“We do not play games with Georgia”
05 June, 2014
“We do not play games with Georgia”
A frank Interview with chargé d’affaires of the Slovak Republic Mr. Rudolf Michalka

Recently, the Embassy of the Slovak Republic to Georgia was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia Mr. Miroslav Lajcak. “Georgian Journal” hopes that bilateral links will be even more successful now that the chargé d’affaires Rudolf Michalka is very optimistically disposed, having plenty of plans in mind.

G.J: Why has the Embassy of Slovakia been opened in Georgia?

R.M: Georgia, like other Eastern Partnership
countries, is the focus of Slovakia. Along with Moldova, it stands at the top of this list. It is in our biggest interest that Georgia follows the European way and that one day Georgia becomes an EU and NATO member country. We try to be very active to achieve these goals. Slovakia has a system of development aid called Slovak aid. One of my main tasks is to develop various projects starting from EUR 5,000 up to EUR 100,000.We aim to boost local economy development. We have already assisted one school in Saguramo with EUR 5,000. The second thing is the economic cooperation between our two countries. I want to make economic cooperation more effective and find business partners. The turnover is quite small. We want to increase both the export and import.
Besides that, we would like to share our experience about entry into the EU. Like Georgia, Slovakia is a small country. Twenty years ago, we were like Ukraine, maybe at a slightly higher level. Nowadays, from an economic point of view, we stand higher than Ukraine. As for democracy, we are definitely ahead. By stating so, I want to stress that the EU path brought us great success. To be a part of Europe means to be in the club of the most developed countries of the world.

G.J: How long can the period from becoming an associated member to a full EU member last for?

R.M. It is individual. Slovakia and Georgia have a very different geopolitical situation. One thing I can tell you is that if you are willing to do all your homework on time, I believe that Europe will not have any reason to postpone your entry. Nobody can tell you when your admission will take place, but we can tell you what it takes - it takes time, it takes effort and a lot of willpower.

G.J: What will actually change after entering the EU?

R.M: That is a good question. If it were to be tomorrow, I could tell you that you would not feel any change. Entry into the EU is a long run. The previous years are actually the time for big economic and social changes as well as your mindset. What I am telling is that the day of entering is not that important. What matters is how well you do your homework, which is for you and not for the EU. The Georgian government does it to improve the lives of the Georgians lives and not for the EU. We do not want a poor country, neither an unstable state, or a country we believe is not compatible with our values.

G.J: Stability, it is quite the dream for Georgia. How feasible is it for Georgia to do all the homework while its territorial integrity is compromised? Will NATO and the EU help us in this direction now that similar messages were voiced about reciprocal activeness during NATO week several months ago?

R.M: We call it a million dollar question of (smiles). You are the first non-NATO member country to participate in foreign miss¬ions, NATO appreciates this very much. You are a reliable country for the Alliance. We will support Georgia at the Wales NATO Summit as much as we can. But, it is a collective decision and I cannot prejudge it. I believe that in the end we will find a solution that would be good for both NATO and Georgia. Believe me; we do not play games with Georgia.

G.J: Why has the Embassy of Slovakia been opened in Georgia?

R.M: Georgia, like other Eastern Partnership countries, is the focus of Slovakia. Along with Moldova, it stands at the top of this list. It is in our biggest interest that Georgia follows the European way and that one day Georgia becomes an EU and NATO member country. We try to be very active to achieve these goals. Slovakia has a system of development aid called Slovak aid. One of my main tasks is to develop various projects starting from EUR 5,000 up to EUR 100,000.We aim to boost local economy development. We have already assisted one school in Saguramo with EUR 5,000. The second thing is the economic cooperation between our two countries. I want to make economic cooperation more effective and find business partners. The turnover is quite small. We want to increase both the export and import.
Besides that, we would like to share our experience about entry into the EU. Like Georgia, Slovakia is a small country. Twenty years ago, we were like Ukraine, maybe at a slightly higher level. Nowadays, from an economic point of view, we stand higher than Ukraine. As for democracy, we are definitely ahead. By stating so, I want to stress that the EU path brought us great success. To be a part of Europe means to be in the club of the most developed countries of the world.

