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Opposition leader skeptical over Georgia’s visa liberalization

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, September 1
“It would be good if we had a visa-free regime with the European Union but, unfortunately, I think this is not going to happen,” Nino Burjanadze, leader of the opposition party Democratic Movement-United Georgia, stated on the TV show Archevani on Rustavi 2 channel.

Burjanadze is the initiator of the Non-Bloc initiative, which was formed on August 13. The initiative dictates that Georgia should be neutral and should not become a member of any alliance. However, the initiative is seen to have a pro-Russian flavor targeted at improving relations with the occupier neighbor.

The leader of the Democratic Movement and her supporters are going to collect signatures in order to have the initiative defined in the Constitution. At least 200,000 signatures are required for a constitutional amendment to be initiated.

According to Burjanadze, who is a former Parliament Speaker, the European Union (EU) is facing serious problems after Brexit and it is not a good idea to join it. However, she is not against cooperation with the EU.

“We have made several agreements with the European Union and it is very good. However, the EU is a different thing now and it has nothing to do with Non-Bloc status,” Burjanadze stressed.

A member of another opposition party, State for People, Giorgi Rukhadze, believes that Burjanadze’s Non-Bloc status is irrelevant.

According to Rukhadze, Georgians have already made the decision to take the Euro-Atlantic path, and speaking about capitulation to Russia is utterly unacceptable. He believes that current developments in the country are the result of inefficient governing.

“This is a 4-year government policy, which intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly, contributed to the interests of our northern neighbor," Rukhadze said on the Archevani TV show.

The Procedural Committee is tasked with discussing Burjanadze’s initiative.

If the presented documents would be in compliance with the requirements, the initiative group would be allowed to attempt to gather 200,000 signatures.

However, the Procedural Issues Committee meeting failed twice due to the lack of a quorum. The Head of the Committee, Giorgi Kakhiani stated the next session of the Committee would not be held until the autumn.