Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at GFSIS Graduation

Question about the event 

Ambassador Degnan:  We’re here tonight to congratulate the graduates from the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies Training Seminar, an intensive course in National Security and Public Policy. The United States is very pleased to be able to support this mid-career training for government officials, for media representatives, for civil society representatives coming together to develop their analytical skills, to develop their research skills, to develop their skills in general, and to be able to contribute to Georgia by developing policies and strategies that it needs to be more secure, more prosperous and more prepared for the European future that lies ahead.

Question about the truck which exploded on the Kerch bridge 

Ambassador Degnan: I don’t think anybody has any information about this truck. There’s a lot of speculation about the whole incident and to the extent that it has set back Russia’s brutal attacks against the Ukrainians. Obviously, that is important. But in terms of what happened with this truck, I don’t think anybody has that information. We do work closely with Georgia’s customs, immigration, coast guard and border patrol.  We have worked with these agencies for decades now, trying to build their capacity and helping them defend their borders to deter Russian aggression and we will continue to do so.

Question about People’s Power letter

Ambassador Degnan: We have been very clear, consistent, and transparent about why the United States cares about Georgia and what the United States has been doing here. For 30 years, regardless of the party in power, we have been working to help Georgia be more secure, be more prepared to defend its borders, to help the economy to be more diversified and developed, to create more jobs, to improve the education system and the healthcare system; and of corse, assisting Georgia in building its democratic institutions.  Georgia was already a very progressive democracy in 1918, and you are now picking up that again.  The United States has been supporting Georgia’s efforts to build those democratic institutions, not only because that is what the vast majority of Georgians want, it’s also necessary to bring Georgia closer to the European Union, which should be the focus of all of Georgia’s Members of Parliament.  Political leaders should be doing absolutely everything they can to accomplish European candidate status for this country. Georgia has done so much and accomplished so much.  The next step is within reach, but Georgia’s leaders need to have a hundred percent focus on accomplishing that for the people of Georgia. That’s what the United States is focused on, helping Georgia:  we know that’s what the people of Georgia care about most.