled not by a government elected by the people, but by an externally appointed revolutionary committee, a foreign agency. Let me remind you that these people – Saakashvili, Bokeria, Merabishvili, Adeishvili, Gvaramia, Kezerashvili, and others – were appointed as the leaders of the authorities of Georgia after the revolution organized by NGOs.The rule of people appointed from outside in an undemocratic manner clearly demonstrated how severe the inevitable consequences of the loss of freedom, independence, and sovereignty can be. The bloody regime filled prisons to overflowing, tortured prisoners, cost hundreds of innocent people their lives, robbed thousands of businessmen, rigged a number of elections, seized the media, and lost 20 percent of Georgia’s territories.Many people think that the main reason for these crimes was the inhumane, sadistic, and unpatriotic nature of Saakashvili and his accomplices. In reality, however, everything they did was ordered and directed by their masters from outside. It was for this reason that the foreign politicians who declare Saakashvili, Gvaramia, and Kezerashvili as innocent lambs and demand the punishment of the incumbent authorities today greenlit all of the regime’s unseemly behavior at the time. Today, these foreigners are motivated by the desire to bring back the inhumane and sadistic dictatorship of the same people to Georgia, which we will not allow at any cost. When we talk about greenlighting, we should also remember that the regime’s sadism enjoyed the full support of the NGOs.

I would like to recall the words of the Indian leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, with a slight amendment: “There is no greater enemy of one's own country than a pseudo-elite nurtured by a foreign country.” A pseudo-elite nurtured by a foreign country has several key characteristics. They have no homeland; they do not love their country or their people because they do not really consider them to be their own. On the contrary, such people are embarrassed by their country and its people. Such people are like the bat from Akaki’s poem, who ultimately fails to become foreign and loses was made him Georgian in the process as well. Such people are easy to control from the outside because they are devoid of all principles. This is the face of today’s radical opposition, and this was the face of these people when they were in power. In 2012, when we dispatched the bloody regime of politicians with no homeland that were appointed from outside, I thought that I had completed my mission in full. We returned electoral rights to the Georgian people, released 15,000 prisoners from prison, completely eradicated the torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners, ended the National Movement’s media monopoly, freed up businesses, and brought the country long-term peace and enhanced security. I will reiterate – I thought that I had completed my mission in full in 2012. However, as it turned out, these achievements were not enough. We must still fight for freedom and sovereignty in order to follow Ilia Chavchavadze’s counsel, whereby “we must belong to ourselves.” Therefore, as a matter of principle and dedication, I personally will continue to fight for the full restoration of the sovereignty of Georgia, our motherland.

In recent years, Georgia has endured the hardest struggle to avoid war and maintain peace. Despite the promise made at the Bucharest Summit in 2008, Georgia and Ukraine were not allowed to join NATO and were left outside. All such decisions are made by the Global War Party, which has a decisive influence on NATO and the European Union, and which only sees Georgia and Ukraine as cannon fodder. They first had Georgia enter into a confrontation with Russia in 2008, and in 2014 and 2022 they put Ukraine in an even more difficult situation. The main reason for the Global War Party’s aggression towards Georgia is that it failed to turn Georgia into a second front despite great efforts, which it could have achieved very easily with the agents’ return to power.

The public often asks, why is it that those abroad fight against the transparency of the NGOs with such fervor? The representatives of our team answer this question in the right manner, but they still shy away from telling the complete truth. The complete truth is that the non-transparent funding of NGOs is the main tool with which you can appoint the authorities of Georgia from abroad. The goal is for Georgia to be ruled not by the authorities elected by the people but by the “bats” – modern-day Sergo Orjonikidzes and Gigla Berbichashvilis – appointed from outside. Not allowing this to happen is our duty to the Georgian public figures who sacrificed themselves for the idea of Georgia’s freedom.The funding of NGOs, which they often begrudge us and count as aid, is used almost exclusively to strengthen the agents and bring them to power. Accordingly, these funds have nothing to do with aid and, on the contrary, their only goal is to deprive Georgia of its state sovereignty. Today’s Georgia is neither Georgia under Shevardnadze nor Ukraine under Yanukovich. Today, Georgia is governed by a strong and unified team of professionals who know the value of one’s homeland, its independence, and sovereignty. Therefore, it is impossible for the Nationals, who have no rating, and NGOs to bring about the change of government in Georgia today. However, this does not mean that we should lose our vigilance and not ensure the creation of a long-term guarantee for Georgia’s sovereignty. The Georgian law “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” serves to strengthen the sovereignty of Georgia.

