The strategic partnership between Ukraine and Georgia must be filled with real content and concrete projects. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with the media following the negotiations with President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili in Kyiv.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed his Georgian counterpart to Ukraine and noted that this first official visit in 15 years is extremely important for strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries.
"Political dialogue between Kyiv and Tbilisi is gaining momentum. Our common task is to fill the format of the strategic partnership between Ukraine and Georgia with real content and concrete projects based on mutual support and a high level of trust between us," the Ukrainian President stressed.
For her part, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili noted the normalization of bilateral relations based on the principles of friendship between peoples and support for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
According to her, the common goals of Ukraine and Georgia are the de-occupation of territories, the Euro-Atlantic path and the growth of cooperation.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also stressed that Ukraine and Georgia share a common goal of acquiring full membership in the EU and NATO, as well as a common vision for the further development of the Eastern Partnership.
"One of the key tasks for Ukraine and our partners is to strengthen security cooperation in the Black Sea Region. The Black Sea must be a safe area free for trade and navigation. We seek to strengthen cooperation between our countries, the fleets of partner countries in the Black Sea. We are actively working on the implementation of this initiative with Georgia and other neighbors, and I hope we will see concrete progress soon," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
"On the path to NATO, our countries have made great strides towards interoperability, as confirmed by the Alliance's Summit of June 14, which reaffirmed its open door policy. And our task on the path to integration is to strengthen cooperation, in particular in the field of cybersecurity and security of the Black Sea Region," Salome Zourabichvili added.
The Ukrainian President also thanked the Georgian side for its continued support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-recognition of the attempted annexation of the Crimean peninsula and condemnation of Russian aggression in Donbas.
"We hope for active cooperation with the Georgian side within the Crimean Platform in order to protect the rights of Crimeans and ensure the de-occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula. For my part, I want to reaffirm Ukraine's strong support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders," the President of Ukraine said.
In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Georgia is an important trade partner for Ukraine in the South Caucasus.
"I am confident that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we will significantly intensify trade and economic cooperation this year, reinforcing the positive trends of the beginning of this year, when our trade turnover increased by almost 25%. This will be one of the main tasks of the Joint Ukrainian-Georgian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation. We strive to resume its activities and hold the next, tenth meeting in September this year," said the President of Ukraine.
Also, according to him, it is necessary to strengthen coordination in the field of people-to-people contacts and tourism, especially against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic.
"Mutual recognition of vaccination documents is on the agenda, which will simplify the border crossing procedure for citizens of both countries to a maximal degree," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
In addition, according to the President, the parties discussed the issue of repatriation of citizens of our countries, who are currently detained in Ukraine and Georgia.
"We expect that the legal proceedings in these cases will be completed and these people will return home in the near future," the Ukrainian President said.
He also noted that Ukraine and Georgia, having common European aspirations, should take care of energy security. In particular, the parties agreed to make this issue a priority of further cooperation.
In the context of a bilateral relationship, Salome Zourabichvili noted the importance of filling it with concrete content, as well as intensifying the existing formats of cooperation. She invited President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to visit Georgia, in particular to participate in the Batumi International Conference.
Salome Zourabichvili also assured that Georgia would be represented at the summit of the Crimean Platform at a high level.