Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met his Estonian counterpart Jüri Ratas and other senior officials in Tallinn on May 12.
With Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Kvirikashvili focused on bilateral relations between the two countries, their cooperation in the international organizations, the Eastern Partnership, and the situation in the occupied territories.
Speaking at a joint press conference after the meeting, PM Kvirikashvili stressed Estonia’s importance as a “role model” for Georgia and “one of steadfast supporters” of the country’s European aspirations.
“With this support and our joint efforts, Georgia has been advancing on its ambitious association agenda with the EU. Introduction of the visa-free travel is a vivid example of our successful cooperation. I take this opportunity to thank Estonia and the Prime Minister for supporting Georgia on this very difficult path,” Kvirikashvili said.
Prime Minister also congratulated Estonia on the forthcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union (from July 1) and welcomed “Estonia’s support for the Eastern Partnership, which will be one of the priorities of its Presidency.”
“We all look forward to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in November, which we expect will ensure practical deliverables but also set a forward-looking vision for progressive development of our relations,” Kvirikashvili stated.
In his remarks, Kvirikashvili also focused on the bilateral economic relations between the two countries. “We welcome increased Estonian investments, especially in energy sector and increased export of Georgian wine to Estonia; we are glad that the number of Estonian visitors is growing every year,” he said.
For his part, Prime Minister Ratas stressed that “the bilateral relations between Estonia and Georgia are excellent.” “Estonia strongly supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. One should not forget the fact that a large part of Georgia is still occupied by the Russian Federation,” Ratas said.
He underlined that the security situation in the South Caucasus region “requires constant attention from the international community.” “Unresolved conflicts cannot remain in the shadow of new crises,” he added.
The Prime Minister also stressed that Estonia supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and welcomed the introduction of the visa-free regime with the European Union. “This is a significant achievement by the people and the Government of Georgia.”
Ratas touched upon the Eastern Partnership initiative as well, saying that the Eastern Partnership is “an essential priority” for the Estonian Presidency. “We highly appreciate Georgia’s efforts in carrying out the reforms and implementing the association agreement. I would like to encourage Georgia to further use the tailor-made solutions of the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership in developing the reforms,” Ratas noted.
According to Prime Minister Ratas, Estonia and Georgia enjoy “an excellent” cooperation in the fields of security, education, and e-governance in addition to cooperation at regional and multilateral levels. “Our relations show growth potential in the field of economy, and we need to make a joint effort to encourage the growth of trade and investments,” he said.
In Tallinn, Prime MInister Kvirikashvili also met Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Parliamentary Chairman Eiki Nestor and National Defense Committee Chairman Hannes Hanso.
Georgian-Estonian bilateral cooperation, Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels were the focus of discussions at these meetings, according to the Georgian government administration.