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Latvian FM: EU might grant Georgia visa-free travel in 2015

Thursday, December 18
Georgians might be able to travel to the European Unionís (EU) Schengen zone with no visa required next year, says Latviaís Foreign Minister.

On December 16 in Brussels Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, whose country takes over the EU's rotating presidency in January 2015, said the EU might grant Georgia and Ukraine visa-free access to the Schengen zone in 2015.

Rinkevics noted Ukraine and Georgia had a chance to get visa liberalization at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga in May next year.

"In my ideal world there is at least one or maybe even more than one Eastern partner where the visa liberalization program is enhanced and introduced," the Latvian Foreign Minister told Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, noting that Ukraine was lagging a bit behind for purely technical reasons.

Georgia and Ukraine must undertake several reforms, such as increased judicial cooperation with the EU before being granted visa free travel. Georgia completed its first phase of the visa liberalization process by improving the countryís legislation in this regard and was now moved to the next stage.

In April Moldova was granted visa free travel to the Schengen zone, which consisted of 22 of the 28 EU member states as well as and non-EU countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. (