Georgian parliamentary chairman, Davit Usupashvili, held talks with Latvian leadership in Riga on November 4-5.
The Georgian parliamentary delegation, which includes lawmakers from both GD and UNM, will head to Vilnius to hold talks with the Lithuanian leadership after meetings in Riga.
Usupashvili met Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs; PM Valdis Dombrovskis; speaker of Latvian parliament Solvita Āboltiņa on November 4 and President Andris Bērziņš on November 5.
Bilateral cooperation and upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius were focus of discussions. Georgia expects to initial Association Agreement with the EU at the Vilnius summit. Usupashvili said after meeting with his Latvian counterpart on November 4 that “real work” will start after the Vilnius summit, which should lead to signing of the Association Agreement. He also said that initialing of the agreement at the Vilnius summit would also be made possible thanks to “many years of work of the previous government” of Georgia.
The Latvian Foreign Ministry said that during the meeting with the Georgian parliament speaker, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs congratulated Georgia on holding democratic presidential election on October 27 “in compliance with international standards.”
On Georgia’s internal political developments, the Latvian Foreign Minister said that the EU is “closely following court proceedings against former Georgian officials.”
The Latvian Foreign Ministry also said that Minister Rinkēvičs expressed “concern over efforts to restore monuments to totalitarian dictators and mass murderers like Stalin and invited to get acquainted with Latvia’s experience in raising awareness and building knowledge on complex historical issues.”
The statement refers to several cases of restoration of Stalin monuments, most recently in town of Telavi, eastern Georgian region of Kakheti, where the monument was re-erected upon the initiative of local society of Stalin; the Georgian central government distanced itself from these cases, saying that it was within local self-government bodies’ competence with some ministers condemning restoration of Stalin monuments. The previous authorities announced last year about the plan to transform museum of Stalin in Gori into Museum of Stalinism to focus on the Soviet regime’s repressions. This year the Ministry of Culture launched a commission to develop new concept for the museum.