Former DCM Nicolas Berliner’s Remarks to Media at MCC Closing Gala (June 21)
Q-n: how would you assess yesterday’s events?
Nicolas Berliner: We were obviously very concerned seeing those events. I think, first of all, it’s important to know that violence is unacceptable, and then second that there needs to be dialogue here in Georgia. They need to follow the constitutional process, but there is a great deal of polarization right now in Georgia, and, I think this is something that we hope all political parties will work on and can address and can come together for constructive results.
Q-n: what can you say what was the very dangerous process for us?
Nicolas Berliner: I think, any time that there is street violence and disorder this is a dangerous thing. First of all, people were injured. We hope those who were injured will have a speedy recovery.
Q-n: what do you think about the visit of Russian politician in Georgia?
Nicolas Berliner: I think that was clearly a mistake, and people were justifiably upset about this. And of course, peaceful protest, peaceful demonstration, to express those feelings, are entirely appropriate. What is not appropriate of course, is violence.
Q-n: what about the injured civilians among whom were journalists
Nicolas Berliner: First of all, obviously, I don’t think I, or I don’t think others, necessarily know all the facts yet, so I think it’s important to that this be looked at and investigated to see exactly what happened and the way things were done. It’s obviously something, it’s bad when anybody is injured, a journalist or anybody else. So again, we condemn violence and we certainly hope that this violence will not repeat, and really there needs to be a period of calm and there needs to be a period of dialogue.
Q-n: are you having a dialogue with representatives of the government or oppositional political parties?
Nicolas Berliner: The U.S. Embassy maintains a dialogue with all political parties here in Georgia. We always have, we are doing that now, we will continue to do that. Georgia is a partner of ours, we want Georgia to succeed, we want to assist Georgia in any way we can, but at the end of the day, these questions and these divisions between different political forces here within the country, these are things that have to be resolved domestically by Georgians.
Q-n about the event
Nicolas Berliner: Well, first of all, I am personally very pleased to be here for this event. As you may or may not know, I was here as the Deputy Ambassador in Georgia until 2017 and had an opportunity to come back now. I was here when this compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation began, and it is very very gratifying to see after five years that it has accomplished its objectives and I think it’s something that will have a lasting, positive and important impact on Georgia.