"The West wants to turn Georgia into its vassal"
    Expert insights on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  25 June 2024 - 15:16

    Vadim Mansurov
    Caliber.Az

    EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, upon his arrival at the EU Council meeting, said that the European Union will close its doors to Georgia if the country's government continues on its current course. "The EU doors are open for Georgia now. But if the government continues to do what it is doing, those doors will be closed," he said. And, judging by the tone of the statement, Brussels continues to test the firmness of official Tbilisi's position and Georgia's desire to make political decisions on its own.

    But how does Tbilisi qualify this statement by Borrell? Is the EU not crossing some boundaries of political etiquette by exerting such pressure on the Georgian authorities? How will Tbilisi respond to Borrell's statement? Caliber.Az asked Georgian experts to answer these questions.

    According to political scientist Givi Ganidze, Borrell's statement essentially puts an end to the debate on whether Georgia is a vassal or a partner for Europe.

    "Judging by Borrell's toxic statement, the EU has no doubt at all that it is in control of the situation in the country and will be able to get the solutions it wants. Frankly speaking, it is striking how confident Brussels is in its rightness and strategy for dealing with Georgia. Where are the principles of democracy? Why should the citizens of Georgia do what they are told to do from Brussels and only from there? At the moment, we see that the EU continues to speak to us in an ultimatum tone, there are not even attempts to somehow reduce this declarativeness and start a human dialogue. On the contrary, the degree of this very ultimatism is only increasing, apparently Mr Borrel believes that he and the EU apparatus will still be able to break Georgia's resolve. But I cannot even remember which other post-Soviet country Brussels has spoken to in such a commanding tone. There is yet a point of view that the EU provided funding for many Georgian NGOs and therefore the law on foreign agents will undermine the alleged financial well-being of Georgian citizens and the economy in general. This is, of course, fundamentally wrong, because these are not such large sums, and Georgian citizens will certainly live without them. But it is noticeable that Georgia seems to want to turn into a vassal. Georgian society and politicians can clearly see how Brussels is trying to play with them. So our society, in my opinion, will not succumb to this pressure of Europe and the United States, will not bend to the demands of European politicians and will make a reasonable choice" Ganidze emphasised.

    According to Tengiz Javakhadze, professor of philosophy and director of the Centre for Political Innovation, Georgia has already made a number of important decisions about how and with whom to build its foreign policy. And this decision is not in favour of the EU and the US.

    "Georgia's attempt to become an integral part of Europe is unprecedented in terms of the level of effort and sovereign capital expended. Forgive me, but the EU seems to have forgotten that by actively representing the West's position in the South Caucasus, Georgia lost part of its territories and sacrificed its territorial integrity. For many years Tbilisi has been checking almost every decision it made with the European agenda, with the position of Brussels and Washington. But for some reason this has been completely forgotten - now the West is dictating its vision of the situation to Georgia and does not even want to hear about anything else.

    In other words, it turns out that over these years Georgia has not earned at least a minimum credit of trust, the right to determine at least something in its political history independently. We must fulfil the whims of the West without any objections, otherwise, as it is announced, they will close the doors to us. I can quite accurately state that the people of Georgia are tired of this policy, they do not want to be manipulated. Moreover, Tbilisi understands perfectly well what will follow the rejection of the law on foreign agents - Georgia will be pressurised and demanded to adopt other laws and decisions, and very probably of an anti-Russian nature. Does Brussels know that many people in Georgian society, looking back at Ukraine, are seriously afraid that the EU and the US want to bring Russia and Georgia together again, and no one wants to think about the consequences for Georgia and the Georgian people?

    Georgian citizens do not trust the West's strategy designed to create chaos in the post-Soviet space. For the sake of a stable future, they are quite ready to sacrifice Schengen and other "Western values", which in reality exist to lure naive countries", Javakhadze believes.

    Caliber.Az

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