Mikheil SAAKASHVILI at the meeting of the Diplomatic Club: The only way of development is the way to Europe

27 November 2012, 19:31

European integration is the only way of development of both Georgia and Ukraine. This was announced by Georgian President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI. during the meeting of the Diplomatic Club “Region at a crossroads: the European perspective for Ukraine and Georgia” organized by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation “Open Ukraine”.

Mikheil SAAKASHVILI noted that “to be part of Europe it is not only a way of thinking, it is also a way of political life”: “Europe is not perfect, but it's better than where we are coming from,” said the President of Georgia.

He stressed that holding free elections is very important to the establishment of democracy. “In Georgia there were wars, coups, was revolution, now were held the first free elections. In order for Georgia to become truly democratic, the government should be elected through elections at least twice more. And now it is very important to keep the possibility of government change through free elections,” emphasized Mikheil SAAKASHVILI.

Responding to a question about the persecution of his colleagues after change of government in Georgia, Mikheil SAAKASHVILI said: “Political issues cannot be solved through arrests. This is the road to nowhere. It is inertia of the Soviet past, when everybody could have been hidden in prison and written off.”

“In our time the opposition can be placed behind bars, but it will not cease to be the opposition because of that. And it will not stop talking,” he added.

Founder of Foundation “Open Ukraine”, Chairman of the Joint Opposition “Batkivshchyna”Arseniy YATSENYUKk, who attended the Diplomatic Club, stressed that political persecution in Ukraine, in particular the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko, “has opened Pandora's box.”

“Then the voter will demand vendetta. They will demand from the new government to do the same, as did the old government against political opponents. And when this process begins, it can lead not only to war of political elites, but huge public opposition,” emphasized Arseniy YATSENYUK.

“Ukraine and Georgia have common past, common present, common future. We have common path - the path of success and development,” noted Mikheil SAAKASHVILI.

Diplomatic Club — an informal forum on foreign policy for Ukrainian officials, businessmen, ministers of foreign affairs, independent analysts and international journalists. At the center of open debates — global developments and foreign prospects facing Ukraine and other world countries. Diplomatic Club is a joint initiative of Foundation “Open Ukraine” and Viktor Pinchuk Foundation.

Diplomatic Club with the President of Georgia was held in conjunction with the Graduates Club of the Institute of International Relations.