U.S. senators call for providing Georgian ex-President Saakashvili with necessary medical aid
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Richard Burbin, who have been visiting Tbilisi for the second consecutive day, on Monday reaffirmed Washington's support for Georgia's sovereignty and its pro-Western course.
For the past 30 years, the United States has strongly supported Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the Georgian people's aspiration to integrate into Euro-Atlantic organizations, Shaheen said at a press conference, without giving a direct answer to Georgian journalists' question whether Washington sees the Georgian authorities' moves and statements as attempts to pursue a policy of rapprochement with Russia.
Reports that the Georgian authorities are allegedly pursing an anti-Western policy are regrettable, Shaheen said.
Upon being asked about the state of health of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and certain forces' demands to release him from prison and send him abroad for medical treatment, Senator Durbin, in turn, said that he has known Saakashvili for a long time but does not have exhaustive information as regards the charges that were brought against the ex-president.
Taking into account the reports that Saakashvili's health keeps deteriorating day after day, Durbin said that he would like to call on all parties to observe his rights and provide him with all necessary medical care.
When asked about the Georgian parliament's debate on the foreign agents bill, Shaheen said that this draft legislation has nothing in common with a similar U.S. law.
This bill is similar to Russia's law on foreign agents and the law that has been passed in Hungary, she said. These laws fail to meet the European Union's standards and to observe human rights, which is why when one speaks about a retreat from democracy, it is meant here as well, she said.
In Tbilisi, the U.S. senators have held meetings with Georgia's president, prime minister and representatives of political parties and non-governmental organizations.