Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, during his visit to Georgia and Ukraine next week, will urge these countries to carry out the transformations necessary to qualify for NATO membership, the Pentagon has said.
“Austin will stress in both Georgia and Ukraine that there is an open door to NATO and encourage the nations to make the changes necessary for them to qualify for membership in the defensive alliance,” the U.S. Department of Defense has reported.
As reported, Austin will visit Romania and Belgium after Ukraine and Georgia. In Brussels, the head of the Pentagon will hold a meeting with the defense ministers of the NATO countries. According to the Pentagon, this meeting is expected to discuss Russia, as well as problems from China.
Earlier, the Pentagon said Austin was going on a trip to Europe that weekend. In Georgia, he will meet with Prime Minister of this country Irakli Garibashvili and Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, and in Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Andriy Taran.
In Romania he will meet with President Klaus Iohannis and Defense Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca.
Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili arrived in Ukraine.
“A rich program is ahead in Lviv and Kyiv, discussion of security issues, trade, economic, energy, tourism and many other issues,” Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal wrote in his Telegram channel.
It is reported that the Georgian delegation will take part in the constituent summit of the Crimean platform.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine and Georgia plan to step up trade and economic cooperation and boost trade between the countries in 2021 by 25%.
“Georgia is an important trade partner for us. I am sure that despite the coronavirus pandemic, we will step up trade and economic cooperation this year. A positive trend will be an increase in trade turnover by 25%. This will be one of the main tasks of the joint Ukrainian-Georgian Commission on Economic Cooperation,” Zelensky said during a joint briefing with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili on Wednesday in Kyiv.
According to Zelensky, “the next meeting devoted to trade and economic cooperation is scheduled for September this year.”
On Thursday, June 24, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, together with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davide Zalkaliani and acting Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova Aureliu Ciocoi will visit the EU institutions in Brussels for the first time with a joint visit in the format of the Associated Trio, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported.
According to the press service of the Foreign Ministry, in the information released Wednesday morning, the heads of the Ukrainian, Georgian and Moldovan diplomacy will present to the European Union a joint strategic vision of the further development of the trilateral format of the Associated Trio.
The key topics of the talks will be the European integration of the three countries, the possibility of further liberalization of trade relations, new promising areas of sectoral cooperation with the EU, in particular in the context of the implementation of the European Green Deal and the digital transition.
The parties will also coordinate their positions on security threats in the region and exchange views on preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit in December 2021.
Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova signed a memorandum on the establishment of the Associated Trio in Kyiv on May 17, 2021. The document underlines the European aspirations of the three associated partners of the EU and their ambitions to become members of the European Union. The Associated Trio is a trilateral format in which Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova coordinate their efforts towards European integration.
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili arrives in Ukraine on an official visit on Wednesday, June 23, the press service of the President of Ukraine reports.
“A meeting between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili is scheduled for June 23, who is to be on an official visit in Ukraine,” the message says.
The presidents talk to media representatives at 12:40 at the Mariyinsky Palace.
Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, Dmytro Kuleba, David Zalkaliani and Aureliu Ciocoi, have signed a trilateral memorandum on the start of enhanced cooperation on European integration “Associated Trio.”
“The associated trio is our message that there is no alternative to European integration for our three partner countries, and there is no alternative also for Europe, because they must perceive our three countries as a serious project to ensure peace and prosperity in Europe,” Kuleba said in his statement for the media following the signing of the memorandum in Kyiv on Monday.