“We came to Georgia as your closest friends. Friends who care about Georgia and its people, who care about Georgia’s European future,” Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told a press conference in Tbilisi on Wednesday.

“The first objective of us coming here is to express our support and solidarity with everyone who fights for Georgia’s democratic and European choice (&) The future belongs to Georgian people and it should not be captured by anyone,” he stated.

According to the minister, the visit of the diplomatic leaders is also aimed at sending a message to the ruling parties of Georgia that they are continuing on the very dangerous course.

“Georgia has already achieved a lot on its EU integration path. You have never been as close to the start of EU accession negotiations as you have come last December,” Landsbergis said.

“However, neither the achievements of the past nor those of the future can be taken for granted. It took many years and lots of effort, but everything can be lost in just one blink. Our duty is to tell those things to you as they are,” he warned.

“Let me be very clear – the adoption of ‘foreign agents’’ law as well as continued repressions against Georgia’s civil society will stop Georgia’s further progress on the EU and NATO path. If this happens, responsibility will lie squarely on Georgia’s government,” Landsbergis noted.

Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna underlined that the ministers came to Tbilisi not to “give lectures” to the people of Georgia, but to tell the truth and support civil society.

“We know exactly that the neighbourhood of Russia is a dangerous place. (&) Russia has put all the neighbouring countries in such positions that we must make a choice – whether to be with freedom or together with Russia,” Tsahkna told a press conference.

The “foreign influence” law passed by the Georgian parliament symbolises the choice between the EU and Russia, according to the Estonian minister.

“This law is violating human rights and civic freedoms. And everything the EU stands for. This law is a symbol of choice between Russia and the European Union. This law is taking Georgia further away from the EU path,” he stated.

Landsbergis and his counterparts Latvia’s Baiba Braže, Estonia’s Tsahkna, Iceland’s Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir are paying a working visit to Tbilisi on Wednesday.

The ministers were set to meet with President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, as well as President of the Georgian Parliament Shalva Papuashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Ilia Darchiashvili, and representatives from the Parliament’s opposition parties. Meetings with Georgian Cabinet members and civil society organisations are also scheduled.

On 10 May, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic States and the Nordic countries issued a joint Nordic-Baltic Statement on Developments in Georgia.

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