Letter to European Union
This is a petition of the Georgian People for the acceptance of Georgia as a member of the European Union.
We are the people of Georgia, irrespective of specific political affiliation, movement, religion, gender, ethnicity or any other identity. Our free and independent country was built on the basis of democratic and humanistic values. We strongly believe that the cornerstones of the future of Georgia are independence, freedom, peace and democracy. The only viable vector of our evolution is aligned with the European Union.
For more than two months we have experienced the horrors of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. During this time the world has witnessed unimaginable atrocities and crimes against humanity, conducted by Putin’s regime in Ukraine. We firmly stand with the Ukrainian people in these difficult times and strongly condemn the Russian invasion. This letter however is focused on Georgia, which is intrinsically linked with the struggle of Ukraine.
There exist extraordinary parallels and connections in the fights of these two nations for freedom and independence, and against Russian imperialism. The history unfolding in Georgia provides a prime example of how Russia operates by misleading its neighbors with the sole goal to conquer, occupy and annex.
Georgia is a country with an ancient history, a unique culture and language. It is a crossroad between East and West and is home to a highly tolerant society that integrates different religions and ethnicities.
In 1801 Georgia was annexed and became a part of the Russian empire as a result of a severe violation of the Russian-Georgian Giorgievsk treaty. It regained its independence in 1918 and established a democratic state based on present day western values. For example, in 1918 Georgian women were among the first in the world to gain the right to vote under universal suffrage and to be elected as representatives in the parliament.
In 1921 Georgia was invaded, defeated and annexed by Bolshevik Russia. As a result, Georgia became one of the fifteen republics entering the Soviet Union and suffered enormous repressions by the Communist regime.
During WWII Georgian and Ukrainian soldiers fought alongside others against fascism in Europe. Remarkably, around 300,000 soldiers, which represented 10 percent of the Georgian population, gave their lives for a free and democratic Europe. Thus, Georgia paid a disproportionally high price for liberating Europe.
Throughout the Soviet period Georgia was a rare example of continuous anti-Soviet resistance, including the massive street protest of 1978 which successfully defended the official status of Georgian language in the Constitution.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia regained its independence. Since then, Georgia fought several wars against invading Russian forces. Perhaps, the most well-known to the rest of the world is the war of Russia against Georgia in 2008. At that time Russia initiated a full-scale invasion, resulting in many civilian casualties, and occupied the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali /South Ossetia. This takeover of 20 percent of Georgian territory is still expanding on a daily basis in form of a creeping occupation. Notably, the war in 2008 was an unrecognized warning sign for the Russian invasions of Ukraine to follow.
Georgia has earned its place in the family of European countries alongside Ukraine. The non-acceptance of Georgia to the European Union would be absolutely devastating for the freedom striving and deserving nation in its long-standing battle for independence, democracy and human values. This said, we equally strongly support the acceptance of Ukraine, as well as of Moldova, to the European Union.