Estonian PM Taavi Rõivas, who is visiting Tbilisi, said on January 12 that his country is a “strong supporter” of EU visa liberalisation with Georgia.
Asked at press conference about Georgia’s expectations to get positive decisions on visa liberalisation at the Eastern Partnership summit in Latvian capital Riga on May 21-22 and about Estonia’s stance in this regard, PM Rõivas responded: “We hope to receive deliverables from the Riga summit.”
“It’s not 100% certain yet, but you know that Estonia is a strong supporter and in many respects Georgia has been a frontrunner in meeting all those criteria. It is definitely possible,” the Estonian PM added.
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, whose country as a holder of EU’s rotating presidency will be hosting EaP summit in May, has said for multiple times recently that EU visa liberalisation with Georgia and Ukraine could be one of “deliverables” at the Riga summit.
Georgian Foreign Minister, Tamar Beruchashvili, told journalist on January 12 that decisions on visa liberalisation also depends on “political support towards this idea within the EU” itself.
“You see that the situation with migration is not simple. Some countries are even calling for revision of the Schengen regulations. Our task is to do our homework duly and efficiently, to meet our commitments under the visa liberalization action plan,” she told journalists.
Speaking at the news conference after meeting with his Georgian counterpart, PM Rõivas said that Estonia and Georgia “truly have very good, very honest bilateral relations.”
He reiterated Estonia’s support towards Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspiration and its territorial integrity.
Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili said: “Estonia is an exemplary and a model state for me, which is one of the most successful.”
“We have a clear support from Estonia and I want to thank the Prime Minister for his support towards Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course,” PM Garibashvili said.
The Estonian PM said that the two countries have good cooperation in broad range of areas from defense to culture and movie-making, noting Georgia-Estonia co-production film “Tangerines”, which has been shortlisted among eight other films for the best foreign language Oscar; the shortlist will be winnowed down to the category’s five nominees, which will be announced on January 15. “Tangerines” was nominated by Estonia. The shortlist also includes Georgia-nominated film “Corn Island”. “Tangerines” was among Golden Globe nominations for the best foreign language film – the category won by Russian “Leviathan”. The Estonian PM said that although “Tangerines” did not win Golden Globe, it does not mean that it won’t get an Oscar.
Also on January 12, the Estonian PM met Georgian parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili and a group of lawmakers from ruling and opposition parties.
PMs of the two countries will open Georgian-Estonian business forum in Tbilisi on January 13.