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Prime Minister: we will continue supporting Sakartvelo

Date

2019 01 21

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Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has met with Sakartvelo’s Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze to discuss bilateral relations, economic cooperation, country’s integration into the EU and NATO, security situation in the region and other issues.

The Prime Minister has commended Sakartvelo as the merited leader of the Eastern Partnership, and that it is up to all of us to help the country keep this title and maintain leadership in this regard. The Prime Minister encouraged Bakhtadze to continue the reforms needed for European and Euro-Atlantic integration and expressed Lithuania’s support for Sakartvelo’s territorial integrity. The Sakartvelo Constitution, which came into force in December, states the country’s ambition to become an EU and NATO member. Lithuania welcomes this, and at the same time encourages Sakartvelo to continue, and where possible - to speed up reforms and maintain leadership among the EU’s Eastern Partners.

‘For many years, Lithuania has attributed special attention to the relations with this country, and we have no intentions to change the course in this regard. We will continue supporting Sakartvelo’s independence and territorial integrity, its firm determination to follow, inter alia, the example of Lithuania and to seek full integration into the European Union and NATO, to create an open, democratic and rule-of-law-based prosperous state’, said Prime Minister Skvernelis.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Sakartvelo. The parties have noted the excellent bilateral relations between the countries, pointing out the fact that Lithuania became the first country to officially call the country Sakartvelo, and Sakartvelo was the first to call us Lietuva (previously Litva). It is very symbolic and it speaks volumes. Great news for business and the people is that in April, the Georgian Airways will launch direct flight from Vilnius to Tbilisi, which will further contribute to our closer ties, while increasing tourism flows between the countries.

Exemplary as our bilateral relations are, our economic cooperation would still need to catch up a bit. Sakartvelo’s side has expressed a particular interest in Lithuania’s achievements in developing a start-up ecosystem and invited Lithuanian companies to invest more actively in their country. The Prime Ministers have agreed about the need to hold an intergovernmental commission meeting to give a new impetus to the current cooperation.

Both Prime Ministers have welcomed the cooperation at municipal level, as 60 municipalities have counterparts in Sakartvelo. Last year saw the launch of the 6th Lithuania-led Twinning project aimed at helping to reform Sakartvelo’s civil service.