Door to EU, Nato must be open to Georgia, Eastern Partnership states

Leszek Szymański/PAP

The door to EU and Nato membership for Georgia and Eastern Partnership countries must always be open, the Polish president has said during a state visit to Georgia.

Poland has long been an enthusiastic supporter of membership for some of the former Soviet-bloc countries, and President Andrzej Duda took the opportunity of his visit to stress that his country was still campaigning on their behalf.

"I have appealed to EU and Nato state leaders to keep the door to the European Union and Nato open," Duda told reporters after a meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Salome Zourabichvili, in Tbilisi on Thursday. "Georgia is on the path leading to membership."

He added that it was important that membership of the organisations remained on offer "if we expect the EU-associated Eastern Partnership countries, like Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova, to implement reforms, which both the EU and Nato demand in order for them to meet membership requirements."

The Eastern Partnership project is an initiative for EU-aspiring post-Soviet countries aimed at increasing contacts between the bloc and six eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

"I believe that the road will be getting shorter for Georgia," Duda went on, adding that he hoped for the dates, and procedural steps needed to be taken for membership, to be announced in order "to make it possible for Georgia to join the European Union and Nato."