Visit of Lado Gurgenidze, Georgian Prime Minister, to Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and extracts from the joint press briefing
End production: 02/09/2008 First transmission: 02/09/2008
Just one day after the European Council decided to suspend the negotiations with Russia on the future partnership agreement, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, received Lado Gurgenidze, Georgian Prime Minister, to analyse how Europe can cooperate with Georgia. The European Commission promised to continue giving financial support for the reconstruction of Georgia, and also to start working on the creation of a free trade area and a visa facilitation system. Lado Gurgenidze explained that the number of people to be resettled had grown to 30 to 35 thousand people and underlined the importance of tightening political integration.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission building
||Arrival of Lado Gurgenidze, Georgian Prime Minister, welcomed by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy - handshake
||General view of the meeting between Lado Gurgendize and Benita Ferrero-Waldner (3 shots)
||General view of the press room
||Benita Ferrero-Waldner (in ENGLISH) saying that they have immediately given humanitarian aid, and this was of course the most urgent and the most important; they will be doing so in the future; indeed, Member States and the Commission together, for the moment, have been and are continuing to do so, disposed of 15 Euros million for that
||Lado Gurgenidze (in ENGLISH) saying that due to the continued votes of ethnic cleansing by the irregulars and the militias of various kinds in the areas they do not yet fully control because of the presence of the Russian troops there, their initial estimation of 20 to 22 thousand of those who where in need of long term resettlement has now gone up unfortunately to about 30 to 35 thousand
||Benita Ferrero-Waldner (in ENGLISH) saying that there are two most important issues: one is the question of a free trade area between the EU and Georgia, and the second is the question of a visa facilitation versus readmission agreement that they also will start rather quickly
||Lado Gurgenidze (in ENGLISH) saying that the free trade and visa facilitation are indeed important pillars, although they are hoping for a comprehensive discussion of how this tighter integration can be achieved; that is as important as is direct assistance, because what Georgia needs is to, through this tighter integration, consolidate the gains they have made
||Cutaways (2 shots)