Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia says that forging deeper strategic ties with the US and the EU “is the only way” for Georgia to “survive in a region full of challenges.”
Speaking at the New Ambitions for Europe Panel in Davos during the World Economic Forum earlier today, Gakharia said that the region Georgia belongs to is “extremely challenging,” and Georgia has to cope with “daily challenges” caused by the occupation of 20 per cent of its territories by Russia.
Gakharia said that the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration is the “firm choice” of the Georgian people, with more than 70 per cent of the country’s population supporting this.
We [the Georgian government] will do our best for Georgia to always be on the agenda when you, our allies and partners, speak about the future of Europe,” Gakharia said.
PM Gakharia raised Georgia's role for Black Sea security. Photo: government of Georgia press office.
He stated that Georgia has made “big achievements” over the past five years.
However, Gakharia stated that Georgia faces “security and economic challenges.”
Resolving economic issues is among our top priorities. Georgia is a gate between Europe and Asia and when we speak about economic policy we see Georgia as a platform of trade turnover between the world's top economies,” Gakharia said, adding that Georgia “fully realises that making investments in economy equals investing in security.’
Gakharia said that Georgia faces the problems caused by occupation on a daily basis. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Gakharia said that there are security problems in the Black Sea area, which ‘has become a priority for NATO...[and] a new segment for Georgia [referring to the NATO Black Sea Security intentions].
Georgia can play a very important role for Black Sea security,” Gakharia said.
Gakharia stated that Georgia needs closer economic cooperation with the EU, as “we have a strong legal framework [the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Deal] but have no land borders with the EU which is a problem and the challenge should be overcome.”
Gakharia said that Georgia’s increased role in Black Sea security is likely to “settle the connection problem.”