Parliament Speaker: Hours matter when signing AA

Georgia's Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili; Photo by Parliament's Press Office., 21 Mar 2014 - 20:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Signing the Association Agreement with the European Union is "a matter of hours” decision, said Georgia’s Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili after European Commission President announced the AA would be signed in June - two months earlier than planned.

"Developments in Ukraine have shown that minutes, not months or even hours, matter when signing the Association Agreement,” Usupashvilisi said from Brussels where he met with the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule.

The European Union (EU) Commission agreed to speed up signing of the AA document with Georgia and Moldova on Friday. This will happen "no later than June 2014”, said Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso following today’s European Council’s first session on the Ukraine crisis.

"I am happy that I am announcing this news to my fellow citizens, from Brussels that the EU Commission agreed to speed up the signing of the AA document with Georgia and this date would be this June,” Usupashvili said.

The Parliament Speaker believed some may question the significance of signing the AA in June or in July.

"The answer to this question is the developments in Ukraine were reliant on not months and days but hours mattered for Ukrainian people,” he said.

Today, Usupashvili met Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

Georgia and Moldova initialled their respective AA and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreements with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit (EaP) in Vilnius on November 28, 2013.

Shortly after this, the EU expressed its desire to speed up this process and said it would sign the AA with Georgia and Moldova by August 2014 at the latest.

This decision was announced by Van Rompuy after a two-day meeting with EU leaders in Brussels on December 20 last year.

Before that, a potential date and venue for signing the AA was considered the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga in 2015.