Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, who is visiting Tbilisi on February 12-13, reiterated his country’s support to Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
“These objectives require determination and commitment to strengthening democracy, rule of law, including focus on independence of judiciary and I am very sure that Georgia will continue reform process in these areas,” he said at a news conference after meeting his Georgian counterpart Tamar Beruchashvili on February 13.
He said that Romania, which was the first EU-member state to ratify EU’s Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, is “supporting and advocating inside the EU [for] swift ratification by all the member states if possible before the Riga summit” of Eastern Partnership in late May.
He said that Romania also supports implementation of Georgia’s second phase of visa liberalisation action plan with the EU. “We consider that this is a very important objective and we politically support it firmly,” the Romanian Foreign Minister said.
He also said that Romania “remains determined to contribute to Georgia’s efforts” to implement substantial package of cooperation adopted by NATO leaders at the summit in Wales in September.
“Romania will contribute with experts to these efforts,” Aurescu said.
He said that there is a potential of boosting economic ties between the two countries. He noted that the ferry connection between Constanta, Romania; Batumi, Georgia and Illichevsk, Ukraine, which was launched in October, “is working very well”, linking Caspian and Black Sea regions.
Aurescu also said that possibility of expanding these transportation links will be one of the main issues on the agenda of discussions when Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visits Romania on February 27.
During the visit the Romanian Foreign Minister held a meeting in the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia to which Romania is the largest contributor with up to 40 personnel. He will also meet President Giorgi Margvelashvili, PM Garibashvili and parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili.