On 23 November, 2007, President Lech Kaczyński met President Micheil Saakashvili of Georgia. Both Presidents attended a ceremony of unveiling the Prometheus Monument. During the ceremony, President of the Republic of Poland was decorated with the Order of St. George. President Lech Kaczynski addressed the assembly with the following words:
“I am overcome with deep emotion as I receive this decoration from the hands of the President of the nation which has for centuries been resisting the Russian imperialism, the nation which for almost 18 centuries has been a Christian nation, a nation which after 1989 stood as a model of attachment of freedom, which fought to regain it after the Bolshevik revolution and has actually regained it for a few years.
Nowadays this is an entirely different world that we live in; a free world. But it needs to be always remembered that freedom must be pursued and fought for. From the perspective of my country, what is most important is to have as much freedom as possible also east and south east of Poland. This is becoming a reality now but our pursuits should never cease.
I would like to congratulate you most warmly on your National Day, I wish to convey to you our best wishes and a message of an authentic friendship from my nation. You referred, Mr President, to Georgian officers in the Polish army. This gesture was not a coincidental one on the part of Marshal Pilsudski. After 1920, in Poland we had many officers from various armies but it was only Georgian officers and a few Azeri ones who could serve in our army on a par. This was an expression of our sense of affinity with you. This feeling of affinity is still alive and translates into excellent relations between us and into very good relations with Mr Micheil Saakashvili.
All the best!”
In the afternoon, the President of the Republic of Poland met with representatives of the opposition. After that the President delivered a statement to the Polish press.
”Today I have had an opportunity and pleasure to meet the President of Georgia, Mr Micheil Saakashvili twice, and I will see him one more time today. I have just seen representatives of the opposition. I also met, though merely during the convention, Madam Speaker of the Georgian Parliament.
What was the subject of the talks? As you can presume, Ladies and Gentlemen, the main issue was the future elections in Georgia and the situation in the country. Poland is profoundly interested in the development of democracy in Georgia, in stabilization of the situation in that country and in forging possibly closest relations between our two countries. These relations are underpinned not only with the sense of affinity between our two nations, nor merely with numerous family connections – as during the times of partitions in Poland, Tbilisi and other Georgian cities witnessed a lot of Polish citizens coming and going, and some of them made their home here – but they are also connected with intentional and consistent policy pursued by Poland especially in the last two years. That policy consists in developing possibly closest relations with the countries south east of Poland. This refers to Ukraine but also to Georgia, Azerbaijan and perhaps also other states in the long-term perspective. This is a policy which we would never want to change and its central part consists in providing support to European aspirations of these countries, i.e. aspirations to join NATO in the first place, and in a certain time perspective also to secure membership of the European Union. This is also the point of view we adopt when looking at the problems which Georgia is facing.
We would like to see all parties to the dispute satisfied with the conduct of elections, with their democratic conduct, referring both to the elections which will take place on January, 5th and to all following ones. There should be no doubt that Georgia fully complies with the conditions and can receive the map for its accession to NATO. It is also about making Georgia`s way to the European Union as short as possible, though this is going to take time and we are aware of it. All those who would visit Georgia more than two years ago can see with a naked eye the changes, the changes for the better. The changes in the way the city looks – I mean the city of Tbilisi. All this has a great significance. Obviously, democratization processes are significant as well. The decision made by President Saakashvili on calling early elections on January, 5th 2008, on the shortening of the term of office deserves respect. This decision needs to be respected; however, one also needs to bear in mind that all parties to the elections need to receive an equal treatment.
Let me once again express respect and personal liking for President Saakashvili. Moreover, I would like to voice my conviction that Georgia will set an example for the whole region in building a democratic civic state.”
President Lech Kaczynski also took part in the meeting between three presidents – attended by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Mr Valdas Adamkus and the President of Georgia Mr Micheil Saakashvili. Following the meeting a briefing was held at which the President said as follows:
”I would like to congratulate Mr President and the entire Georgian Nation on this occasion, on the anniversary commemorating a great victory, the victory of the revolution. This is one of the reasons why I have come to visit your beautiful country.
I am satisfied with the talks I held with President Saakashvili and the meeting I had with the Patriarch of one of the world`s two oldest Christian churches. I have also had an opportunity to talk to the representatives of Georgian opposition. In this connection, the very fact that such talks are held without anyone’s interference is meaningful. A short time ago, as you know Ladies and Gentleman, a courageous decision on calling early presidential elections in Georgia was taken. I am deeply convinced that the outcome of this one exam in a series of many in store for the nation will be very positive. One needs to clearly say that the elections are held in Georgia, for Georgia and that it is Georgian women and men who cast their votes, no one else; everybody else is merely an observer. However, in today`s more and more integrated world, and I mean not just Europe, everybody takes such exams, not only Georgians but also Americans, and this is done before the world`s, the European public opinion. Poland wants to provide help here as far as it is possible. I have just said so to President Saakashvili, but I also addressed the same message to members of the opposition that the state of Georgia and the Georgian people have the final word. No country in the world, not even the most powerful one can take the decision for you. But at the same time, I do hope there will be no need for anyone to take this decision for you, that the path which Georgia has entered will be continued.
This path can be seen in the physical dimension, it can be seen at first glance. This has been my third visit to your country since just over a year. And even this short time shows how much has changed. But obviously reconstructing the country, building and renovating plays an extremely important role in the life of an ordinary citizen – a key role as a matter of fact. However, other issues which have been brought forward are equally significant – it is thanks to them that we are holding talks in a different Georgia today, in a Georgia after “the revolution of roses”. These issues have to be brought further on and I am convinced that they will.
Democracy is not an easy lesson. Democracy always gives rise to problems. It often gives rise to certain injustice and in particular to unfair judgment of those in power. Such situation happens very frequently, indeed, and I assure you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that in this respect I am a highly experienced person. Nevertheless, a system better to democracy has not been invented in the world so far, and I doubt whether this will change. At least in the world that I know. This is what I would like to wish you all – both: those Georgians who support the authorities, and to those who are currently opposed to them. Let me repeat that this is an entirely regular phenomenon, it is an inherent feature of democracy, and even though it is not always convenient for those in power and those in opposition, one has to come to terms with it. I am sure that such thinking is already in place in Georgia and that it will stay this way. May I wish Mr President, whom I would like to assure once again of my friendship and respect, all the best”.
In the evening President Kaczynski departed for Poland.