Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Audronius Ažubalis, who is paying a working visit to Georgia, said on September 13, that his country was pushing for launch of EU-Georgia talks on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement and also spoke in favor of launch of visa dialogue between Tbilisi and Brussels.
Speaking at a news conference after meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Grigol Vashadze, Ažubalis said that they had “a substantial discussion” about forthcoming EU Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw on September 29-30.
“We do not want an empty declaration; we want a very concrete declaration” from that summit, Ažubalis said, adding that Lithuania together with “friends” was “working very hard to press some countries to have a very substantial declaration.”
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister also said that EU-Georgia dialogue on visa-free travel “should start as soon as possible.”
“I do not specify when, but… we see this process in a very optimistic way,” he said. “Georgia is on the right track towards the starting a visa dialogue with EU; it’s obvious, it’s clear and we fully support that,”
Salome Samadashvili, Georgia’s ambassador to the EU, said on September 12, that launching of talks on visa-free travel with EU would be a priority for Tbilisi next year.
Georgia-EU visa facilitation agreement, which simplifies procedures for obtaining visas for certain categories of the Georgian citizens, went into force from March, 2011.
EU has already launched visa dialogue with Moldova and Ukraine – the two former Soviet countries, which along with Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus are part of EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative offering them closer integration with EU short of membership.
“We would like to push as much as possible start negotiating for deeper and comprehensive free trade agreement, which could make clear in the Europe at least where Georgia stays – as we are making jokes – on Singapore side or on Brussels side,” the Lithuanian Foreign Minister said in Tbilisi.
Georgia’s ambassador to the EU said on September 12, that Georgia “will open talks” on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with EU “before the end of this year.”