Representatives from Georgia's ruling party, Georgian Dream, did not vote for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution that declared Russia a dictatorship, RFE/RL's Caucasian service reported on Oct. 14.
Members of the Georgian opposition party, Citizens, voted for the resolution, but Georgian Dream representative Irakli Chikovani said that he had more pressing business than the vote.
"I’m not going to agree on the priorities of our activities with you," he said, according to the Georgian media outlet SOVA.
When asked if he considered Russia to be a dictatorship, Chikovani said that “there are problems that are associated with the full functioning of democracy.”
Previously, Georgian Dream representatives also declined to join a PACE declaration saying that Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism.
Georgian Dream, headed by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, has been criticized for maintaining ties with Russia after the beginning of the full-scale invasion and neglecting to join sanctions or other efforts to isolate Russia.
In May 2023, Garibashvili was widely condemned for saying that Ukraine was partly to blame for Russia's invasion.
A poll conducted in April 2023 by the Caucasus media outlet Jam-News found that 87% of Georgians believed Russia to be the country's primary political threat. Another 79% supported revoking the visa-free regime for Russians to visit Georgia.
Currently, 20% of Georgian territory is illegally occupied by Russia.