The messenger logo

Crime not reason for postponing visa liberalisation

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 16
“There really is a problem of crime, to our shame, but this is not a reason for the delay in Georgia’s visa liberalisation in the European Union (EU),” Lado Chanturia, the Ambassador of Georgia to Germany, stated.

He said that Germany supports visa-free travel for Georgian citizens and expressed hope that Germany will more clearly demonstrate this support at a scheduled meeting with Georgian top officials, including Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

"There have been special dynamics in relations between Germany and Georgia in recent years. We have Germany's overwhelming support in all issues, including visa liberalization, and I hope that this will become more apparent,” the Ambassador added.

“The postponement of visa liberalization is not related only to Georgia; there are internal political issues in Germany and in some other EU member states. Georgia fulfilled all its obligations to the highest level. It has been recognized by all Schengen member states, including Germany. There really is a problem of crime, to our shame, but this is not the reason for the delay in visa liberalization,” he added.

Georgia has deserved high assessments from the Council of Europe as the country had fulfilled all its visa-liberalisation obligations.

However, the Council of Europe failed to bring the topic to the end in the summer as it was promised, and further discussion of the issue was postponed until September.

Germany initially went against Georgia’s visa-liberalisation, stating that Georgian nationals committed robberies in Germany.

As the statistics revealed, Georgian nationals were not among the top offenders in Germany and the major part of crimes committed by them were related to robberies and burglaries.

The making of false promises (or reversals on political positions) could easily prove damaging to the EU's reputation in the near abroad, especially as Georgia has fulfilled all of its obligations to be granted visa liberalisation

If the process is not successfully completed in September, the issue could affect the rating of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition prior to the October 8 parliamentary race.