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Georgian Parliament Speaker Pays Visit to Ukraine

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, January 19
(KYIV)--Georgian Parliamentary Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze met Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament,) in Kyiv on January 17, within the frames of his official visit to Ukraine.

During the meeting the sides discussed inter-parliamentary cooperation, mutual economic prospects and regional issues.

It was pointed out that Ukraine and Georgia have similar Euro-Atlantic aspirations and strive to NATO and EU membership.

“We have similar goals and challenges. Our aim is to join the EU and NATO, and it is particularly important to unite our joint efforts in this regard,” Georgian Parliament Speaker said at the joint press-conference.

Kobakhidze also said the Georgian and Ukrainian people enjoy a special friendship.

“I want to thank our Ukrainian friends for their steadfast support for our sovereignty and territorial integrity throughout the years,” he stated.

The Speaker added that Georgia condemns annexation of Crimea and Russia’s illegal actions in the eastern region of Ukraine.

“Our common challenge is Russian aggression and its occupation of our territories. We should actively use both bilateral and multilateral formats for cooperation in order to achieve goals and realize common interests,” he said.

Kobakhidze added that despite political cooperation, it is important to intensify economic relations.

Andriy Parubiy said Ukraine is grateful for support and is ready to deepen cooperation with Georgia. He noted the countries mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of independence and diplomatic relations, adding this is a very important date for both countries.

He spoke about the importance of regional cooperation in order to cope with the existing challenges.

According to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, an upcoming meeting for parliamentary chairpersons in March in Moldova will gather the parliamentary chairpersons from various countries, including Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

“Our main challenge is Russian aggression. After 2008 war Georgia warned us that Ukraine would be the next and it happened so. We share Georgian experience regarding this issue,” he stated.

As for economic issues, Parubiy said the discussions were focused on Silk Road project and the prospects of better economic relations.

“Ukraine can take active part in this project. The visit of the Georgian Speaker in Ukraine is another important incentive in order to boost our relations and to become the member states of the EU in the nearest future,” he added.

The sides reaffirmed their unwavering support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Georgia and Ukraine.

Kobakhidze will also meet the Prime Minister and the President of Ukraine.