Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, today argued against Georgia applying for European Union membership before 2024, dismissing the opposition’s calls to follow in the footsteps of Ukraine to demand a fast-track procedure for joining the EU.
The GD lawmaker claimed that the EU has offered Kyiv to review granting Ukraine a candidate status in an expedited manner, “considering the war.”
He claimed that EU officials have confirmed “in preliminary consultations” with Tbilisi that this offer does not stand for either Georgia or Moldova. It was only a “significant political gesture” towards Ukraine, according to the lawmaker.
Also, the GD chair claimed that it will take “multiple years” for Ukraine to join the 27-member-bloc, as “until all [relevant] commitments are fulfilled, no country can become a member of the EU.”
MP Kobakhidze said Georgia’s application to the EU will have “rational grounds” only after it has fulfilled a “significant part” of its commitments by 2024.
“A hasty initiative could be counterproductive because we have to satisfy certain terms over the [next] two years,” the GD lawmaker argued.
On February 28, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – whose troops are fighting the advance of invading the Russian army since February 24 – called on Ukraine’s immediate EU accession under “a new special procedure.”
President Zelenskyy’s call came as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that Ukrainians “are one of us” and that the EU wants Ukraine to join.
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