Georgia Receives EU Membership Questionnaire

European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi handed over the membership questionnaire to Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Luxembourg City today.

“By receiving the questionnaire, we have made another major step forward on the path of our people’s national choice, European integration!” FM Darchiashvili wrote on Twitter. “Georgia will spare no efforts to timely fill in the document and proceed to the next stages!”

“This is the first step on your European path,” Commissioner Várhelyi told the Georgian diplomat on his part, adding “we are ready to work with you very fast to deliver the opinion to the European Council as requested.”

The decision on granting Georgia an EU membership candidate status will be made during the Council of the European Union meeting this June, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported today.

Georgia, together with Ukraine and Moldova, applied for EU membership in the beginning of March.

President Salome Zurabishvili called for the unity of politicians and citizens today, after Georgia received its EU membership questionnaire.

She also stated that this yet another new chance for Georgia, adding “We should probably be grateful to Ukrainian people for this” 

Speaker of the Parliament Rejects Invitation to Bucha 

Speaker of the  Parliament Shalva Papuashvili will not visit Bucha, the location of notorious Russian killings near Kyiv, rejecting the invitation of Ukrainian Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk.

“I would like individual representatives of the Ukrainian Government to fully understand the strong support the Georgian people and government show for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” Speaker Papuashvili said today.

The Georgian Speaker continued: “this support and the partnership of our countries, doesn’t really deserve an attempt by high-ranking Ukrainian officials to separate the Georgian people and its government [in their support to Ukraine], the demand for opening a second frontline in Georgia, unfounded diplomatic démarches, baseless allegations, or accusations on profiteering by Ukrainians’ misfortune, as it was stated in my [Ukrainian] colleague’s previous address.”

“Against the background of the incomprehensibility of these issues, the official invitation seems inappropriate,” Speaker Papuashvili asserted.

“We have stated many times and I repeat it again, the support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people is our human and historical duty, and we will fulfill this duty, no matter how unfair and unfounded allegations we may hear in response.”

In his note on Facebook, Georgian Speaker nevertheless said: “It is impossible to describe in words the feeling you get when seeing the atrocities in Bucha and other cities in Ukraine.”

Tbilisi Condemns Elections in Tskhinvali 

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry has condemned “presidential elections” held today in occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as “yet another illegal act of the Russian Federation directed against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The statement says: “Such provocative actions are aimed to legitimize the illegal occupation of the Georgian regions and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians”. 

“Given the illegal occupation of Georgia’s two regions and the occupying power exercising an effective control on the ground, the so-called elections cannot have any legal effect” it stated.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry also highlighted that the planned referendum in Tskhinvali Region seeking Russia’s annexation of the region “will likewise be null and void.”

The United States and the European Union have condemned the illegitimate “presidential elections” held on April 10 in Georgia’s Russian-held Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia .

The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi said on April 10 that the United States does not recognize “the legitimacy of the so-called presidential elections held in Georgia’s South Ossetia region on April 10 and will not acknowledge their outcome.”

In his remarks, the European Union Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell stated on April 10 that the EU does not recognize the constitutional and legal framework in which “the so-called presidential elections are taking place in the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia.”

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