President Margvelashvili Holds a Meeting with the Minister of Defence of Ukraine

Published in military
Thursday, 08 June 2017 09:40

The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has held a meeting with the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Mr. Stepan Poltorak, as a part of his two-day official visit to Georgia.
The parties have discussed Georgia-Ukraine bilateral cooperation in the area of defense and the prospects of further strengthening these relations.
President Margvelashvili has reaffirmed his strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and pointed out that Georgia and Ukraine face similar threats and aggression from Russia and share common goals in the foreign policy.
According to the President, Georgia condemns aggressive and illegal actions taken by the Russian Federation in Ukraine and will continue to support Ukraine in all formats.
On behalf of the President of Ukraine, Mr. Poltorak has thanked President Margvelashvili for his personal contribution in supporting Ukraine at the international arena.
The conversation has also touched upon the preparation for the prospective visit of the President of Ukraine to Georgia, which will be held in the nearest future.
The meeting has also been attended by the Head of the Administration of the President of Georgia Mr. Giorgi Abashishvili, the Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia Mr. Davit Rakviashvili, the Minister of Defence of Georgia Mr. Levan Izoria, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Mr. Vladimer Chachibaia and the Secretary of the President of Georgia for Foreign Affairs Mr. Tengiz Pkhaladze.

FILLON: UKRAINE AND GEORGIA HAVE NO PLACE IN NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:36

Former Prime Minister of France, presidential candidate of the country Francois Fillon has declared that Ukraine and Georgia have no place in NATO and the European Union. He told this in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, reports RIA Novosti
“I will remind you about the irresponsible statements of those who wanted the entry of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. You just need to admit that Ukraine and Georgia are not designed to enter the EU and NATO,” said French ex-Prime Minister.
Fillon has criticized Western countries for waging an aggressive policy against Russia, he noted that Russia has a lot of responsibility, but not by her. According to him, the military competition with Moscow is a big mistake. He also called the false question of missile defense near the Russian borders.
“Is it always the West has been a reliable partner? Isn’t he deceived Russia on Libya, in Kosovo, for economic partnership with the EU? Why did we need to deploy missile defenses near the Russian border? We made a lot of mistakes,” said Fillon.
Earlier the candidate in presidents of France Francois Fillon has declared that relations with Russia – a strategic issue for Europe’s future. According to Fillon, the issue of restoration of relations with Moscow is very important for Europe, and for this repair it is necessary to solve the Ukrainian question and to respect the Minsk agreement.

Eastern Neighbourhood: Forestry project highlights positive developments

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:25
An EU-funded forestry project has highlighted the progress made in the forestry sector at its final meeting in December. Attendees at the last meeting of the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) II Programme, from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, suggested ways to ensure that the project’s results are long-term.
One of more important deliverables of the Programme is increased collaboration between neighboring countries on forest management. Other important achievements included inputs to country forestry sector programs, study tours to EU Member State countries and bilateral dialogue, building community and youth awareness about the importance of forests, promoting new protected areas, and forest biodiversity conservation.
Key long-term achievements will continue to benefit the region after the programme’s completion, such as the National Program Advisory Committees (NPACs) which was created by FLEG, and contributed towards the institutional reform process as well as providing independent and valuable data.
FLEG also contributed to making forest management and governance more transparent, built educational and professional capacity in the forestry sector, fostered collaboration between local communities and the forestry sector and facilitated community participation in the sector for sustainable forest management.

Eastern Partnership to develop regional energy cooperation

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:03
The Eastern Partnership Platform on Energy Security has hosted representatives from the EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Participants gathered to discuss energy security, renewable energy, energy efficiency and nuclear safety at its 16thmeeting in Brussels.
The meeting focused on regional energy cooperation and EU-funded energy programmes and initiatives, such as: EU4Energy; the ‘Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy going East’; Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P); the EU technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL); and the High Quality Studies to support the Activities under the Eastern Partnership (HiQSTEP).
Participants were looking for solutions to energy efficiency in the housing sector, discussing the construction of missing infrastructure links and ways to bring partner countries' energy-related rules more in line with EU rules.

EU identifies key deliverables for the Eastern Partnership

Published in Politics
Monday, 19 December 2016 13:35
The European Commission and the European External Action Service have identified 20 key deliverables for the Eastern Partnership by 2020. The targets were published in a joint working document, "Eastern Partnership – focusing on key priorities and deliverables", on 15 December.
The document is to contribute to the joint work of EU Member States and EaP Partner countries and highlight actions in key priority areas such as economic development and market opportunities, strengthening institutions and good governance, connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change as well as mobility and people-to-people contacts. The EU Member States and EaP Partner countries agree that the EaP needs to focus on delivering tangible results to citizens.
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative between the European Union and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
 

Europe is delivering - Manfred Weber

Published in Politics
Thursday, 08 December 2016 15:30

“Agreement on visa suspension mechanism big success for @EPPGroup. Visa-free travel for Georgia & Ukraine now possible. Europe is delivering,”-this statement was made by the German politician and Member of the European Parliament for Bavariawith the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, part of the European People's Party.
According to Manfred Weber, visa free regime will be possible for Ukrainians and Georgians after the visa suspension mechanism success. 

