On 7 August, the High Representative Federica Mogherini issued a declaration on behalf of the EU to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the conflict between Russia and Georgia.
“The European Union's commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Georgia remains as strong as ever,” she said. “The European Union reiterates its firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.”
“Unfortunately, Russian military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia continues in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union,” the EU declaration highlighted.
Mogherini said that the EU reconfirms its commitment to remain engaged and involved in stabilisation and conflict resolution efforts in Georgia. It also welcomed the “A Step to a Better Future” package of proposals by the Georgian government that, according to the EU Declaration, can benefit the citizens living on both sides of the administrative boundary lines by facilitating trade, education and mobility. “Such proposals are in line with the European Union's policy of engagement with the breakaway regions of Georgia,” Mogherini added.
The declaration provided a reminder that, in the last ten years, Georgia has strengthened its democratic institutions and undertaken reforms in the rule of law, developed its economy and become an important destination for foreign direct investment and tourism, serving as a model in the region.
It also stressed the importance of the signing of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and will shape their bilateral relations for years to come. In March 2017, the EU opened visa-free travel for short-term stays for Georgian citizens.
“The EU's engagement with Georgia is a true partnership based on political association and economic integration, as well as on a strong friendship between our peoples,” the declaration concluded.
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