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Donald Tusk: Georgia might get visa liberalization in 2016

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 21
Head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, claims that Georgians might enjoy the visa-free regime within the European states in 2016. However, according to him it is not an official promise.

“Much is dependent on the attempt and the efforts made towards attaining the goal. We are amid the process. The situation in both Georgia and Ukraine is really hopeful. I can say today that if we meet the same aspiration from both countries in the future, granting a visa-free regime for both countries for 2016 is quite expectable,” Tusk said.

Meanwhile the current Georgian leadership, headed by the Prime Minister, is getting ready to take part at the EU Riga Summit scheduled on May 21-22.

The Georgian authorities still remain hopeful over Georgia’s visa-free prospects through the occasion.

They stress that Georgia’s striving towards the Euro-Atlantic structures should be appropriately appreciated.

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili stresses that Eurasia is under a permanent threat and a security umbrella is much needed for our country.

In Georgia, he said, Kremlin propaganda aims to force Georgians into questioning their choice to integrate with Europe, given that the EU and NATO are not offering membership anytime soon.

“The basic message is that Europeans don't care about you, you are abandoned, you don't have a choice and the Georgian European choice is doomed,” the president told the Associated Press.

The President said that Russia aims at to use its armed forces to expand further into former Soviet states, calling on the West never to accept any Russian aggression.

“They are the fastest and the first to bring in their tanks. So that's why we can say that half of the Eurasian continent is living under constant threat. If they have some kind of unstable environment in their country, their sovereign country, the neighbour will be quick to solve the problem through Kalashnikov(s),” Margvelashvili said.

The Patriarch of Georgia, who enjoys the highest rating of all public figures in Georgia, has stressed that “Georgia has chosen the European path, our choice is very firm and we will definitely achieve it”.

Despite these factors, the majority of Georgian analysts believe that the EU is more likely to make a political solution with regard to Georgia’s visa-free regime rather than the one based on the country’s achievements.

The analysts state that the EU is re-checking its neighboring policy and is less positive to expand by accepting new members in the near future.

Meanwhile, the opposition United National Movement states that it is because of the current government that Georgia will not get a visa-free regime at the Riga Summit.