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    Georgia hopes for visa-free regime with EU

    Georgia Hopes for Visa-Free Regime With EU

    © AFP 2019 / VANO SHLAMOV
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    Georgia has sent an official letter to Brussels, expressing hope that its visa regime with the European Union will be eased.

    TBILISI (Sputnik) – Georgia has sent an official letter to Brussels, expressing hope that its visa regime with the European Union will be eased after the upcoming European Partnership summit in Riga.

    The letter, addressed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and signed by Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, as well as the country's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Chairman of the Parliament David Usupashvili, was released by Georgia's Foreign Ministry.

    Georgian authorities are expressing hope that "the European perspective will be recognized" and "significant progress" on the easing of the visa regime will be solidified at the Riga summit, that will "show that the EU is committed to the fundamental norms and principles," the letter says.

    The Eastern Partnership summit of EU and ex-Soviet countries will take place in the Latvian capital on May 21-22.

    The partnership is an EU initiative with a stated goal of strengthening relations with its neighbours in Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine — by providing a venue for discussions on economic and socio-political issues.

    Brussels claims the initiative is not anti-Russian, but is merely a response to the member countries' desire to deepen their ties with the 28-nation Union.

    At the end of last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said that Russia's reaction to the Riga summit will be firm, as the meeting has a pronounced anti-Russia sentiment.

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