Georgia’s Ambassador Tamar Beruchashvili writes on the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the UK, and the country’s Independence Day
Georgia’s Embassy in London hosted a concert and reception to celebrate two remarkable dates: 26 years since our restoration of independence, and 25 years since diplomatic relations were re-established between Georgia and the UK. The event took place at the prestigious Lansdowne Club on May 30.
In this short period of history, this small nation has overcome poverty, as well as overcoming civil war and invasion by Russia. What’s more, Georgia has managed to transform itself into a modern, democratic and dynamic state.
Today’s Georgia is no longer a post-Soviet state; it is an Eastern European democracy and a role model for the region. Georgians are proud of their achievements: the Association agreement allowing free trade and visa-free travel with the EU, close dynamic cooperation with NATO and its contribution to global peace and security. With a vibrant civil society and attractive, corruption-free business environment, Georgia is also a natural hub on the Silk Road bridging countries and regions with free trade and modern infrastructure.
Despite Russian occupation, Georgians are working hard with the international community to create peaceful solutions for restoration of their territorial integrity. Exercising strategic patience, Georgia stays firm and carries on with its reform agenda.
The UK’s support has been crucial to this success.
The history of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the UK started in 1919, when capable British diplomat Oliver Wardrop was assigned as the first British Chief Commissioner of Transcaucasus in Tbilisi. These relations were again restored on 27 April 1992. The two countries have developed a Strategic Partnership within the framework of ‘Wardrop Dialogue,’ based on common values and visions of freedom, democracy, pluralism and tolerance. The UK strongly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the Georgian peoples’ choice for European and Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations.
Today, the two countries are genuine partners in many areas of cooperation: to bring peace and stability in different parts of the world via NATO and other international organisations; counterterrorism and cybercrime; promotion of democracy and good governance throughout the region; 20 years of cooperation with BP; bilateral trade and investments; dynamic city twinning (including Bristol-Tbilisi and Newport-Kutaisi) and even rugby diplomacy.
Georgia welcomes an outward-looking, globally-minded, flexible and dynamic UK that is bound to play a leading role in the world. While Britain will forge its new positive role in the coming years, Georgia is ready to use every opportunity to further deepen and widen cooperation in all directions.