EU has “opened its arms” to Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova - French, German ambassadors

French and German ambassadors to Georgia, Sheraz Gasri and Peter Fischer, on Friday responded to the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in a joint statement. Photo: IPN, 24 Feb 2023 - 14:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

French and German ambassadors to Georgia, Sheraz Gasri and Peter Fischer, on Friday said the European Union had “opened its arms” to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova in last year’s decisions on the Associated Trio countries’ aspirations for joining the bloc, in a joint statement released on the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Pointing to the “historic opportunity” for the three states, which they said had been presented to them following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the diplomats stressed the bloc’s membership meant the “spread of stability, prosperity and peace to this region – just as previous EU enlargements have done”. 

Joining the EU is a long voyage. It involves adopting not only the goals and values of the EU, but also the full body of EU legislation, standards and norms”, the ambassadors said, adding in December the bloc would decide on Georgia’s membership candidate status and urged the country to “focus on the fulfilment” of the priorities outlined by the European Commission last year.

Describing the Georgian Government as a “part of the international unity” condemning Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine, the diplomats highlighted Georgia “knows more than anyone the importance of respect for a country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity”. They once again called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Georgian territories. 

The ambassadors also emphasised Georgians had demonstrated “great solidarity” to Ukraine by sending “important humanitarian aid” and accepting its refugees since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

In their remarks on the war, the diplomats highlighted “Russia cannot and will not win. The EU is more united than ever in its unanimous support for Ukraine and will impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities inside and outside the country”.