A question might arise: Why did the team withdraw the law last year and why are we adopting it this year? There were two main objective reasons for withdrawing the law last year. First, last year they succeeded in misleading a large part of the public. Therefore, it was our duty to take into account the unease of even those fellow citizens who had been deceived. Second, we must ensure the political stability of our country, which may have faced difficulties last year had the law not been withdrawn.This year, the situation is radically different. The Nationals and their masters could no longer deceive the people, and today the majority of the public firmly supports the transparency of NGOs. In addition, today we have full resources to pass the law on transparency without harming the stability of the state, and to move the country forward. Making the right move at the right time is the ultimate art of politics. My political past allows me to claim that as a political leader, I can calculate such moves well.Another question can also be heard among the public: Would it have been preferable to make the most of the temporary peace and forgo the consideration of the draft laws on LGBT propaganda and NGOs, perhaps even postponing their consideration until after the elections? In this regard, I would like to tell you unequivocally: let no one have the illusion that they would have let us be for a long time without these draft laws. Let me remind you how fervently they tried to undermine the Central Election Commission and the court all this time. To this day, they are demanding so-called vetting in the court, that is, the introduction of foreign governance, which will carry out repressions and staff the judicial system with agents. The demands related to the Central Election Commission served a similar purpose, which the Parliament of Georgia rightly did not take into account.Despite the fact that, according to all independent international studies, the Georgian court is ahead of the courts of many EU member states in terms of justice and effectiveness, despite the fact that they cannot identify a single case that the court decided under the pressure of the political authorities or in a generally unfair manner, the persistent pressure on the authorities to seize the judiciary continues, and it will continue until they lose all hope of success.When they make demands that they know the authorities will not consider, it is clear that the sole purpose of these demands is to create an artificial inconvenience for the government. Under such conditions, it is clear that the same forces that tried to organize revolutions two and four years ago would definitely attack our country with renewed force in the fall and try once again to return the agents to power. The energy that they should have gathered for the fall is now being prematurely wasted on the street.

Therefore, the initiation of the laws on LGBT propaganda and NGOs served two functions: on the one hand, the legislative regulation of these two issues has no alternative, and on the other, the premature expenditure of accumulated energy will completely drain the power of the already weakened agency. Therefore, the time of the initiation of the draft laws has also been chosen perfectly. With these processes, the country and the authorities will lose nothing except for the fact that we will once again upset the Global War Party, which does not lack resentment towards us to begin with because we refused to open a second front.Many of our fellow citizens are upset because we did not properly punish the Nationals in 2012. A number of leaders of the regime served long sentences. Manu perpetrators of the regime’s criminal objectives were convicted. Currently, Mikheil Saakashvili, the main criminal of the regime, is serving his sentence. Unfortunately, however, the trial of the National Movement as a single criminal and treasonous group has not taken place.People directly familiar with the circumstances will agree that we did not have the resources to punish the Nationals at the time, and taking steps without the resources would have been counterproductive. I remember well how in 2012-2013, top Western officials fought tooth and nail to defend the bloody criminals. The National Movement was designated as the radical opposition from outside Georgia, just as it was designated as the government before that. Radicalism, so-called polarization, and periodic political upheavals, which have cost our country and its economy dearly over the years, were induced from outside in a completely artificial manner. If it were not for external support, Georgia would have broken the vicious circle of so-called polarization in a short period of time. You all saw the resolution adopted by the European Parliament a few days ago, in which European politicians were once again advocating for the guilty leaders of the National Movement. In this case as well, the Global War Party forced the European Parliament to support a completely un-European resolution. All of this had two goals: on the one hand, they once again tried to brazenly interfere in Georgia’s affairs, and on the other, they once again showed everyone that the European Parliament has become yet another one of their tools, to be used at their convenience. By adopting this completely un-European resolution, the extent of the Global War Party’s influence over the European Union has once again been demonstrated. The Global War Party has the European Union destroying European values with its own hands, which is its hallmark. They were destroying Georgia in the same manner in 2004-2012, with the help of the Georgians who were in power.The fate of Georgia should be decided by the Georgian people. Over these years, we have accumulated enough resources to begin to fully consolidate our sovereignty. This is precisely what the law “On Transparency of Foreign Influence” serves. And after the elections, we will have the opportunity to give the collective National Movement the harsh political and legal judgement it deserves for the nine years of bloody rule and 12 years spent in the role of the “ruinous overseer.”After the elections, the National Movement will strictly answer for all the crimes it has committed against the Georgian state and the Georgian people over two decades!Back in 2014, I founded Society 2030. At that time, EU membership seemed a very distant prospect and I avoided talking about membership publicly because the public may not have appreciated my excessive optimism. However, even then I saw that Georgia could join the European Union by 2030. Today, when 2030 is only six years away, Georgia is a clear leader among the candidate countries for membership of the European Union in terms of democracy, human rights, strength of institutions, and the infrequency of corruption. Georgia’s economy is growing at the fastest rate among all candidate countries. I promise you that we will overcome all obstacles, strengthen our sovereignty, maintain peace, strengthen the Georgian economy, and become a member of the European Union in 2030. We are a unique nation with a unique history, traditions, and identity. It is with these unique national traditions and identity that we should join the common European family, because only in such a case can the European Union have real value for Georgia and vice versa.The success of our football players has strengthened our belief that dreams can come true. A 30-year-old dream came true for Georgian fans, and the Georgian national team qualified for the European Championship for the first time in history. I believe that this great success is the first step on the way to realizing the dreams of our country.A free, independent, and sovereign Georgia, a member of the European Union, a united and whole Georgia – this is our Georgian dream, which we will achieve together.Once again, I wish you a happy Easter in advance! I wish you and your families spiritual and physical vigor, happiness, and success!Long live independent, free, sovereign, and united Georgia!

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