Change of government in Georgia has not changed the country’s European aspiration neither “in words” nor “in deeds” that much, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood, Štefan Füle, said in an interview with RFE/RL.
Asked how, if at all, coming into power of a new government changed Georgia’s European aspiration, Füle responded: “Actually it has not changed European aspiration and it has not changed anything in words – I mean we are hearing from the new government the same commitments; and it has not changed also that much in the deeds – our negotiations on the Association Agreement, including economic integration part [DCFTA], are proceeding quite well, including also the discussions in the framework of visa dialogue on the visa liberalisation action plan.”
“What it [change of government in Georgia] has brought, nevertheless, it is this cohabitation,” he said and added it was “a challenge” for both President Saakashvili and PM Ivanishvili.
“Despite some difficult moment at the beginning, we are now seeing some first signs of reaching out from the PM and the government, the President; we have seen consensual agreement on the priority of the foreign policy; we have seen a cooperation on the justice related issues,” Füle said.
“So things are moving forward and I see for Georgia also to contribute quite significantly to the success of the Vilnius summit” of Eastern Partnership countries in November, 2013, he added.
Asked what the EU was doing to “address Russian occupation” of Georgia’s breakaway regions, Füle responded that the EU “first of all” was calling on Russia “to implement fully” six-point ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 and its implementing measures of 8 September 2008.
“We are calling on Russia also to avoid military buildup; we are repeating again and again how much we are committed to the territorial integrity of Georgia and with the Georgian government we are working hard [on] reaching out to the population in those breakaway territories,” Füle added.