Even ten years after the end of the conflict, Georgians are still suffering from the consequences. In particular, the administrative boundary lines of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are making people’s lives difficult. Only a few weeks ago, for instance, a Georgian doctor was arrested when he crossed the border to provide emergency treatment. Foreign Minister Maas stressed:
Freedom of movement in and to South Ossetia and Abkhazia is still hampered on a massive scale. There have even been blatantly arbitrary arrests. This must end.
For Germany, Georgia’s sovereignty is non‑negotiable.
Further reforms to bring Georgia closer to Europe
Germany considers Georgia to be a reliable and valuable partner on the international stage. For instance, the country has shown commitment in its cooperation with NATO in Afghanistan and in the EU’s Eastern Partnership. The German Government supports the country moving closer to the EU. The aim is to bring about tangible improvements to the lives of people in Georgia – for example, by implementing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The German Government is also prepared to provide Georgia with bilateral assistance as it carries out the necessary reforms. Following the domestic tensions due to a failed reform of electoral law, Foreign Minister Maas believes it is crucial that “answers are found in the dialogue with all sides”.
Bilateral cooperation close and based on trust
Bilaterally, Germany and Georgia are also working closely together at various levels. Germany is Georgia’s biggest bilateral donor in the field of development cooperation, for example in the sphere of democracy and the rule of law. The two Foreign Ministers also agreed to cooperate closely in the Council of Europe. For Georgia will be assuming the Presidency of the Council of Europe in December 2019 and will subsequently pass on the baton to Germany.