Foreign Minister of Poland, Radosław Sikorski, said EU was entering “the period of closer monitoring” of developments in Georgia, where, as he put it, “the opposition is being threatened publicly with the use of prosecution services.”
He made the remarks while speaking with journalists in Luxembourg on June 24 after the EU foreign ministers’ meeting, which, among other issues, also discussed EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP).
Asked about situation in Georgia, particularly in the context of the arrest of former interior minister and ex-PM Vano Merabishvili, the Polish Foreign Minister responded: “There is much progress in many countries [of Eastern Partnership] on the deep and comprehensive free trade area. Some countries have closed the text of the agreement, but as you know the Association Agreements are conditional upon countries already… showing everyone that the principles that they are committing themselves are being respected.”
“And there are two countries, quite frankly, where we are worried – one is Ukraine, which has not yet passed the electoral law and has not reformed its Stalinist era prosecutorial service and where there are well known concerns about selective justice to do with the imprisonment of [former PM] Yulia Tymoshenko,” Sikorski said.
“And the country where we are beginning to be worried is Georgia, where the opposition is being threatened publicly with the use of prosecution services if they don’t stop criticizing the government; that is unacceptable behavior by the European standards,” he said.
“And we are also very concerned about overuse of pretrial detention towards people, who have not… been proven guilty yet. So we are entering the period of closer monitoring of developments in Georgia and I just hope, as a friend of Georgia, that the Georgian authorities will take note and improve their standards,” Sikorski said.
Asked about recently emerged videos, showing torture of detainees by law enforcement officers, which the current government says was taking place during the previous authorities, the Polish Foreign Minister said he could not comment on concrete cases, but also added: “I am sure the previous government also has cases to answer, but it is the method, the rules by which the Georgian justice operates that will form the opinion... in Brussels.”