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3 Mar, 2022 17:59

Georgia signs EU membership bid

Tbilisi’s prime minister has hailed it as a ‘historic day’ for the Caucasus state
Georgia signs EU membership bid

Georgia has submitted a formal request to join the EU’s ranks after Tbilisi’s ruling party insisted that pursuing its long-held ambition was necessitated by the current political climate following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

In an address on Thursday, Irakli Garibashvili announced that he was “signing an application for EU membership on behalf of the country,” hailing it as a “historic day.”

“Applying for EU membership is another important step on Georgia's path towards European integration, a move that turns a new page in our history and continues the efforts of our predecessors to join the European family,” he remarked.

Garibashvili went on, adding that “our country has always belonged to European culture and civilization throughout its centuries-old history, and even today Georgia is making valuable contributions to its protection and development.”

The move comes after the Committee on European Integration in the Georgian Parliament issued a draft resolution on entering the bloc, asking all member states to take “all necessary steps” to accelerate the country’s inclusion.

Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze also backed the nation’s integration into the EU, stating, “Georgia has been doing everything for three decades and brick by brick is building a bridge with the European Union,” he continued, insisting that “our generations, me and my children, are doing everything we can for Georgia to become a member of the European Union as soon as possible.”

The chairman of the Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, announced on Wednesday the faction’s “decision to immediately apply for the EU membership,” telling reporters that the bid comes “based on the overall political context and the new reality.”

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Brussels has placed a number of sanctions against Moscow, including barring several of the country’s banks from the global payment system, SWIFT. Garibashvili, however, has refused to participate in hitting its neighbor with embargoes, arguing that “this would only damage our country and populace more.”