Ambassador Kelly’s media engagement on the sidelines of the international conference “The Future of Conditionality in Eastern Europe and Eurasia: Perceptions and Policies” (January 30)
Q-n about the meeting
Ambassador Kelly: I very much appreciate the opportunity to exchange views with the speaker and with my good friend and colleague Janos Herman. Both the European Union and the United States have a tremendous investment in Georgia and so we look forward to exchanging some views about how we can do better with our support programs for Georgia’s Democracy.
Q-n about the new sanctions to be imposed by the U.S. Congress on the Russian Government, and the new proposed list of Russian oligarchs
Ambassador Kelly: Well the U.S. Congress, of course, passed a law to impose costs on the Russian Government for their violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, for their interference in the internal affairs, obviously, of Ukraine. Also, they have imposed sanctions on Russian interference in our democratic process and in our elections. And I think it is very important that the Russian Federation understand that this is unacceptable to interfere in our democratic process, to interfere in Ukraine, and this is one of the measures that Congress has taken to show the Russian Federation that this is unacceptable. I saw the news overnight. I do not have all the details about this new list of oligarchs. So, once we have had an opportunity to consult with Washington, I will have a better formed view of these newest actions.
Q-n about the Heritage Foundation’s report supporting Georgia’s accessions to NATO and Russia’s possible reaction
Ambassador Kelly: I would make a couple of points here: I think one point is that the United State does strongly support the integration of Georgia into the Euro Atlantic community and more specifically, we very much support Georgia’s membership in NATO. Obviously, there are some concerns that some NATO members have about Russian reaction to such a move. The second point I would make is that Georgia is a sovereign country and Georgia has to make its own decisions about what it has to do to become a member of NATO, and we fully support Georgia’s aspirations and we support their sovereignty. Obviously, their territorial integrity, but we also support whatever decisions they make to make themselves a better candidate for NATO.
Q-n about terrorism: Do you think that Georgia has problems with terrorism?
Ambassador Kelly: I think every country has problems with terrorism. I think terrorism is a threat that knows no borders; I think that every country, of course, has to make it as its top priority, the safety of its citizens. So in that regard, we’re very supportive of Georgia’s cooperation with us, in terms of sharing information. And, we have a very good relationship with Georgia in terms of cooperating against the global threat that terrorism represents.