Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova Establish Joint Parliamentary Assembly
By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Monday, June 11
Last week, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze visited Ukraine. He participated in the inter-parliamentary conference in Kiev. In the framework of the event Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova signed an agreement about creating the joint parliamentary assembly that will intend to deepen the cooperation between the three countries. The agreement aims at strengthening inter-parliamentary relations and the discussions about ongoing Euro-integration process and the topic of occupied territories.
Irakli Kobakhidze summed up the visit in Ukraine and announced that the first session of the Assembly will be held in Tbilisi in fall: "Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova have common challenges and common goals. The main priority of foreign policy of all three countries is integration into the EU. Therefore, it is very important for us to share experiences, and to discuss challenges associated with the EU integration. In this regard, the Parliamentary Assembly will be a very effective mechanism to lobby our national interests and to share experiences. In this format, we will also have interesting discussions about other topics. It is very important that the first Assembly will be held in Tbilisi in fall, we have already agreed on this ", - stated the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia.
According to Kobakhidze, one of the main issues discussed at the Parliamentary Assembly will be possible joint measures to stop Russian aggression: “Our common national challenge is, of course, the problem of territorial integrity. All the three countries have a problem of territorial integrity and in this respect, our cooperation is very important. It is very important to take joint measures to stop the Russian aggression and it will be one of the key issues in the Parliamentary Assembly's discussions,”-Kobakhidze stated.
Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova are post-Soviet states, with the problem of the occupied territories provoked by Russia.The main goal of Russia is to sustain the EU engagement with these states, therefore, these three countries are trying to find a safe course between the two competing centers.
Each direction is strong and involves more than only geographic factors. In addition, it involves culture, religion, history, economic ties, and domestic political circumstances which is often used by Russia as a tool to enhance its political influence, but In 2014, Moldova, along with Ukraine and Georgia, signed an Association Agreement (AA) with the EU, thus committing to the path of European integration and necessary reforms. The agreement was an important milestone. Despite the Russian pressure not to sign the agreement and instead stick to Moscow’s orbit, signing the Association Agreement was a strong message about countries’ commitment to European course.
The decision of the three countries to create the joint assembly and thus accelerate the process of joining the European Union is another step forward in the Eu-integration process. It should be noted that the more Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova progress toward the EU, the more aggressive the Russian policy against these states will become. Therefore, cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova, together with other member states of the EU, to prevent Russian aggression is crucial.