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Estonia pledges support for Georgia’s visa-free regime with EU

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, January 14
Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas, who met with Georgia’s Prime Minister on January 12, stressed that his country supports Georgia’s strive towards visa-free travel with the European Union at the upcoming Riga Summit in May, 2015.

“We hope to receive deliverables from the Riga summit.”

“It’s not 100% certain yet, but you know that Estonia is a strong supporter and in many respects Georgia has been a frontrunner in meeting all those criteria. It is definitely possible,” the Estonian PM added.

Apart from the issue, the two countries leaders’ touched upon economic cooperation, Georgia’s EU integration and relations with NATO.

"The Georgians and the Estonians are good friends,” Roivas said.

The Estonian PM said that the two countries have good cooperation in a broad range of areas from defense to culture and movie-making, noting the Georgia-Estonia co-production film “Tangerines”, which has been shortlisted among eight other films for the best foreign language Oscar.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili also highlighted the friendly attitude between Georgia and Estonia.

When it came to trade and economic relations, the PM broadly spoke about Russia.

Garibashvili said economic and trade relations had recently improved with Russia but the political situation remained the same.

"Two years ago when we came to power we supported the dialogue format with Russia and appointed a special representative for relations. The Russian side gradually opened the market and, of course, trade and economic relations have improved, but the political climate has not changed,” he said.

Gharibashvili stated that Russia continues to occupy Georgia’s de-facto regions and responds to Georgia’s constructive steps by signing unacceptable treaties with the regions.

“The situation is not easy, but we maintain constructive relations with Russia,” Gharibashvili said.

In the framework of the visit, the Georgian-Estonian Business Forum was held on January 13. At the beginning of the forum Ghraibahvili stated that Estonia with its achievements is a leading country in Europe, especially in the field of electronic and digital technology. Within the forum Georgian and Estonia leaders signed an agreement on International Road Transport of Passengers and Cargo.

Gharibashvili said that he expects Georgia's economic growth will reach 5% in 2015.

“Georgia is a leading country in the region in terms of stability and favorable investment environment. Our market is completely open to foreign investors,” he added.