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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 27
Prepared by Mariam Chanishvili

Rasmussen: Russia is not China, Eastern Partnership should feel EU’s support

The former Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that the counties of the Eastern Partnership should receive further support and better signals for integration into the European Union, otherwise Russia will act and this will lead to negative consequences in the region.

“Our duty is to make the dreams of Tbilisi, Kiev and Chisinau come true,” Rasmussen told the Georgian media after a conference dedicated to the Eastern Partnership issues in Brussels on Monday.

“If the EU fails to offer these countries a real path, we should not complain that our neighbors will not be able to endure pressure that may have alarming geopolitical consequences for Europe,” Rasmussen stated.

The former top official of NATO says that the EU should send a signal to the Eastern Partnership countries about the “light at the end of tunnel.”

“We should think about what we should offer to the Eastern Partnership countries after 2020. If we cannot convince these countries that their hard work will be appreciated, the EU should not be surprised that our Eastern European partners will take a step backwards,” Rasmussen said.

The Eastern Partnership is the EU initiative with post-Soviet states of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, intended to provide an avenue for discussions of trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and its Eastern European neighbours.

Georgian PM Says Kakheti Region Needs Separate Airport

The Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has stated that Kakheti region, in the country’s east, well-known for winemaking, may have an airport.

“I think we came to the stage, where Kakheti needs a separate airport,” Kvirikashvili stated at the opening of a new hotel in Kakheti on Monday.

Kvirikashvili added that the government should also think about the restoration of the railway in the region, the step which would benefit the region’s tourism potential.