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Visa free benefits for occupied regions

By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 31
At any meetings or briefings, Georgian top officials highlight the importance of the Georgia-EU visa waiver, and stress that this success is also for the people living in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

The issue was also highlighted at the Georgian PM’s meeting with President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission on March 28.

“Today is the beginning of a period of great success,” Jean-Claude Juncker at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Jean-Claude Juncker stressed that success on the path to visa liberalization is a result of joint efforts from both Georgia and the European Union.

"Mister Prime Minister, welcome to Brussels on this historic day for the people of Georgia and the European Union. Georgian citizens can now enter the European Union visa-free for 90 days in any 180-day period, whether it be for tourism, family visits, or business. This was made possible thanks to the ambitious and complex reform path undertaken by the Georgian Government and the Georgian people," the President of the European Commission stated.

Kvirikashvili referred to the launch of visa-free travel as a very important event for Georgian's population, including those in the occupied territories.

Kvirikashvili hoped that visa liberalization will bring about tangible results and cement people-to-people contacts.

Georgia’s visa-free travel in the EU’s Schengen Zone is also of significant importance from a different perspective.

Georgia’s progress and fast European integration, as well as upgrading the living condition of the people in Georgia, will be a good signal for the people living in the occupied territories that their current situation under Russia’s control is beyond democratic and with no prospect.

Georgia’s visa liberalisation is very likely to be especially attractive for the youth living in the occupied Georgian regions.

The youth are the future of any country, and if they see the benefits of living in Georgia, this will be a step forward to reintegrating the territories.