After Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz on 14 September in Berlin, the two gave a joint press conference in which the Chancellor emphasized that Germany will support Georgia in its endeavor to attain EU candidate status.
Chancellor Scholz encouraged Georgia to “take the necessary reform steps to achieve this” and stressed that “the recommendations of the EU Commission on the road to candidate status point the way.” “I am very aware that this requires a joint national effort by all political forces,” he added.
The Chancellor also spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and underscored that Germany stands “closely alongside Ukraine and supports it militarily, politically, financially, and in humanitarian ways.”
In that context, Chancellor Scholz highlighted the importance of Georgia’s support for the United Nations resolutions which condemned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and noted that Georgia’s “clear commitment to prevent all attempts to circumvent sanctions against Russia is important.”
The Chancellor pointed out that Georgia itself “had a painful experience with Russian aggression” during the 2008 Russo-Georgian war and that since then parts of Georgia have been occupied by Russia. In that sense, Chancellor Scholz reiterated the German government’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Chancellor Scholz denoted that in light of Russian aggression, Germany is committed to expanding energy cooperation with Georgia and will provide new funding for developments in the energy sector this year which will also apply to energy security issues.
The German Chancellor accentuated that as the two nations celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations this year, “our bilateral relations are close and multifaceted.”
PM Garibashvili’s Remarks
During his speech, PM Garibashvili underlined that “Germany is a very vital country for us” while speaking about Germany’s support in strengthening Georgia’s democracy, including by allocating EUR 1.3 billion to assist the country in the past.
The PM agreed with the Chancellor’s assessment of the difficulties caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the importance of supporting it in the war.
Speaking about Georgia’s occupied regions he highlighted that “we have been preventing a lot of provocations in relation to borderization and plenty of other problems.”
Regarding Georgia’s European perspective, the PM underscored that Georgia has reached a “very important historic stage” “which we could not dream of months before as the situation radically changed since the dawn of the war in Ukraine.”
The PM reaffirmed his government’s commitment to following through with the 12 recommendations outlined for EU candidate status and claimed that the government has opened the doors for the participation of “every actor of Georgian politics to make their engagement possible in this process, as the government and authorities of the country will need the inclusion of all, including the opposition and civil society.”
PM Garibashvili concluded his speech by expressing appreciation for Georgia being a Host Country at Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) Berlin in 2023, a large world tourism trade fair, and emphasized that Georgia will do its best to “promote the travel and tourism potential of our country.”
Meeting with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
While in Germany, PM Garibashvili also met President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss strengthening bilateral relations while bringing to light the existing trade and economic partnership between Georgia and Germany.
In that context, the two debated how to attract greater investment from German businesses in Georgia.
The Georgian Prime Minister also underscored the significant assistance provided to Georgia by the German Development Bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), as well as other German agencies.