Speeches & Statements

The President of Georgia awarded Ema Gogokhia, Malkhaz Basilaia and David Tsotsoria with the Medals of Dignity

Today the President of Georgia awarded the journalist of TV company "Rustavi 2" Ema Gogokhia, the journalist of TV company "Mze" Malkhaz Basilaia and his accompanying person David Tsotsoria for professional and civilian devotion with the Medals of Dignity.

"I would like to greet you all three of you!

Today we have a pleasant event.

I have come to a decision to award Ema Gogokhia, Malkhaz Basilaia and David Tsotsoria with the Medals of Dignity.

This is the highest award to those, who have rendered great services to their country.

I think that the Medal of Dignity exactly reflects the name that your professional work deserves.

Also I would like to tell you that we have very complex and challenging relationship with the journalists.

The journalists criticize us very often, but in this case this is a Georgian state award.

This is not an award, which is given by some politician, or even by the President - this is a Georgian state award, this is an award for the services you have performed for your homeland.

You practically are at the front line.

You live where there is great injustice.

This is the place, where one can demonstrate the best qualities or the greatest shortcomings.

You showed the best qualities in a very difficult situation.

I saw Ema Gogokhia with my own eyes, who showed civil and probably combat heroism.

A journalist with a delicate figure and barehanded resisted fully armed several offenders, neutralized them and after serious physical and personal risk returned the shots proving the truth. The whole world was able to see these shots afterwards.

I could witness how she risked her life.

I will never forget this and no one should.

Malkhaz Basilaia and David Tsotsoria were captured by the illegal gang-formations and never got frightened.

We saw many people in the similar situations, who put their signatures to almost everything, apologized for everything, but a Georgian man, must not apologies before unidentified gang-formations for crossing a river in Georgia.

You have proved it!

This is Georgia and those who think that, that side doesn't belong to Georgia, is a bandit and needs to be punished and not a journalist, who moves without limitations in his own country.

I would also like to mention, that it is a very important day today for Georgia.

The government of the Russian Federation took an extremely provocative and dreadful step that is directed to destabilize the situation.

I would like to repeat that this is a very dreadful step and we are now in the most responsible period in our history.

Georgia should respond with peace, power and with the self-confidence.

First of all this should be the respond of the nation that is united.

At the same time the journalists; ordinary citizens, policemen, the President, government and opposition should take the share of responsibility.

This is a moment, when all other issues should be pushed into the background.

I would like everyone to know, we are ready, on the one hand, not to allow anyone violate our territorial integrity and on the other hand involve Georgia in some type of conflicts.

This is a very fundamental issue!

Georgia doesn't want war!

Georgia doesn't want violence!

Today is the very moment, when the government and the opposition should sit together and discuss all issues, which are connected to our response to Russia on Abkhazia and Ossetia problems.

We should show our unity to everyone, the way, we have never done before.

We should show everyone, that there are some values that are higher, than political considerations.

I would like to address the opposition: we should argue about many problems, the opposition is a very significant part of the democratic mechanism, in most cases we might not be able to come to an agreement, but there are some issues, where there can be no disagreements.

I address the opposition to sit with me and the government of Georgia to work out our joint response and develop a common position regarding this provocative and dreadful action of the Russian side.

I think it will be right.

This will be unexpected for our opponents, wherever they can be and this will be the demonstration of the political maturity and unity of the Georgian nation against the main challenge.

Georgia is undefeatable if it is united when the major problems should be decided.

I would like to express my gratitude to Georgian media, to those who criticize us a lot, and those who are more objective, it doesn't matter, because we all serve one common purpose.

These people are your worthy representatives.

I also know many representatives, who serve the development and consolidation of the Georgian society, of the civil consciousness and patriotic aspirations, so to say the integration of Georgia.

O would like to thank each of them (they are much more than three people)!

They may not receive the medals, but all of us, must perform our common, national work.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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