PM Irakli Garibashvili had to make a statement for a second time in one day to reiterate that his government remains firmly on course of Euro-Atlantic integration, slamming allegations voiced by ex-defense minister Irakli Alasania and his allies that Georgia’s pro-western foreign policy is under threat as “anti-state”.
In a separate statement earlier on Wednesday the PM dismissed such allegations as “ridiculous and naive.”
Reading out a statement before journalists in his office, the PM said that these very “anti-state” and “irresponsible” allegations pose threat to country’s European choice.
“I want to make one more statement, because I see that regrettably former members of our government are deliberately distorting the process. First of all, I want to state with full responsibility and clearly that our government unwaveringly pursues European and Euro-Atlantic course and this course is firm and diverting from this course is ruled out,” Garibashvili said.
He said that “any speculation” about this choice of the Georgian people is “unacceptable” and an “insult of our people.”
“In 2012 [parliamentary elections] the population of our country expressed its confidence to the coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili-Georgian Dream. And just because of our declared course and values, [voters] reaffirmed their confidence twice since then [in 2013 presidential and 2014 local elections]. It was not because of any separate politician or political team and nobody will be able to use this confidence for their own political point-scoring. At the same time, I want to say that just such thoughtless, absolutely irresponsible, anti-state statements pose a threat to, first of all, our state and its European choice which is firmly pursued by our government,” the PM said.
“It should be clear for the society that such statements, such irresponsible, anti-state statements against our European choice are made by the members of one political party, Free Democrats, and they make a choice between an individual [referring to ex-defense minister Irakli Alasania] and the state,” Garibashvili said.
Referring to ongoing investigation against MoD and general staff officials, which sparked this recent crisis in the ruling coalition, the PM said “obstructing the process of investigation for political reasons is absolutely inadmissible.” Ex-defense minister and his allies say that the arrest of MoD and general staff officials were politically motivated to target Alasania and also to “attack Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice.”
“Our state will not allow anyone, not a single political force, not a single person to distort impartially launched investigation and to politicize it,” Garibashvili said.
“In this situation, making of absolutely irresponsible statements by politicians and top officials as well as demonstratively stepping down from their posts have obvious signs of sabotage against the state and it damages the interests of our country,” the PM said.
“Today our state is strong; it is much stronger than it was 20, 10 or even 2 years ago. Today the state institutions are working smoothly and effectively and we will not allow damaging of country’s interests. I want to call on everyone once again to treat carefully issues related to our country’s security, our national interests, Georgian people’s European choice,” he added.
PM Garibashvili plans to visit Brussels this month. NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, said he’s to see the Prime Ministerâ€™s “clear statement” that recent developments will not divert Georgia from its Euro-Atlantic path.