In its non-binding resolution adopted on April 17 on Eastern Partnership countries and in particular on “destabilisation of eastern Ukraine”, the European Parliament said that Georgia, like any other European state, has a European perspective.
The resolution, which calls on the EU-member states to consider strengthening sanctions against Russia for its support of armed militias in eastern parts of Ukraine, also mentions Georgia’s breakaway regions, saying that Russia “is still occupying the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, in violation of the fundamental norms and principles of international law.”
“Ethnic cleansing and forcible demographic changes have taken place in the areas under the effective control of the occupying force, which bears the responsibility for human rights violations in these areas,” the resolution reads.
The resolution says that the Association Agreements (AA) with Ukraine and the other Eastern Partnership countries “do not constitute the final goal in their relations with the EU.”
It says that pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, “Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – like any other European state – have a European perspective and may apply to become members of the Union provided that they adhere to the principles of democracy, respect fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights and ensure the rule of law.”
The resolution reaffirms European Parliament’s support towards signing of the Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova and their provisional application “immediately upon signature.”
The resolution “urges the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union to reduce the notification procedures following the signing of the AAs, so that provisional application can take effect as soon as possible after signing.”
The European Parliament also expressed its intention, “in the event of all requirements being met and the AAs subsequently being signed, to proceed with full ratification of the EU–Moldova and EU–Georgia AAs as soon as possible” and before the end of the current European Commission’s term in October.
It also calls for the allocation of the additional financial assistance to these countries.
In the resolution the European Parliament also called for “a frank and open dialogue” with Russia over the Eastern Partnership.
“The Russian concerns as regards the EU association process of Ukraine and the other Eastern neighbours must be adequately addressed and explained, so as to ease fears of new geopolitical dividing lines on the European continent,” reads the resolution.
It also says that “each country has every right to make its own political choices, but that the EU’s engagement with the Eastern partners aims to spread prosperity and increase political stability, from which the Russian Federation will also ultimately gain.”
Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, welcomed the European Parliament resolution and said on April 18 that acknowledging Georgia’s European perspective is of particular significance. She said that it makes Georgia’s eventual goal to become EU member state “tangible”.