G.J: How long can the period from becoming an associated member to a full EU member last for?

R.M. It is individual. Slovakia and Georgia have a very different geo-political situation. One thing I can tell you is that if you are willing to do all your homework on time, I believe that Europe will not have any reason to postpone your entry. Nobody can tell you when your admission will take place, but we can tell you what it takes - it takes time, it takes effort and a lot of willpower.

G.J: What will actually change after entering the EU?

R.M: That is a good question. If it were to be tomorrow, I could tell you that you would not feel any change. Entry into the EU is a long run. The previous years are actually the time for big economic and social changes as well as your mindset. What I am telling is that the day of entering is not that important. What matters is how well you do your homework, which is for you and not for the EU. The Georgian government does it to improve the lives of the Georgians lives and not for the EU. We do not want a poor country, neither an unstable state, or a country we believe is not compatible with our values.

G.J: Stability, it is quite the dream for Georgia. How feasible is it for Georgia to do all the homework while its territorial integrity is compromised? Will NATO and the EU help us in this direction now that similar messages were voiced about reciprocal activeness during NATO week several months ago?

R.M: We call it a million dollar question of (smiles). You are the first non-NATO member country to participate in foreign missions, NATO appreciates this very much. You are a reliable country for the Alliance. We will support Georgia at the Wales NATO Summit as much as we can. But, it is a collective decision and I cannot pre-judge it. I believe that in the end we will find a solution that would be good for both NATO and Georgia. Believe me; we do not play games with Georgia.

G.J: Nobody knows when we will receive full membership, but what we do know is that we will sign the Association Agreement and DCFTA (Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area). What will this actually give us?

R.M: This will bring certain stability to Georgia. The fact that Georgia will be a more democratic, more open society means that it will become less probable that Georgia is pushed back into authoritarianism and turmoil. And of course, more welfare. You have a good ground for being optimistic, because out of all the South Caucasian countries this is the most successful story. You are not there yet, but you are definitely on the good way.
We want countries that share our values. Why should a family have a problem child? And, I do not think that only you have to learn from us but we also have to learn from you. Every single country brought something very special to the EU. We – 27 nations - are all different. Tolerance is that we wish to promote and which keeps us together. How close do you think an Irish peasant is to an intellectual from Greece – how many values do they share? (Smiles). The European continent has not seen a war except for the Balkans and now they are already knocking on the EU door. So, that is how we eliminate the tensions, though they are still partly there.

G.J: A little bit about your informal impressions.

R.M: I came here from Ankara where I was the Deputy Head of Mission. I like the nature very much, but this season disappointed me as I am a good skier and there was no snow this year. I am afraid that I will fall in love with this country very soon because there are so many places to see, observe and travel. As you know, we have a namesake Racha that is the municipality of Bratislava (Note: Racha is one of the mountainous regions of western Georgia). I am planning to work on signing an agreement between our two Rachas.

P.S. The famous Georgian movie “Racha – My Love” tells the story of how a young Georgian man from Racha falls in love with a young lady from the Slovak Racha. A picture of love and friendship between two people.


