20 Jul 2021 11:12

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine sign declaration on joining efforts toward integration into EU

TBILISI/KYIV. July 19 (Interfax) - Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, Moldovan President Maia Sandu, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a declaration which unites the efforts of the three countries on a path of integration into the European Union as part of the EU's Eastern Partnership Program in Batumi on Monday.

"Our countries have a lot in common, but the main thing is that we don't want to return to the past. We stand ready to fight for our European future. We have committed ourselves to support each other," Zourabichvili said following the declaration's signing ceremony.

The Black Sea is "a symbol of new approaches, connections, trade," and it opens the path to the EU, she said.

The declaration says that the three countries have committed themselves to developing free trade with the EU, which opens up unlimited opportunities for them, Sandu said at a joint press briefing.

"We have the potential to strengthen the European Union," she said.

Zelensky, in turn, said that for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, the goal is to join the European Union.

Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova must do everything for war and lines of demarcation to disappear forever from the territories of these countries, he said.

"We all know what war is. We must do everything to make the demarcation lines disappear forever from the lands of our three countries," Zelensky said.

Zelensky said that he "has begun a working trip to Georgia to the line of demarcation with Abkhazia."

"It not only divides Georgia and the temporarily occupied Abkhazia, it alienates people in the occupied territory from a normal, safe, and dignified future [...]. The pain we see today is identical to that which I see every month when I travel to the contact line in our independent Ukraine," he said.

"In Moldova, they also know what annexation, occupation, and lines of demarcation are," Zelensky said.

An international conference was held in Batumi on Monday, in which President of the European Council Charles Michel and the presidents of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine took part.