From Stop NATO
March 7, 2015
Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine to Hold Consultations over EaP Riga Summit
Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union
Tbilisi: Deputy foreign ministers of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will meet next week in Tbilisi to elaborate “joint position” in the process of their European integration, especially in the light of upcoming Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Riga in late May, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
“During the meeting a special emphasis will be made on expectations, which are related to the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga,” it said.
Issues of bilateral relations will also be discussed when deputy foreign ministers of Moldova and Ukraine, Iulian Groza and Olena Zerkal, respectively, will visit Tbilisi on March 10-11 and meet their Georgian counterpart Gigi Gigiadze, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
When visiting Brussels late last month Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili said that Tbilisi is committed to fulfill all the requirements under the visa liberalisation action plan with the EU and expects the European Commission to recommend visa waiver by the time of the Riga summit.
Preparation for the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit was one of the issues discussed by EU foreign ministers at an information meeting in Riga on Saturday.
“There has been a broad agreement that Riga summit has to reaffirm the political commitment of the European Union to its eastern neighborhood,” said after the meeting Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, whose country holds EU’s rotating presidency.
“We are of the same opinion that we should have more individual approach to any of eastern partners, it applies also to our southern neighborhood. We also are of the same opinion that we need more support to those countries that are conducting reform process,” he said.
“We have to work on the package of assistance for all three countries that have signed the Association Agreement with the EU – Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The assistance package should help them implement deep and comprehensive free trade agreement,” Rinkēvičs said.
He also said that the issue of visa liberalisation was also discussed at the EU foreign ministers’ informal meeting and added that they are now waiting for the results of the European Commission assessment of how Georgia and Ukraine are implementing their respective visa liberalisation action plans.
If Georgia’s progress is assessed positively and the European Commission recommends the lifting of visa requirements, it must then be approved by the European Parliament and the EU-member states before it comes into force.