Georgian Parliament’s intention to adopt a resolution on Russian moves in Ukraine did not materialize on March 5 because of lawmakers’ failed attempt to come up with a bipartisan text.
Lawmakers from both the Georgian Dream ruling majority and UNM opposition said they would continue efforts to bridge differences on March 6.
A group of lawmakers from both parties were in lengthy consultations on March 5 as the chamber where parliamentary sittings are held in Kutaisi was again decorated with Ukrainian flags in a gesture of support.
But disagreements mainly on whether to call for sanctions against Russia or not made it impossible to draft the joint text of resolution, according to UNM lawmakers.
GD lawmakers were reluctant to speak about points of disagreement, saying that it would not be helpful to discuss publicly the issue on which negotiations were still ongoing.
Parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said that “short distance” remains to the agreement and added that consultations would continue in order to try reach a consensus before the parliament reconvenes for a session at 4pm local time on March 6.
“The only difference that we had was related to sanctions against Russia,” MP Akaki Minashvili of UNM party said at a parliamentary session late on Wednesday evening, and expressed regret that some GD lawmakers wanted to strike off sanctions point from the draft.
He was interrupted by parliament speaker, who asked the opposition lawmakers not to start discussing publicly specifics of still ongoing consultations.
Another UNM lawmaker, Giorgi Gabashvili, said at the session: “We regret that today we failed to agree; we hope we will be able to agree tomorrow before [the parliament reconvenes at] 4pm and we hope that you will agree on a text, which… refers to sanctions against Russia and achieving de-occupation of Georgian territories together with Ukraine.”
“I will not start now speaking about what is the issue of disagreement and I advise you the same,” parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, responded.
“If you are guided by the interest of achieving [result], let’s continue consultations tomorrow, but if you want to open this issue already today, let’s do it, but it will be the worst thing to do now,” Usupashvili said and then also suggested that UNM lawmakers’ attempts to start talking publicly about it while consultations were not yet over was a sign for him that UNM in facts tried to score political points rather than achieve concrete result of having bipartisan resolution on Ukraine.
On March 4 UNM distributed its draft of the resolution, which condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and calls on the Georgian government to “carry out active diplomatic campaign for the purpose of diplomatic isolation of and imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation.”