POLITICS
Brexit opens EU's door to Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili says
05 April, 2019
“There is a logic that the country that has been steadily moving toward and wanting Europe can’t be treated less than the country that’s steadily moving away from Europe’’, says Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia in her interview with Bloomberg. According to the president, Georgia has to “seize the opportunity presented by the U.K.’s departure from the European Union to push its case for integration leading to membership of the bloc”.

Georgia has been aspiring to become a part of the
EU and NATO since the Rose Revolution in 2003. In 2014, Georgia signed an Association Agreement with the EU which provided the country with visa-free travel to the bloc in 2017. Zourabichvili claims that Georgia is ready to become a member of NATO. “If we were to get the Membership Action Plan, everybody knows that we would be ready in two months”, says the President.

NATO has set no date for the membership. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated in Tbilisi that Russia cannot stop Georgia joining the alliance. Even though Russia recognized the breakaway regions as independent states after the war in 2008 (that are viewed as part of Georgia by the international community) and Russian forces keeps inching into Georgia, the country has never inched back from its determination to seek EU and NATO membership. “If that was Russia’s intention, then it’s a big defeat,’’ Zourabichvili says.

Meanwhile, the president points out that she won't go to Russia’s annual Red Square parade in May to commemorate the Soviet victory in World War II. “You don’t get into any formal or informal dialogue with a country that occupies 20 percent of your territory if there are not very clear signs that something is changing,’’ she says.

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