Georgia, Ukraine agree to mutually address “joint challenges”

Street art in Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo by V. Shioshvili, 21 Apr 2015 - 12:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

"The Georgian people stand by the Ukrainian people” – this was the main message from Georgia’s Parliament Speaker to his Ukrainian counterpart during their meeting in Kiev on Monday.

Georgia’s David Usupashvili, who is leading the Georgian Parliamentary delegation to Kiev, met Ukraine’s Volodymyr Groysman yesterday before the two officials spoke for media.

"The Georgian people stand by the Ukrainian people, the Georgian Parliament stands by the Ukrainian Parliament and the Georgian Government stands by the Ukrainian government,” Usupashvili said.
"We should tackle aggression together, we should restore territorial integrity of our countries together and we should continue moving towards free Europe together. In Georgia this stance is shared by all the influential political forces.”

The two officials from neighbouring countries discussed ways to intensify parliamentary cooperation as a way to address their "joint challenges”.

"Our relations are very friendly. We are facing the same challenges. That unites us,” Groysman said.
"We are ready to cooperate, to deepen our relations, to coordinate our actions in the international arena.”

The Georgian side proposed the idea to establish an annual conference of lawmakers from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, with participation of European counterparts. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine each signed an Association Agreement – an important document that brings them closer to the European Union (EU) – in June 2014.

"We will create the arena for the countries having joint problems to jointly work on the issues of European integration and search for answers to the challenges,” Groysman said regarding the trilateral conference.

Later today, Usupashvili will meet Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The pair are expected to discuss regional security issues.

After this meeting, the Georgian delegation, which includes chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs Georgian Dream (GD) Member of Parliament (MP) Tedo Japaridze, chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration GD MP Tina Khidasheli and opposition United National Movement (UNM) MP Giorgi Vashadze, will return home.