Will Georgia be granted a visa free regime with the European Union (EU) at the Riga Summit in May?
The outcome is still unclear, as the EU noted it was waiting for an evaluation by European experts before it will make a final decision.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini held a press conference in Brussels today and answered questions about Georgia’s visa liberalisation process.
She said a decision would be made based on the country’s achievements and these achievements needed to be reflected in the report currently being prepared by European Commission experts, who had travelled to Tbilisi to review the situation.
Once the report was ready, the EU will decide whether or not to grant Georgia visa free travel to the Schengen zone. The report should be finished before the Riga Summit, Mogherini noted.
However despite no formal decision having been made yet, the EU high official said she "fully agreed” with comments by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, who said if the EU experts’ evaluation was positive, then Georgia would be granted visa free travel.
Rinkevics earlier used Moldova as an example of a country who had met all criteria so was offered an EU visa free regime last year. He said if Georgia met all criteria, its outcome would be the same.
Meanwhile European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who is in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said there was "concrete methodology” the EU experts followed to evaluate the country’s progress.
"[In Georgia’s case] at this moment, we don’t have the report yet so it is too early to make any essential comment,” he said.
The European Commission’s experts are currently working in Tbilisi and will publish their conclusion once they return to Brussels, Belgium.