The chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, stressed that linking the granting of the EU candidate status to Georgia with negotiations concerning Ukraine is artificial.
According to him, Ukraine and Moldova were granted candidate status last year. However, despite Georgia’s significant lead over both countries at that time, it did not receive the same status.
Kobakhidze highlighted the importance of Hungary’s support for Georgia in this matter. According to him, discussions with Hungary have reinforced the belief that the European Council meeting on December 14-15 will make a positive decision in favour of Georgia.
“During our meeting with Deputy Speaker, we discussed cooperation between countries and parliaments, inevitably touching on the candidate status issue. In this regard, we received a firm commitment from Hungary to support Georgia’s candidacy—a pivotal endorsement. We are confident that a favourable decision will be reached for Georgia on December 14-15. Hungary strongly asserts that favouring Georgia is the only non-alternative decision at the European Council meeting, and they pledge robust support.
While recognizing negotiations between the European Union and Hungary, we acknowledge these discussions should not affect Georgia’s candidacy. It is inappropriate to directly link the issues of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova in this context. Though Ukraine and Moldova obtained candidate status last year, Georgia, which was ahead of both countries, did not receive the same status.
Hence, linking the Georgia issue with negotiations surrounding Ukraine is artificial. We firmly believe that Georgia deserves candidate status, and we anticipate a positive decision at the European Council meeting on December 14-15. Our discussions with Hungarian partners reinforce our optimism, providing grounds for the European Council to make a favourable decision regarding Georgia.
While our focus is primarily on Georgia, we also support Ukraine and Moldova on their paths to European integration. While we recognize the importance of their progress, our priority remains advocating for Georgia’s candidacy and supporting its journey towards European integration. We trust that the support needed will be extended to Georgia during this crucial period,” Kobakhidze stated.