Baltic ministers urge 'restraint, de-escalate' in Georgian political crisis
The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are calling for political forces in Georgia to "act with restraint, de-escalate the situation and seek a constructive solution" amid a political crisis in the country.
A joint statement was issued on Thursday by foreign ministers Eva-Maria Liimets, Edgars Rinkevics and Gabrielius Landsbergis which said a "constructive solution" needed to be found.
The three ministers said: "We believe in the future of Georgia as a free, independent and democratic state."
The political crisis in Georgia started after disputed parliamentary elections in October 2020. The situation deteriorated on the morning of February 23 when the opposition party United National Movement (UNM) leader Nika Melia was arrested at the party's headquarters.
The full statement is republished in full below:
We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania express serious concerns over the political situation developing in Georgia and urge all political forces to act with restraint, de-escalate the situation and seek a constructive solution in the interest of Georgia and all its citizens. We stress the critical importance of the rule of law and political dialogue in order to resolve the current crisis.
We are concerned with the detention of Nika Melia, the leader of the main opposition party, United National Movement. This risks undermining the possibility of dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition.
We believe in the future of Georgia as a free, independent and democratic state.
We support the choice of the Georgian citizens to associate their country's future with the democratic transatlantic community and to aim for integration with the European Union and NATO. We stress the importance of political stability in order to reach those ambitious foreign policy goals.
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Editor: Helen Wright