Parliament Speaker Visits Finland, Sweden

Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili continues his official visit to Scandinavia by holding meetings with officials in Finland and Sweden.

While in Finland on June 15, Speaker Papuashvili met with the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, and Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Tytti Tuppurainen.

The Finnish Government tweeted after the meeting that discussions concerned Georgia’s “approach to the EU and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The Georgian Speaker also discussed regional challenges and European integration with the Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto. In the tweet after the meeting, the Finish Foreign Ministry reiterated Finland’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity.

Speaker Papuashvili also spoke with Matti Vanhanen, the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament to discuss bilateral parliamentary ties and Georgia’s European aspirations.

While in Finland, the Speaker had the opportunity to speak at a talk organized by the Paasakivi Society, which unites Finnish civil society organizations.

Discussing Georgia’s EU candidacy and urged that just as Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova applied for EU candidacy due to geopolitical reasons, the answer should be on the same basis. “If the EU does not hold the line now, Russia will interpret it as a green light for more aggression,” he noted.

Meetings in Sweden

In Sweden on June 16, Speaker Papuashvili met with his counterpart Andreas Norlén, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, where the importance of strengthening inter-parliamentary ties was emphasized. He pointed to Sweden’s significant contribution to Georgia’s democratic and institutional development.

The Speaker went on to meet with Jenny Olhsson, the Swedish State Secretary for International Development Cooperation, where bilateral relations and expanding cooperation were the main subjects of discussion.

On June 17, Speaker Papuashvili met with the Swedish Minister of Defense, Peter Hultqvist, to discuss Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as Sweden’s NATO bid.

The parties also touched on the challenges posed by Russian aggression in Ukraine and the importance of obtaining international security guarantees.

In Sweden, Papuashvili also had the opportunity to meet with the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The Speaker was accompanied by ruling Georgian Dream MPs Nikoloz Samkharadze, Maka Botchorishvili, and Maia Bitadze, as well as opposition Girchi MP Hermann Szabo.

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