Fady Asly, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) published an open letter to Bidzina Ivanishvili:
This is the third open letter that I address you in 11 years; what incited me to write this letter is that you have solely and unilaterally changed the course of Georgia from heading to Europe to going to Russia, although 80% of the population wants their country to become a full member of the European Union.
The European choice of Georgia is enshrined in the Georgian Constitution; in addition to that, Georgia has signed an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU who also granted the Georgian people a free visa regime.
Georgia has complied as well with many of the EU regulations and legislations for more than 15 years, aiming at becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union as soon as possible. The price for such legislative compliance was very high for our economy and for our business climate, but there was a unanimous agreement among all Georgian stakeholders that the price for EU integration was a price that was worth paying for.
And then you woke up one of those mornings of 2022, and unilaterally decided to stop European integration and become a vassal of Russia, overruling the Georgian Constitution, dismissing the will and dreams of 80% of the Georgians, and trashing all the sacrifices that the country had made for years to comply with the EU legislation.
Worthy to note that on October 1, 2020, during the presentation of the Georgian Dream election program that you had personally attended, the chairman of your party, Irakli Kobakhidze stated that Georgia’s accession to the European Union was the means for achieving the goals set in your election program, and therefore those who elected you few weeks later, voted for your European agenda.
Now that you have totally changed direction, and that you are trying to take us all to Russia instead of Europe, your party has lost its legitimacy, since you are opposing your own election program and opposing as well the European choice of your own voters, which makes of your government a totally illegitimate one, usurping power.
For 11 years that you are in power, you have divided and polarized the society at an unprecedented scale in Georgian history; may I remind you that the only Georgian rulers that history remembers, are not the ones who divided their people the way you are dividing the Georgians, but those who have united their people under one banner, such as Parnavaz I, David IV the Builder, Queen Tamar, George V and David II.
You have brought back to Georgia corruption, nepotism, chauvinism, clientelism, mediocrity, jailing of political opponents and most recently treason, by back-stabbing your European and Western allies who stood steadfast next to Georgia for three decades, and you offered Georgia to its own arch-enemy Russia on a silver platter.
In 2022, you have purposefully increased the total economic activity with Russia to an unprecedented historical level, that represents in value the equivalent of 22% of the nominal GDP of the country, as opposed to 9% in 2003 and 8% in 2012.
Due to your actions and decisions, you have put Georgia in great danger, turning the country into an economic hostage of the Russian government, who can now bankrupt and asphyxiate the country anytime they wish, would you not meticulously follow their orders and instructions.
Trying to bankrupt and asphyxiate Georgia is a very familiar scenario that the Russian leadership has already executed several times against the country in the past three decades, and you, believing naively that Russia will not harm us again this time, brings to my mind the following quote: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing yet expecting different results.”.
Your party leaders said couple of days ago that your government had agreed on the resumption of flights from Russia because you didn’t want to “anger” the Russian government; well, this is a flagrant proof that Georgia is already hostage of the Russian government and a victim of their blackmail.
So, to follow your logic, it is unacceptable to anger Russia that represents the economic equivalent of 22% of our GDP, but it is totally acceptable to anger the West that represents the economic equivalent of 40% of our GDP. That’s a particularly irrational way of thinking for someone who considers himself to be a successful leader and a great visionary.
You may have relinquished the West and offered Georgia to Russia, being lured by Russian promises to give you back Abkhazia and Samachablo the so-called South Ossetia, thus turning you into a national hero, and guaranteeing your stay in power for life.
If you really believed such Russian promises, you must be the most naïve politician in the history of mankind; however, if without any such promises you still shifted the country’s direction towards Russia just to ensure that you remain in power at any cost, then you would be one of the worst political criminals in the history of mankind, for killing the dreams, hopes and aspirations of the Georgian people, and turning them into vassals of Russia for a very long time.
This would be an unforgivable treason, not only against the Georgian people and their western aspirations, but against the memory of all free men and women who died for the freedom and independence of Georgia, and especially against the memory of the countless men and women, soldiers and civilians, who were murdered and killed in the past three decades by Russia and its proxies.
You are yourself a product of the Soviet Union, you must know better than anyone else that Russia has no friends nor does it have allies, Russia has only agents and servants; I really don’t believe that any proud and self-respecting Georgian would want to become the agent or the servant of any country, and more particularly when it comes to becoming an agent or a servant of Russia.
Your party leaders accuse everyone opposing your treacherous policies of being agents and stateless people; this is the textbook speech of compulsive narcissists, who project on others their own vices.
The only agents in Georgia, are those who have sold themselves and their country to the enemy for some personal benefits, and who have sold the European dream, the freedom and the future of their people to turn them into vassals of Russia.
The only stateless people are those who raise toasts to their country, and then sell it the very next day to their enemy, and also those who sell their pens, their speeches, their newspapers and their television channels to promote collaborationism with the enemy, and especially those who are betraying the memory of the thousands of Georgian heroes who died for the freedom and the independence of their country, and most of all the most stateless among all stateless people, are those who sold their honor, their conscience and the future of all the Georgian children for 30 pieces of silver.
Mr. Ivanishvili, you and your henchmen will be judged very harshly both by the people of Georgia and by history.