“Strengthening Democracy” in Georgia was discussed at a hearing of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security. The hearing was convened by the Chairman of the European Subcommittee, Democrat Senator Jean Shaheen.
Invited by the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights, Cara McDonald and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kenneth, several Republican and Democrat senators asked questions.
Among them was Senator Jim Rish, a senior Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. After the hearing, VOA asked Senator Rish a few questions.
At the hearing, you asked a question about the possible imposition of conditions for assistance to Georgia. What do you think about this conditionality if you can explain this question.
The very fact that I asked this question clearly indicates that I am thinking about this topic. Many of us here very, very much want Georgia to be successful. We were in the initial elections in Georgia in 2012 and we came back with very optimistic moods. [მას შემდეგ] We have seen a setback and it seems the situation is not improving, it is getting worse. I know that negotiations are underway, mediation is underway. I strongly urge both political parties to sit down and find a way out. If they do not find the right solution now, they will never find it. On the other hand, we help Georgia in many ways, including financially. This cannot continue if there is no progress. At this point it is only considered, but everyone should have it in mind for progress to appear.
Do you have any deadlines in mind?
I do not think we are at the stage to talk about deadlines. Not at this point.
There is an opinion that the government has more responsibility to find a compromise. Do you share this view and do you think the government should do something different?
Government, like political parties, is made up of people. When we talk about negotiation, it all depends on the goodwill, good faith and character of the people involved. If they combine properly, if everyone has one goal, if everyone behaves in good faith, there is no reason why this situation can remain unresolved. Everyone here has a responsibility. Obviously, those in power have a little more responsibility.