It is my pleasure to participate in this conference and share Georgian perspective on a pressing issue that has plagued Europe and the entire world for far too long – Russia"s war against Ukraine. This conflict has not only undermined the existing security architecture but has also inflicted enormous harm on Ukraine and shattered the hopes for Europe at peace, said the Speaker of the Parliament at the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament in Dublin.
According to him, already for over a year, we have lived in an increasingly insecure and turbulent world. Besides security challenges in a traditional understanding of the term, Russia"s war has highly impacted energy and food markets and negatively affected millions of people around the world.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine subjected the norms of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights, and the rule of law to a greatest test in this century. The liberal international order has come under great strain. However, for my country, Georgia, this aggression did not come as a surprise. In fact, Georgia’s support towards the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders is firm and irreversible not only because we respect international law but also because we understand Ukraine’s pain and suffering. Georgia was the first to experience full-scale Russian military aggression in 2008 along with Russia’s attempts to forcibly change the borders of a sovereign state, expel tens of thousands of people from their homes as a result of ethnic cleansing and to divide societies with occupation lines.
In 2008, the international response to Russian aggression was weak, temporary, and ineffective. Fortunately, unlike the case of Georgia, nowadays, we see a strong and united European response to Russia’s aggressive actions.
Georgia has demonstrated solidarity with Ukraine not only in words but also with strong political and diplomatic steps. This has taken place against the background of occupation of Georgian territories as well as Russia’s illegal military presence on the territory of Georgia, only a few miles away from its capital Tbilisi. Georgia has also joined the Reykjavik Declaration. The Georgian Parliament will be supporting the Georgian government in implementing the declaration.
Besides close friendship between our countries and peoples, we share common vision of our future – membership in the European Union and NATO. Our stance is clear and firm and we believe that our countries will further progress on this path. It’s high time to reward countries that are anchored in European values and historically belong to the European family.
We must remind the aggressors that there is no alternative to peace. Peace is not merely the luxury, but a fundamental principle that should guide our actions and decisions. We must all stand together and demand that international law be respected, that borders be upheld, and that the rights of all nations be protected. We strongly believe that Ukraine will win this war and then international efforts will be dedicated to the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine to boost country’s resilience and help re-establish the foundations of a free and prosperous country well integrated into the European and global economy. It is our responsibility to ensure that future generations do not suffer the consequences of our failures. Georgia will be contributing to building the world where the hopes for a peaceful Europe can be realized”, - said Shalva Papuashvili.