I see that the will of the Georgian people is to be with Europe and not with Russia - fulfilling the criteria is about the political will of Georgia and its leaders to continue on the European path, said the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, in an interview with "Voice of America", when talking about Georgia getting the status of a candidate country for the European Union.
According to her, today there is a fight in the world for what values will continue to govern the world - freedom or autocracy.
"The European Commission came up with this proposal, and for Georgia it means that if Georgia meets the criteria, then we can move to the next step. Of course, the fulfillment of these criteria is about the political will of Georgia and its leaders to continue on the European path. When I look at the news, I see that the will of the people is to be with Europe, not with Russia.
All these "gray zones" are sources of conflict, and Russia really does not want to let these countries go. This is the essence of this struggle. You know, it's not about additional territories as much as about the expansion of democracy and values, values that Russia is really trying to avoid," Kallas said.
She also spoke about the aid to Ukraine and said that "we should not allow attention to be diverted from Ukraine".
"America is leading the support of Ukraine and I think this leadership is very important. Of course, we are all democracies and we have our own challenges. And now the Middle East crisis is going on, which has attracted and diverted much of the attention from what is happening in Ukraine. We really must not allow the attention to be diverted from Ukraine. EU leaders have said that we can do several things at once. I also read President Biden's speech, which emphasizes the same thing and says that we can support Israel and Ukraine at the same time," the Prime Minister noted.
Kallas also answered the question whether it is likely that we will see Putin as a defendant in The Hague, to which she replied that he could be tried in absentia.
"We should not focus too much on whether Putin will be brought to court or not. He can be judged in absentia. The message that this process should have is that he was held accountable, including for the crime of aggression; that he will be held accountable for making the decision to attack a sovereign country. Without the crime of aggression, there would be no war crimes that cause the civilian population to suffer. You know, every such big crisis in the world is also an opportunity for the further development of international law," said the Prime Minister of Estonia.
*The quotes in the article have been double-translated from Georgian and wordings may be inaccurate.