Ambassador Degnan’s remarks to Media at Rondeli Foundation Event: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Question about the event

Ambassador Degnan: This was a very important event organized by the Rondeli Foundation.  It was an extremely timely opportunity to come together to talk about our concerns about Russian aggression against Ukraine, and to show our support for the Ukrainian people as they are under attack in an unprovoked and unwarranted war launched by the Kremlin.  So again, I compliment the Rondeli Foundation for bringing together all of us to be able to show our support for Ukraine at this critical moment.

Question about the Georgian government’s position on sanctions against Russia

Ambassador Degnan:  The Georgian government has been very clear in its statements of support for Ukraine and for the Ukrainian people: generous support through humanitarian assistance, both to Ukrainians in Ukraine and the Ukrainians who are here in Georgia. We have very much welcomed Georgia’s statements in the UN, in the OSCE, and other multilateral forums. Those are very important expressions of Georgian support and standing with the Euro Atlantic community at this critical time.  The point here, what we need to see now, of course, is unity. That is important whether it’s here in Georgia as an opportunity to put aside this polarization and come together around an issue that is vitally important for Georgia, vitally important for the region, vitally important for the Euro Atlantic community. So we hope that there will be continued expressions of support as we’ve seen from the National Bank regarding the implementation of sanctions.  And as this goes forward, I think all of our countries will be expected to do more, and we’ll be looking to do more.

Question about Georgia’s chance for EU membership

Ambassador Degnan:  The United States has been a strong supporter of George’s Euro Atlantic integration for 30 years. This is something that we have worked very closely with Georgia on, whether it’s EU membership or NATO membership. This is a tremendous opportunity for Georgia, again, to make real progress on the reforms that all the political parties have agreed are necessary for Georgia’s future in the European Union and in NATO.  So, I think this is a wonderful opportunity for Georgia, and I would just emphasize, this is the time for unity. This is the time for focusing on Georgia’s future and putting aside the attacks and that have been so divisive and so polarizing, to think about where this country is going, and to work together for Georgia’s future in the Euro-Atlantic family of nations. I am confident Georgia’s going to get there. And now is a time when real progress could be made.  We believe in Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future, but it is up to Georgians to do the work. And it’s hard work. We know it’s hard work, but we know you can do it. We have great faith and confidence in you. We just want to see hold together and do it together now. Thank you.