Georgia is not trying to appease Russia, its president tells Euronews

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By Euronews
Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili
Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis

Georgia cannot behave like a NATO member state as part of its territory is occupied by Russia, the country's head of state told Euronews.

"Georgia, having part of the territory occupied, being on the frontline, does not exactly behave as a country that is a member of NATO and is protected in many different ways," said President Salome Zourabichvili.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy withdrew his ambassador from Georgia in early March over what he said was an "immoral attitude" towards sanctions. The country's prime minister, Irakli Garibachvili, had announced in February that the former Soviet state would not join international sanctions against Russia.

President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine however sparked protests in Georgia, which suffered its own Russian invasion in 2008. There are rising fears that the country could be a future target for Putin as well.

Zourabichvili, whose role as president is mostly as a figurehead, said there was no fear in the country no appeasement of Moscow amid its actions in Russia.

She said there is "solidarity" and "full support" for Ukraine and expressed "her admiration" for Ukrainian resistance in the face of Russia's "terrible aggression". She pointed out that the country does not have diplomatic ties with Russia.

The Georgian government also recently sped up an application for EU membership following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"I'm very hopeful that there will be a new window of opportunity that will be less bureaucratic, more political," for joining the EU, Zourabichvili told Euronews on Tuesday.

She said that Georgia needed to maintain ties with the European Union and unity within the country.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.