Georgian Parliament, convened on July 18 for an extraordinary sitting to ratify Association Agreement with the EU, started its session with observing a moment of silence for those killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17.
Parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said that on behalf of the Georgian legislative body he expresses “deepest sorrow” over the tragedy, which “occurred on the sovereign territory of Ukraine, where military actions are underway by separatists, terrorist.”
“Support from outside forces in this process is absolutely obvious,” he said. “The Georgian Parliament unanimously joins calls… for the need of investigation and bringing perpetrators, whether individuals, political forces or states, to justice.”
In a written statement on July 18, the Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed its “deep sadness” over the plane crash.
“It is essentially important to ascertain the causes which led to this tragedy. At this stage, it can be unequivocally stated that the crash is a disastrous consequence of the armed conflict in Ukraine, which is in breach of national and international law and of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Georgian MFA said.
But in her comments with journalists in Kutaisi on July 18, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze was not as straightforward as the ministry’s written statement in linking plane crash with armed conflict in eastern Ukraine; she said, that it would be “even bigger disaster” if it turns out that the plane crash was a consequence of “a dreadful situation that we are seeing in Ukraine for months and which is directed against Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”
In his statement on July 18 President Giorgi Margvelashvili called for an international probe to find out causes of the plane crash.
In a statement late on July 17, PM Irakli Garibashvili said that causes of the plane crash should be established through international efforts.