Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili visited Chișinău on November 24 to meet with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița, and Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu.
Meeting with President Sandu
According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry’s press release, during the meeting with President Sandu, the two sides reaffirmed the close partnership between the two countries, “which takes on a particularly meaningful importance in the face of the shared challenges and goals.”
FM Darchiashvili and President Sandu also drew attention to and “welcomed” the “historic decision” to grant Moldova EU candidate status and Georgia, a European perspective.
In that context, they also exchanged information on their respective progress in implementing the European Commission’s recommendations and highlighted the importance of “close coordination” on the path to EU integration.
“In this regard, they referred to the Associated Trio as an important format to achieve the goals set for the future,” the Ministry noted.
FM Darchiashvili also “welcomed” the decision to hold the next meeting of the European Political Community in Moldova and “expressed the hope” that the format will help the two nations join the EU.
On her part, President Sandu noted that the war in Ukraine is “seriously affecting our energy and economic security,” and stressed the need for “unity and solidarity between states […] to respond to current challenges.”
President Sandu also called for Moldovan-Georgian cooperation in the “fight against disinformation, which is a major threat to any democratic country.”
Meeting with FM Popescu
While meeting with his Moldovan counterpart, FM Popescu, Foreign Minister Darchiashvili discussed bilateral relations and reaffirmed “Georgia’s readiness to further intensify cooperation and coordination to share knowledge and experience in its endeavors to prepare for [EU] membership.”
In that context, the Georgian FM emphasized the importance of the Associated Trio format and said it was “clear proof” of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova’s “strong partnership on the EU path.”
The meeting also focused on the security environment in the region, with FM Darchiashvili reiterating “our full support and solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” Similarly, the FM reaffirmed Georgia’s support for Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Following the meeting, Foreign Minister Darchiashvili underscored that membership in the EU is the “civilizational choice that unites Georgia and Moldova.”
“The historic decision of the European Council in June formally opened the EU doors to our countries and consequently, we have been moved to an enlargement package,” he said. “We also know very well that this achievement comes with the huge responsibility of ensuring the highest political, economic, and legal convergence with the EU.”
On his part, FM Popescu stated after the meeting, that they “agreed to intensify economic ties, business-to-business links, tourism links, and, of course, political-diplomatic ties.”
“We are planning to organize a businessmen’s forum next spring, as well as to set up a working group to assess the feasibility and discuss with private partners whether there would be sufficient interest for a direct sea route between the ports of Giurgiulesti and Poti, in Georgia, which could allow us to intensify our direct trade relations but also to connect the South Caucasus region with the rest of Europe through the Republic of Moldova,” FM Popescu noted.
In the context of the war in Ukraine, FM Popescu also said that he informed the Georgian FM that “due to the barbaric Russian bombing of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure Moldova was left without electricity for several hours on November 23.” “It is clear that Russia’s war against Ukraine affects every citizen of the Republic of Moldova, regardless of their political or geopolitical preferences,” FM Popescu remarked.
Meeting with Prime Minister Gavrilița
The Georgian Foreign Ministry reported that during the meeting between PM Gavrilița and FM Darchiashvili, the two sides noted “with satisfaction the good dynamics in terms of exchange of high-level visits, which contribute to the further strengthening and deepening of ties between the two countries.”
FM Darchiashvili and PM Gavrilița also “emphasized the need for further cooperation,” including in the reforms process of the EU recommendations and the Association Agreement.
“At the meeting with the Prime Minister of Moldova, special attention was paid to the existing agenda of bilateral relations, including to the strengthening of trade and economic ties and to the effective use of free trade with the European Union,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
On her part, PM Gavrilița stressed, “We are working in a crisis, but we are very determined to move forward on the reform agenda at the same time.”
“I am glad that Moldova and Georgia are aligned on many of the development visions of our countries,” she said, adding, “everything we do is for the benefit of the people and our common goal – to anchor our countries on the European path – remains a priority in this regard.”
Meeting with Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu
While in Chișinău, FM Darchiashvili also met with the Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu to discuss bilateral relations, the agenda of European integration, and close coordination in this process.
Regarding European integration, the two sides emphasized the “special role of the Parliamentary dimension and the active involvement of the legislative body, including in the process of implementing the recommendations developed by the European Commission.”
In that context, they noted the need to “intensify” cooperation between the two countries and, in that regard, “welcomed” the upcoming visit of the Moldovan Speaker to Georgia
On his part, Speaker Grosu tweeted after the meeting, “Moldova and Georgia have common challenges, but also common aspirations. Discussed security in the region, Russia’s war against Ukraine, the refugee crisis, and the European path with Ilia Darchiashvili.”
“Will continue to cooperate in key areas for our countries,” he stressed.