Georgian PM: I believe we will be taking EU integration journey together with Abkhazian, Ossetian compatriots

“I will not make any decision that will in any way harm the national interests of our country and our people,” he said, reminding the public of the events in the 1990s when authorities in Georgia made an ill-advised attempt to block a strategic railway crossing Georgia to effect an economic blockade of Russia. Photo: Government of Georgia., 03 Mar 2022 - 18:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

I believe that we will be taking the journey of European Union integration together with our Abkhazian and Ossetian compatriots, the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Thursday with his signing of the country’s application for receiving the candidate status of an EU member state.

In his comments on what he called a “historic day” for the nation, the PM said he was confident the Georgian government would “build a united, strong European state” together with the people in the two regions of the country.

The head of the government made historical references in his address marking the occasion, celebrating the “Georgian people taking great pride in its ancient culture and history dating back thousands of years, [who] have always been oriented towards Europe and loyal to its values”.

Garibashvili’s statement included a nod to the 1918-1921 First Democratic Republic of Georgia, with the PM noting “at the dawn of the 20th century Georgian people created a most democratic, European state based on European values”.

The PM’s signing of the EU membership bid follows Wednesday’s reveal by Irakli Kobakhidze, the ruling Georgian Dream party Chairman, of the government’s work on preparing the application in an expedited manner.

On Tuesday, a draft resolution on the country’s EU membership was prepared by the Committee on European Integration of the Georgian Parliament. The resolution called on EU member states and institutions to take all necessary steps to accelerate Georgia's accession to the Union.