Analysts are divided over how to respond to growing challenges facing the people of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. People with direct influence over government policy rarely participate in an event (in English) like the video here that includes a discussion with the current speaker/chairs of three different countries. The discussion is part of a PR drive that included a meeting with US President Donald Trump this week as the three leaders promote the Parliamentary Assembly, a new so-called “interparliamentary assembly” launched by their three governments.
Included in the discussion are Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova Andrian Candu, Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze and Chairperson of the Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy. Georgia’s Irakli Kobakhidze actually made the first public announcement interparliamentary assembly during the event in the video below. Some of his remarks were published on the Parliament of Georgia website:
“We have built the successful cooperation especially in the Parliamentary format. We have established the Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine Parliamentary Assembly and I believe it to be successful. In September, Tbilisi will host he first session of our Parliamentary Assembly to trigger the successful cooperation between the three countries… All three countries share the problem of territorial integrity. Georgian regions – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are occupied. Ukraine and Moldova encounter the same problems. It once again reveals importance of our joint efforts and resources and joint fight to protect our interests and the principles of the international law…”
“…We are consistent in our efforts to make our countries the NATO and EU full-fledged members. This is our key foreign policy priority, which is reflected in the Parliamentary Resolution of 2016 adopted shortly after the Elections. The document underlines that EU and NATO integration is the key foreign policy priority of Georgia. Besides, the Resolution underlines that USA is the key strategic partner of Georgia…”
“We share the common challenges mostly related to the regional problems and Russian aggression. All three countries share the problem of territorial integrity. Georgian regions – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are occupied. Ukraine and Moldova encounter the same problems. It once again reveals importance of our joint efforts and resources and joint fight to protect our interests and the principles of the international law…”
“…We are consistent in our efforts to make our countries the NATO and EU full-fledged members. This is our key foreign policy priority, which is reflected in the Parliamentary Resolution of 2016 adopted shortly after the Elections. The document underlines that EU and NATO integration is the key foreign policy priority of Georgia. Besides, the Resolution underlines that USA is the key strategic partner of Georgia, which means that our country has the clear vision in foreign policy terms. We have the clear vision related to EU and NATO integration…”
“…Georgia undertakes the pragmatic policy towards Russia but at the same time, we have the clear red lines related to our Western integration and occupation of our two regions. We actively undertake non-recognition policy. De-occupation is our major national goal for which we shall be consistent in our efforts. As to the policy towards Russian Federation – we have been through the greatest aggression. We undertake the pragmatic policy facilitating to achievement of higher level of domestic stability and security and now, we contribute to the regional security and stability. This is the role Georgia plays in the region today…”
“…Human rights state in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali is grave. Humanitarian situation is also grave and the citizens residing in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region encounter significant problems on daily basis. Kidnapping became the regular. Recently, Georgian peaceful citizen was murdered in Tskhinvali, which evidenced that the conflict in these regions is not protracted. Sometimes, people forget that this conflict brings death to the citizens, it entails human rights violation. That is why it is important to attach attention of international society to these problems. It is not a protracted conflict but it brings death, abduction and human rights violation on daily basis…”
The conference, held in Washington DC and titled “The Frontlines of Freedom: A Conversation with the Speakers of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine” was detailed in the event invite write-up by the Atlantic Council which hosted the discussion. The Atlantic Council is generally regarded and referred to as a premier Washington ‘think tank’, whatever that really means:
Please join the Atlantic Council for an event entitled The Frontlines of Freedom: A Conversation with the Speakers of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine on June 28, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council headquarters (1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Elevators).
The countries of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine stand at a crossroads. Perched between Russia and the West, they have chosen a path of economic and political reform and closer relations with the West. They face substantial challenges dealing with the systemic legacy of the Soviet period as they pursue reform, while facing Kremlin interference in their affairs and occupation of their land.
Recognizing the common nature of the challenges that they face, the Speakers of the parliaments of the three nations have established a joint forum to promote cooperation and to better explain to their citizens and their allies abroad how they are addressing these challenges.
At this public panel, Speakers Irakli Kobakhidze of Georgia, Andrian Candu of Moldova, and Andriy Parubiy of Ukraine will describe the outcome of their visit to Washington and their vision for the future of their countries.
Can the three countries act together? In what ways is the current system in their countries too repressive? How can working together help enact meaningful democratic reforms? These are some key questions going forward. The event video includes an introduction by Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson and was moderated by Dr. Michael Carpenter, the Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Carpenter is also the Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. The video is about 90 minutes. Take a look: