Georgia should have been granted EU candidate status alongside Ukraine and Moldova, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said in Tbilisi on Friday.
He said the decision was “inexplicable … and harmful to Europe”. While Szijjártó welcomed the recent decision to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, he added that Georgia deserved a place in the bloc, too. The decision, he added, undermined the aim of strengthening the EU and amounted to a wasted opportunity.
The minister insisted that EU preconditions demanded of Georgia were “in many cases meaningless” and lacked “a system of objective criteria”. “Brussels often applies the same double standards to us Hungarians,” he added.
Szijjártó said Hungary would boost its support for Georgia and do everything possible to bolster cooperation.
Support offered includes backing Georgia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council, continuing to provide 80 higher education scholarships to Georgian students each year, and opening a 140 million US dollar Eximbank credit line to promote bilateral business cooperation, he said.
After growing by 40 percent last year, trade turnover topped 60 million euros, and so far this year it has risen by 80 percent,
Meanwhile, the minister said Hungary and Georgia wanted to see peace in Ukraine, adding that their respective governments were making strenuous efforts to ensure that their citizens did not have to contend with the threat of war and would “not pay the price of war”. At the same time, both countries support Ukraine and are running major humanitarian missions, he noted.
Szijjarto was scheduled to meet Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Levan Davitashvili, the economy minister, later today.
Read alsoGovernment regrets EU’s ‘No’ on Western Balkans, Georgia integration
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