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Georgia to apply ‘immediately’ for EU membership: Ruling party

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Georgia will “immediately” apply for EU membership, the Black Sea nation’s ruling party said Wednesday, a day after the European Parliament backed war-torn Ukraine’s bid to apply for EU membership.

The ruling Georgian Dream party chairman, Irakli Kobakhidze, announced the party’s “decision today to immediately apply for the EU membership.”

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Georgia calls on the EU “to review our application in an urgent manner and to make the decision to grant Georgia the status of an EU membership candidate,” he told a press conference.

Georgia’s decision followed a similar move by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who won backing from MEPs in a non-binding resolution recommending that EU bodies grant Ukraine the status of candidate country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The vote was largely seen in Georgia as a window of opportunity to advance its own EU aspirations – a goal enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Last year, the Georgian government announced its intention to apply for EU membership in 2024.

Georgia’s and Ukraine’s efforts to forge closer ties with the West has long angered former imperial master Russia.

Tensions with Moscow culminated in Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008.

Both Georgia and Ukraine have signed association agreements with the EU “on economic integration and political approximation,” and free trade, which give no guarantee for an eventual membership.

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