Cooperation with countries News
Latvijas, Igaunijas, Islandes un Lietuvas ārlietu ministri un Gruzijas prezidente
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania

“The bill on transparency of foreign influence approved by Georgia’s Parliament on 14 May and other controversial legislative initiatives (amendments to the electoral code, the tax law, an anti-LGBT package, and others) that would not be compatible with the country’s commitments as candidate for EU membership raise serious concerns,” the Latvian Foreign Minister Baiba Braže pointed out during a joint visit by the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States and Iceland to Georgia. The Minister underlined the international partners’ vested interest in Georgia staying on its path to the European Union. 

On 15 May 2024, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baiba Braže, was in Georgia on a working visit together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Margus Tsahkna, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis.

The purpose of this visit is to raise concerns and listen to the arguments and perspectives of all the parties regarding the current situation in the country, as well as to promote dialogue.

Other matters discussed during the visit were Georgia’s reform process and its progress with integration into the European Union, including the implementation of recommendations from the European Commission.

The Baltic States have always been and remain friends of Georgia since the first day of independence. We have invested enormous amounts of political, financial and other capital to help and support Georgia towards its Euro-Atlantic integration, just as we have stood up for and supported Ukraine. In December 2023, the European Council granted Georgia EU candidate status, and we very much hope that Georgia will join the EU one day,” Baiba Braže noted.

In a press conference following a joint meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States and Iceland with the President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, Baiba Braže underlined, “Nevertheless, it should be made clear and understood, that joining the European Union is not just a political process and a political objective – every candidate country must meet specific criteria, take concrete practical steps of adjusting to uniform EU standards and rules – harmonise its legislation, align its justice system, observe the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, ensure a functioning market economy. It’s what we – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – did ourselves and what’s required of Georgia, given that a lot still remains to be done.”

Baiba Braže also pointed out that the decision to join the EU is the sovereign choice of Georgia and its people; however, that choice should be exercised keeping in step with the Georgian government’s clear action. More than 80 per cent of Georgians support Georgia’s objective of joining the EU.

In an exchange with members of the opposition and civil society organisations, Baiba Braže underlined that the use of force against demonstrators was unacceptable. The possibility for non-governmental organisations to perform their functions freely and without hindrance adds to the diversity of views in Georgian society and brings the country closer to integration with the EU. Freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, equality and human dignity are fundamental values of the European Union which must be upheld on a daily basis, both by society and by nations’ leaders.

People have the right to assembly and expressing their views in demonstrations those are their fundamental rights, and it’s the duty of the state to safeguard them, Baiba Braže noted.

In a meeting with the President of the Georgian Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, the Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Ilja Darchiashvili, the Latvian Foreign Minister called for reconsidering the advancement of the bill On Transparency of Foreign Influence and for return to an inclusive dialogue with civil society organisations and the general public. It is no less important to listen to the views of international partners.

“A solution to the situation should be sought through a constructive and democratic dialogue, as well as in consultation with independent international experts, including definitely waiting for the Venice Commission to provide its opinion on this bill and then acting accordingly, Baiba Braže underlined.


15.05.2024. Baltijas valstu un Islandes ārlietu ministri darba vizītē apmeklē Gruziju