Bringing criminal charges against former president Mikheil Saakashvili by the Georgian prosecutor’s office “imposes unnecessary challenges in moving our relationship forward,” four U.S. Senators said in a joint statement.
Republican Senators John McCain and Jim Risch, as well as Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Ben Cardin, who was in Tbilisi last month, said they are “extremely disappointed and concerned” with this decision of the prosecutor’s office.
“President Saakashvili and his government were not faultless, and it is important for any democracy to uphold its laws. But the pursuit of justice should not become a tool of political retribution and a source of national division, especially when Georgia has so many pressing challenges at present. We and other have urged Prime Minister Garibashvili and other Georgian leaders to focus on the future, not the past, and to help move their country forward, not take it backward. It is nearly impossible to see how the decision to put most of the previous government on trial is consistent with this purpose,” reads the statement.
“Georgia’s leaders need to think long and hard about the direction they are taking their country. Today’s action, and others like it, imposes unnecessary challenges in moving our relationship forward,” the statement says.