29 april

Russia’s ambitions are main European integration challenge for Moldova and Georgia, Georgian Speaker

The whole process of European integration for Moldova and Georgia seems challenging, as well as highly important. Both for Moldova and Georgia, the main challenge for the integration into the European Union seems to be the political ambitions of Russia to try and subordinate post-Soviet space under its exclusive influence, Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili said in an interview for IPN.

“Getting closer to EU certainly demands higher standards of democracy, human rights and civil liberties from our countries; it requires a higher level of economic development. In addition, we have to emphasize the fact that the aspirations of Moldova and Georgia towards European Union are perceived rather painfully by our neighboring Russia,” said the Georgian official.

David Usupashvili added that a striking example of this is the support and encouragement of separatist forces in Moldova and Georgia. Recent events in Ukraine, annexation of Crimea and aggressive actions against the Ukrainian state serve as an additional example.

“Based on the abovementioned, concerns of Georgia and Moldova are more similar than different, despite the fact that Moldova declares neutrality, while Georgia strives to become a member of NATO. Of course, between our countries there are specific differences. In particular, Moldova has strategic and intensive relations with an EU Member State, Romania, which serves as a supporting factor; in general, however, similarities in our difficulties are more prevalent,” said the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament.

David Usupashvili noted that Georgia’s objective is not only the signing of the Association Agreement, but the full membership of the European Union. “Integration into the European Union is the strategic choice of our country and is not only caused by our determination that EU membership provides safety and well being of our country, but also by the fact that whole of our history and culture points in that direction,” he stated.

“I think that for Moldova, which is a part of Europe in all respects – both geographical, as well as historical and cultural – European integration also means return to its native space.”

David Usupashvili is in Chisinau on a visit today, April 29. This is the first visit paid by a Parliamentary Speaker of Georgia to Moldova.