Estonian foreign minister: Visa freedom decision to be made before Georgian parliamentary elections

Flag of Georgia. (David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters/Scanpix)
6/21/2016 5:07 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand said on Tuesday that a country which had so far delayed the EU’s decision regarding granting Georgia visa freedom has now promised that the issue will be resolved before Georgia’s parliamentary elections in the fall.

"The delegation said that when talking about the timeframe, it will definitely take place before elections in Georgia," Kaljurand told Estonian media in Strasbourg on Tuesday. "But they weren't ready to talk about a specific date yet."

A meeting of EU foreign ministers took place in Luxembourg on Monday, where, among other topics, the foreign political impact of the topic of granting Georgia visa freedom within the EU was discussed on the proposal of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romaniaand Bulgaria.

According to Kaljurand, representatives of nearly all EU member states spoke at the meeting, and all of them stressed that Georgia should be granted visa freedom as soon as possible. She added that one of the delegations which had previously been slowing the process down stated that the reason behind their delay was their issue with crime in Georgia, but added that they were continuing to discuss the issue domestically and thought that it would soon be resolved.

On several occasions, European media has alluded to Germany being the member state blocking the decision to grant Georgia visa freedom.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has stated that being granted visa freedom in the EU could benefit Western- and European-minded parties at the parliamentary elections slated to be held in Georgia in October.

Kaljurand promised on Tuesday that she would bring up the topic of Georgian visa freedom at all subsequent EU meetings until the issue was resolved.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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