Print
Other Stories
UNICEF Launches Online Consultations For Pregnant Women Concerning COVID-19
Pregnant women throughout Georgia are invited to attend free virtual sessions led by top gynecologists and have answers to their most pressing questions answered, - reads the statement by UNICEF.
UNDP - Boosting Georgia’s Public Healthcare With Digital Solutions
UNDP Georgia states that boosting the healthcare system with digital solutions in Georgia will enable thousands of medical staff to improve their skills in treating infectious diseases.
Railway Travel Has Been Resumed Today, June 15
According to a government decree, rail traffic has been resumed today, June 15.
The Second Wave Of Covid-19 is Expected In Georgia
According to Paata Imnadze, Deputy Director of the National Center for Disease Control, the second wave of coronavirus will most likely occur, and if the population does not follow the rules, it will occur sooner.
60 273 Coronavirus PCR Tests Have Been Done in Georgia So Far
The government's report about the measures taken against COVID-19 says that 60 273 coronavirus PCR testings were done on primary samples in Georgia in the period of 30 January - 3 June.
Georgia Reopens Shops and Malls
All kinds of open shops, including malls, have been opened in Georgia today.
Municipal Transport Services Resumed in Georgia
All kinds of municipal transport services – including Tbilisi Metro – have been resumed throughout Georgia today.
Municipal Transport to Reopen From May 29 in Georgia
All types of municipal transport will be reopened from May 29, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia said at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council on COVID-19 today.
Tourists Have to Present a Covid-19 Test Result Before Entering Georgia
According to Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control, tourists will likely have to present a document while entering Georgia that they had been tested in the last 72 hours and the result was negative.
Covid-19 Restrictions Lifted In Georgia
As the epidemiological situation allows to accelerate certain situations, some restrictions have been lifted today in Georgia.
Some Covid-19 Restrictions To be Lifted In Georgia From May 18
Some of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus spread is going to be lifted in Georgia from Monday, May 18.
The State Of Emergency Will Not Be Extended in Georgia
According to the Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia, the government will not address the President with a request to extend the state of emergency after May 22.
Village in Bolnisi Municipality to be Set Under Quarantine
Based on the decision made by the Interagency Coordinating Council, due to the high epidemiological risk, strict quarantine restrictions have been enacted in the village of Geta, Bolnisi Municipality, as part of the state of emergency.
Georgia to partially lift coronavirus-related restrictions on May 5
Georgia starts to partially lift some of the coronavirus related restrictions which were banned under the state of emergency.
9 patients die from COVID-19 as number of infected nears 600
The ninth patient has died of coronavirus in Georgia, who was 58-year-old in a critical condition.
Four Georgian sailors, who escaped from pirates, are safe
The Maritime Transport Agency said they are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the issue related to the abduction of Georgian sailors by pirates in Nigeria.
Georgian couple exercises acrobatic tricks in a lockdown
The worldwide lockdown has changed many lives. If before pandemic it was usual to go out in the evening with a friend, drink beer or sip coffee, pandemic has changed the way people spend time.
Will flights be safe after the pandemic? – Visualization proves opposite
Nearly all passenger flights have been grounded after the coronavirus outbreak and declaration of the worldwide pandemic.
Epidemic in Georgia is contained, top Georgian health expert says
Georgia has managed to contain the epidemic, Amiran Gamkrelidze, Head of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health said.
Georgia may be among the first countries which get remdesivir medicine
There is a hope that Georgia will be among the first countries which receive remdesivir medicine from the US, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, General Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital said.
Georgia receives 40 thousand PCR tests from China
Georgia has received 40 thousand PCR tests from china, including 20 thousand antibody tests as a gift from the Chinese government, Healthcare Minister, Ekaterine Tikaradze said, who met the cargo at the airport.
COVID-19 will end in Georgia by June, study says
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) publishes new study which forecasts possible end of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and some of the other countries, including Georgia.
Coronavirus cases reach 511 as Georgia passes peak of the spread
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has increased to 511 in Georgia.
More than 100 thousand people downloaded covonavirus tracking app in Georgia
More than 100 thousand people in Georgia have downloaded a new government smartphone application designed to aid coronavirus contact tracing efforts.
Coronavirus cases near 500 as Georgia eases restrictions
“We will have to learn to cohabit and coexist with this virus” – says Tengiz Tsertsvadze, General Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
11.08.2020
12.08.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0743
3.0747
EUR
1
EUR
3.6138
3.6272
GBP
1
GBP
4.0061
4.0294
RUB
100
RUB
4.1709
4.2244
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.0747
EUR
1
EUR
3.6272
GBP
1
GBP
4.0294
RUB
100
RUB
4.2244
August 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31