26 May - Independence Day of Georgia

2021 marks 103 years of the Democratic Republic of Georgia as well as 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence from the Soviet Union. Throughout the centuries, Georgia has experienced periods when it was prosperous and strong state, however there were also tragic times when our country was subject of foreign invasions and was under the influence of external powers. The new chapter of Georgian history is directly linked to May 26, 1918, when Georgia gained freedom from the Russian Empire and established the First Democratic Republic of Georgia. On 26 May 1918, Georgia’s independence was declared by the First Meeting of the National Council of Georgia. Despite the short period of its existence (1918-1921), the Democratic Republic of Georgia had a significant impact on the development of the Georgian statehood in a long run. The Act of Independence laid out the basic principles of state organization and country policy: state sovereignty; democratic republic as a political form of independent Georgia; neutrality; goodwill with all states, especially neighbours; civil and political freedom; free development for national minorities. Georgia at a time became one of the pioneer countries where women had the right to vote and stand for election. This was organically linked to the 1921 Constitution, which focused on democratic values and principles as well as establishment and strengthening of democratic institutions in Georgia.

In 1991, Georgia regained its independence from 70 years of Soviet rule. The independence enabled our country to continue its democratic transformation and to start building a state where the rule of law is supreme. We are proud that our country is developing on principles where the human rights and freedom of expression are respected. Independent Georgia chooses the way to join democracy and European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

Since gaining independence, Georgia has been target of hybrid warfare from the Russian Federation aiming to destabilise the country, keep it in the sphere of influence and hinder its democratic development and pro-western foreign policy choice. Even today Georgia continues its fight for territorial integrity. Since the 1990s, Russia actively performs its aggression against Georgia including Georgia’s choice of democracy and its independent domestic and foreign policy. As a result, in August 2008 Russia performed large-scale military aggression and the subsequent illegal occupation of 20% of Georgia’s indivisible regions - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. Since the start of the Russia’s invasion and occupation of Georgia, international community has witnessed unprecedented ethnic cleansing of Georgians and continues violation of human right.

Despite the challenges, through past 3 decades, step by step, Georgia has once again laid the extensive groundwork for building an independent state. Today and every day work of the State continues. 30 years of independence has brought significant changes to the country as well as its citizens. Determination and dedication has allowed to overcome obstacles as a state and as a society, resulting in strength and resilience.

The main foreign policy priority of Georgia is the full integration to European and Euro Atlantic structures. Becoming full member of EU and NATO is a strategic choice of the Georgian population. About 80% of the Georgian society supports full membership to EU and NATO.

We are deeply grateful for the friendly Moldova for its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. Over the 30 years since independence, our countries have established strategic partnership and cooperation in many areas, which are based on a solid foundation of long-term friendship and respect between our peoples.

Georgia is delighted that relations between our countries continue to grow stronger, based on mutual respect and European values. Georgia and the Republic of Moldova strongly support each other on national priority issues. Our countries have a strong bilateral ties for our joint 🇪🇺 aspirations. In this context, it is important that Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova have signed the Memorandum founding the “Associated Trio”. Our countries agreed to establish a joint coordination and cooperation format, which aims to further deepen European integration. The joint memorandum pledging to reform and modernise our countries to European standards in order to move towards membership of the EU.

It is important that our countries continue cooperation for the further development of GUAM and are focused on four major priorities, such as political consolidation, economic prosperity, sectoral harmonization and the strengthening of people-to-people contacts. It is important to fully utilise the potential of the GUAM free trade zone and to increase our efforts aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the transport corridor.

We are grateful that bilateral trade and economy relations between Georgia and Moldova are going forward. Despite the global crisis caused by the pandemic, with joint efforts we managed to minimize the negative impact on trade between our countries. It is notable that last year, despite the pandemic, our mutual trade turnover grew by 27%.

Our countries are working hand-in-hand to develop relationships in the different sectors. We have positive feelings that in the near future we will significantly increase bilateral cooperation in tourism.

Today, there is no exaggeration that cooperation between our countries can serve as an example of how relations between two sovereign states and friendly nations should develop. Georgia has a long history of people-to-people, political, economic and friendly relations with the strategic partner – The Republic of Moldova and these ties will gradually further advanced.

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