Mr. Speaker, this year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the First Republic of Georgia. Georgia first declared independence from Russia in 1918 and was free of Moscow’s shackles till the Red Army invasion in 1921. 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia once again gained independence and has since been a beacon of hope in a region full of turmoil and corruption. Their faithful commitment to a strong democracy with free and fair elections serves as a shining example for other countries in Eastern Europe.

Georgia has become one of the most valued partners of the United States and the European community. Russia however does not respect Georgia’s independence and has occupied large portions of its territory since 2008. The hungry Russian Bear wants a return to its imperial days. The Kremlin will not stop until all former Soviet republics return to its orbit.

The United States must remain dedicated to upholding Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. So that in another hundred years, we will still be standing side- by-side with a democratic and prosperous Georgia. 

And that’s just the way it is.