President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, President Salome Zurabishvili of Georgia and President Maia Sandu of Moldova met for summit talks in the city of Batumi (Georgia) on July 19. The heads of State signed the Declaration of the Batumi summit on European integration.

The document reasserts their strong commitment to the process of integration with the European Union through comprehensive reforms aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, gradually bringing national legislations in conformity with the basic elements of the bloc’s legislation.

Association agreements that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova signed with the European Union are the key road maps for reforms in these three countries, the Declaration stresses. Their implementation sets up the basis for the strengthening of political association and the continuous deepening of economic integration of these associate partners with the European Union.

The presidents believe that granting European perspective to their countries as the bloc’s associate partners will become a powerful incentive and encouragement for them to conduct deeper and broader reforms. In particular, the declaration reads, “We want to remind our European partners that in accordance with Article 49 of the Agreement about Association with the European Union Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine as the European nations that respect European values and are true to the cause of their upholding are entitled to submit applications for joining the European Union.”

The three countries have agreed to work closely with European institutions to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the Association Agreement and the treaty for free trade zone. The sides articulated their readiness to cooperate closely with the bloc in the spheres of transport, energy, digitalization, green economy and justice, interior affairs, strategic communication and health care.

Besides, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have agreed to work together to ensure security and stability in the Black Sea Region.

In the declaration, the leaders of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova stated in clear terms that their intention to reach the bloc’s membership is the goal that unites their three states, according to the opinion of political analysts. The European integration has no alternative for “the Associate Trio” and no one can influence their choice in one way or the other.

After the summit, President Zelenskyy was quoted as saying, “We’ve declared our common goal at the highest level. This goal is to reach the full-fledged membership at the bloc. Of importance is the understanding that our countries are united not only by efforts to reach the final goal on this uneasy path but also by the wish and the readiness to traverse this path together. To this end, the initiative “the Associate Trio” starts today. We unite our efforts in the name of achieving European integration.”

Zelenskyy is convinced that the presence of Russian troops and weapons near the borders of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova threatens the whole continent.

The Ukrainian President stressed, “If Brussels doesn’t demonstrate the iron-clad support for European aspirations of our three countries, then someone demonstrates the iron muscles of his weapons near the state borders of our three countries. And this, in my view, is a threat not only to our three countries but to the whole continent as well.”

The newspaper Voice of Ukraine