Steinmeier: “Our relations with Georgia are constructive on visa waiver”

German Foreign Minister answered a question on Georgia-EU visa liberalisation yesterday at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Photo by Council of Europe., 14 Oct 2016 - 12:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says his country's relations with Georgia regarding visa-free travel to the European Union (EU) are "constructive.” 

Steinmeier told this to the lawmakers of the Council of Europe (CoE) yesterday. 

Our relations with Georgia is constructive and I think this is recognised and acknowledged in Georgia,” Steinmeier said when answering a question whether Germany was ready to support visa liberalisation for Georgia, Ukraine and Kosovo. 

The German high official said Germany supported democratic reforms in Georgia and he and other German officials were in Georgia to promote Georgia’s visa liberalisation in the EU’s passport-free Schengen Zone. 

This month the CoE agreed it was time to begin negotiating with European Parliament about the right to grant Georgian citizens a visa waiver and allow Georgian citizens to travel to the EU without a visa. 

Discussing and voting on Georgia’s visa liberalisation in the European Parliament is the final step before the country is granted the right to visa-free travel. 

Several months ago in summer Germany blocked Georgia’s bid for a visa waiver. At the time Berlin officials said the German public was worried about a recent spate of home burglaries by Georgian criminal groups in Germany, diplomatic sources said.

However since then a range of meetings have been held between German and Georgian officials and Germany said it supported Georgia’s visa waiver.