An official website of the United States government

Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Black Sea Platform
March 10, 2023

Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Black Sea Platform

Question about the event
Ambassador Degnan:  Black Sea security is even more important than ever, not only because Russia has launched this brutal war against Ukraine and complicated maritime movements through the Black Sea, including grain shipments that are vital for food security all around the world, but also because there are real opportunities for Georgia to play an important role in connecting Central Asia to Europe through the middle corridor.  It’s an important time to look at the opportunities for Georgia and to encourage Georgia to get started on building the infrastructure that is going to play a vital role—not just the undersea electricity cable to Europe, which of course is very important, but also roads, railways, and many other infrastructure projects that need to get started right away linking Central Asia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, to Europe.  This is a tremendous opportunity to bring good jobs, more markets, and a real improvement in the quality of life for every Georgian. I sincerely hope that Georgia will get to work on this right away.
Question about the ruling party’s decision to withdraw bills on foreign influence 
Ambassador Degnan:  The people of Georgia, especially students and young people, spoke loud and clear, and the ruling party finally listened. Now we all want to see every single Member of Parliament click on the red button and reject these laws formally—reject these laws that are Kremlin-inspired and not necessary in Georgia. Georgia does not need these laws. There are already ample protections and transparency to ensure that all of the financial assistance flowing into Georgia is being used for Georgia’s best interests, and to help Georgians who are working hard to improve their communities all over this country.  That’s what foreign assistance has been doing in Georgia for 30 years. I think all you have to do is look around in almost any community in this country, and you will see the very positive work that has happened. The people of Georgia now want to see their government fulfill its pledge to achieve European Union candidate status. I hope that that all of the energy and attention will go towards this. This is a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of every single Georgian, and it’s the people of Georgia who are holding the government accountable to that pledge to achieve candidate status.