Rivals in rugby, friends in politics:
Georgia, Romania announce strategic partnership

Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Sorin Grindeanu hosted an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Georgia-Romania diplomatic relations. Photo: PM’s press office
Agenda.ge, 27 Apr 2017 - 15:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian-Romanian cooperation is advancing to a new level of strategic relations, say Georgian and Romanian Prime Ministers.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Sorin Grindeanu hosted an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Georgia-Romania diplomatic relations at the Diplomatic Club in Bucharest yesterday.

Politics, economy and sports were all in focus of the evening that discussed how to take the Georgian-Romanian friendship to a strategic level.

Grindeanu said that Kvirikashvili’s presence in Bucharest demonstrated that the two nations see their partnership growing.

"I am convinced that our cooperation will contribute to consolidate prosperity, peace, and stability in this region. We have discussed today how to upgrade our relations to a strategic level. I am sure that with concerted efforts from both sides we can achieve this ambitious goal”, he said.

Kvirikashvili said that Romania, which "has been playing a vital role in Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration”, is ready to be Georgia's partner in the implementation of bilateral and regional projects.

In his speech, Kvirikashvili emphasised the historical, religious, and cultural unity between the two countries.

"It has been 25 years since the launch of our bilateral relations and it has been 15 years of our very special bilateral clashes on the rugby field, marked by tough scrums and victorious tries”, he said.
"As you know, Rugby is a unique game - on the surface it looks pretty aggressive, but in its heart and essence this is a gentlemanly play; the winners and the losers are both alike in dignity, and they celebrate this at a friendly and cordial feast. What makes Georgian-Romanian competition in Rugby so special is the Cup for which we two have competed since 2002 – the Anthim Iverianul Cup”.

Kvirikashvili added that Georgia and Romania have much in common, but Metropolitan Antimos of Walachia, a philosopher and a prominent ecclesiastical figure, who was born in Georgia but ended up in Romania, is the individual who unites the two nations the most.

Kvirikashvili underlined that Georgia under the One Belt-One Road initiative is a hub for two of the three westbound routes from China to Europe. He hoped that Georgia and Romania will use the existing opportunities to develop and intensify their bilateral economic relations.

"Across the Black Sea, we look at Romania as a partner that will link Europe to new emerging markets”, he said.
"We both are a window to regions, markets, cultures and that is our role, our identity, our strategy, and our foreign policy. So let's do our best to facilitate this rapprochement of the two worlds”.

Kvirikashvili is today meeting with Romanian parliament officials after which he will wrap up his two-day state visit and return home later this evening.