The EU just agreed to grant visa-free travel to 50 million people

Published in Politics
Thursday, 08 December 2016 14:04

The EU has agreed to grant visa-free travel to 50 million Ukrainians and Georgians. Officials said the deal had been struck on Thursday to end an internal EU dispute that had been holding up the promised measures. Late-night talks involving EU member states and the European Parliament had reached a compromise on the terms of a mechanism which can be used to suspend the visa-free schemes in emergencies.
The European Commission and the bloc's 28 members will be able to reimpose visa requirements more quickly and more easily under a compromise deal under fears over immigration and terrorism. The deal on visa suspension must still be formally approved by the member states and the European Parliament.
The deal struck between the European Parliament and the member states "will facilitate the immediate consideration of the two visa liberalisation proposals for Georgia and Ukraine," MEP Agustin Diaz de Mera said. Under the deal, visa requirements may be reintroduced if there is a surge of citizens from a non-EU country such as Ukraine or Georgia staying irregularly in EU territory.
They can also be reintroduced if there is a rise in unfounded asylum applications, or a lack of cooperation on returning migrants, or if nationals are deemed to pose a security threat.
"This agreement is balanced, and is extremely important for both the effectiveness and credibility of the union's visa liberalisation policy," Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said.
"The current suspension mechanism is not adequate and will now be improved," following the deal, said Mr Kalinak, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.
"The fact that we have reached an agreement should open the door to further progress on visa liberalisation talks with other countries that meet all the necessary requirements," he added.he two former Soviet republics are seeking to move further away from their former master Moscow and closer to the West. However, they have grown frustrated that the EU was failing to deliver. 
After last year's refugee crisis, EU governments had grown nervous of the popular reaction led by anti-immigration parties against a move to make visits easier for 45 million Ukrainians, as well as 5 million Georgians.
Allowing them to travel into Europe's Schengen zone without applying in advance for visas was an important incentive for people there to accept hard reforms from the governments in Kiev and Tbilisi as they sought closer relations with the EU.
Earlier this week, the head of the European Council said the EU was putting its credibility and reputation at risk by letting internal political wrangling stall the promised easing of visa requirements. 
In a letter sent to European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Tuesday and seen by Reuters, Donald Tusk urged the legislature to compromise with national governments to unblock visa liberalisation.
"At stake here are the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the nations who are our neighbours, as well as the reputation of the European Union, which has categorically and repeatedly committed itself to the issue," the former Polish premier wrote.
"Even though all the parties in this debate have their own good arguments and undoubtedly good will, it seems we are getting close to squandering our joint efforts," he added, saying failure to deliver would be "an unforgivable mistake".
source: Independent

Main reason for delay in granting visa-free regime for Georgia and Ukraine is the lack of agreement-Donald Tusk

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 11:15

The governing institutions of the European Union and the Member States bear a serious political responsibility and should not lose the trust of Ukraine and Georgia regarding the speedy granting of visa-free regime to these countries.
This is stated in a letter of European Council President Donald Tusk to President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, available to an Ukrinform correspondent in Brussels.
"We have made demands on our partners, who have paid a heavy price in carrying out painful reforms and even have been subjected to great political risk. They accepted these challenges, with a strong belief that the EU will be able to fulfill its own promises. Therefore, I want to reiterate that we may lose not only the social, political and economic interests, and not only the future of our relations with our neighbors, but, also and especially, trust," Tusk commented on the inadmissibility of delay in EU’s decision-making process regarding granting Ukraine and Georgia visa-free regime.
In his letter, the President of the European Council noted that the main reason for delay in granting visa-free regime for these two countries is the lack of agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Abolishing visas for Ukraine and Georgia is postponed

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 15:16

Despite all the allegations and suggestions, Ukraine and Georgia hasn't obtained the EU visa-free regime so far. The date of abolishing visas has been postponed many times, and yet we still we don't know when will the Ukrainians start travelling Europe freely. According to the latest news, the EU officials fail to approve the necessary suspension mechanism by the end of 2016, so abolishing visas for Ukraine and Georgia is likely to be postponed again - at least until summer 2017, just after holding crucial presidential elections in France. 

NATO chief in Ukraine: Kyiv has set very ambitious goal

Published in World
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 11:59

The head of NATO’s mission to Ukraine says that in seeking to adopt the standards of the US-led military alliance by 2020, Kyiv has set itself “a very ambitious goal,” which will involve “a fundamental change in mindsets.”
In an interview with the Kyiv Post, Alexander Vinnikov said the NATO allies want Ukraine “to become a success story,” but says the nation “should make full use of the current window of opportunity to make tangible progress.”
Since Russia launched its war on Ukraine in the Donbas in the spring of 2014, with armed groups supported by Moscow and backed by Russian troops taking over parts of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, the need for sweeping change within Ukraine’s armed forces came into sharp focus.
With Ukraine only able to field around 6,000 combat-ready troops at the onset of the war, a massive volunteer effort came to the rescue and is credited with saving the country in the face of the Kremlin’s aggression. But in the wake of bloody battles and long casualty lists at Ilovaisk, Donetsk airport and Debaltseve, the need for deep reform and modernization away from Soviet-era military standards became undeniable.
After the Ukrainian military’s shortcomings in logistics, manpower and equipment were exposed, NATO increased its support activities in Ukraine to unprecedented levels.
Ukraine’s plan to achieve NATO military standards was made official in September 2015, when President Petro Poroshenko signed the National Defense Doctrine, which states the country’s goal is to make its military NATO-compliant by 2020. The roadmap for reaching those standards, The Strategic Defense Bulletin, was finally unveiled last summer. Ihor Dolhov, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, told the Kyiv Post earlier this month that the country has a list of some 600 points which require attention.

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