Lithuania Voices Strong Support for Georgia’s EU Visa-Free Ambitions

Occupation of our territories of Abkhazia and [Tskhinvali] South Ossetia is the price we pay for our Euro-Atlantic aspiration,” Georgia’s Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani said during her visit to Lithuania today.

The Georgian official, who was invited abroad by her Lithuanian counterpart, today met with several high-ranking Lithuanian officials including the country’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, head of the Seimas (Parliament of Lithuania) and more.

At all meetings Tsulukiani spoke about Georgia’s visa liberalisation plans, occupation problems and the pace of reforms Georgia was required to implement for it to become the part of the European space. Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius stressed Georgia achieved “excellent” results while fulfilling its obligations for gaining a visa-free regime with European Union (EU) countries.

I am sure it was not easy in such a short period of time,” Butkevicius said.

The Lithuanian Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis promised to support Georgia as it worked towards obtaining visa-free travel with Europe and added Lithuania would assist Georgia as it forged connections with new partners. The support we will offer Georgia will be part of the technical-consulting support it needs,” Bernatonis said, adding his country’s experience of working towards and attaining EU benefits would be helpful for Georgia.

The Georgian official thanked her counterpart for Lithuania’s constant support and emphasized Georgia had fulfilled all its obligations necessary to gain visa free-travel. Now we are waiting for a political decision by the EU. [This will be made] this year in December,” Tsulukiani said. Meanwhile at her meeting with Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, Tsulukiani stressed the current Georgian Government had created a state based on the strength of state institutions and not on certain individuals.

Now the court is absolutely free and it provides fair verdicts, which was impossible under the previous government,” the Georgian official said. In response, Linkevicius said he hoped Georgia would achieve a positive outcome about its EU visa-free ambitions.

I hope the EU will open its doors for Georgia at the end of the year,” Linkevicius said.

On another note the occupation of Georgian territories and the successful reforms of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia were discussed during Tsulukiani’s meeting with Loreta Grauziniene, the Speaker of the Seimas. The Georgian Minister said the aim of Russian’s occupation of 20 percent of Georgian territory was to stop the country pursuing European integration however she underscored that this was impossible as it was the choice of the people of Georgia, as the last Census revealed.


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