Germany backed the European Union membership bid of Georgia, saying that the country was “very much welcome” in the bloc.

Iran Press/Europe: Georgia, a former Soviet state situated on Russia’s southwest border, applied for EU membership on March 3, 2022, one week after Russia’s special military operation began in Ukraine.

The European Council has since said that it is ready to grant the country candidate status once a series of parliamentary, legislative, and economic reforms have been met.

“I know that your country is very much leaning towards Europe and you are very, very much welcome,” German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said at the opening ceremony of the ITB Berlin conference.

Habeck was speaking alongside Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, who said that his government and the people of Georgia were “doing their best” to become a full EU member.

“Georgia’s bid has been recognized by the council of the European Union and we are even closer to our civilization of choice than ever before,” Garibashvili said.

“The current efforts of every Georgian are directed toward the day when Georgia will eventually secure its place on the map of Europe,” he added.