European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, stated that the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, took a portion of their telephone conversation completely out of context. This pertains to Kobakhidze's statement today, in which he claimed that one of the European Commissioners threatened him with the same fate as the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico.

“As a Commissioner responsible for Neighbourhood and Enlargement I am in regular contact with Government officials of my portfolio countries, since communication channels always have to be kept open for direct political exchanges.

In the current political situation of Georgia, I have been investing major efforts in dissuading the Georgian political leadership to adopt the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence which can undermine Georgia's EU path.

Being fully aware of the very strong pro-EU sentiment of the Georgian society, during my phone conversation I felt the need to call the attention of the Prime Minister on the importance not to enflame further the already fragile situation by adopting this law which could lead to further polarisation and to possible uncontrolled situations on the streets of Tbilisi.  In this regard, the latest tragic event in Slovakia was made as an example and as a reference to where such high level of polarisation can lead in a society even in Europe.

Once again, I regret that one part of my phone call was not just fully taken out of context but was also presented to the public in a way which could give rise to a complete misinterpretation of the originally intended aim of my phone call.

I am still urging the Georgian authorities not to adopt this law. I ask this also as a well known and so far respected friend of Georgia. I am continuing to support Georgians working towards a European future,” explains European Commissioner Varhei, who is a representative of Hungary.

Today, the Prime Minister of Georgia stated that, in light of the Russian Law on so-called Foreign Agents, the threat made by one of the European Commissioners during a telephone conversation was shocking, especially considering the "long-term blackmail" by "a whole range" of high-ranking foreign politicians. Kobakhidze did not disclose the identity of the European Commissioner involved.

"In a conversation with me, the European Commissioner listed a number of measures that Western politicians can take after overcoming the veto on the transparency law, and while listing these measures, he mentioned - 'You see what happened to Fico, and you should be very careful.' When the Prime Minister of Slovakia, who suffered a terrorist attack a few days ago and is still undergoing treatment, is mentioned in the context of blackmail related to the Transparency Law, it is extremely concerning to us," said Kobakhidze. He added that behind the attack on Fico, "based on preliminary information," traces of "one of the country's special services, which is particularly closely connected with the Global War Party," can be traced.

This is not the first time that European partners have accused representatives of the Georgian authorities of spreading misinformation. Just ten days ago, the foreign ministers of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia rejected the statement made by the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili, claiming that it seemed they had agreed at a meeting that the ruling party had done the right thing by not heeding its European colleagues' advice to impose sanctions on Russia and release Mikheil Saakashvili.

Georgian News
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