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Georgia, Ukraine Agree To Cooperate On Efforts To Join EU

Georgian, Ukrainian Presidents Agree To Boost NATO, EU Efforts
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WATCH: Georgian, Ukrainian Presidents Agree To Boost NATO, EU Efforts

TBILISI -- The presidents of Georgia and Ukraine have agreed to coordinate their efforts toward integration into the European Union.

Giorgi Margvelashvili and Petro Poroshenko announced the move in a declaration of strategic partnership in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, on July 18.

Margvelashvili told reporters after the talks that the declaration "reflects the real mood of the two nations."

"We agreed to intensify our efforts in terms of integration into the European space," Margvelashvili said.

Poroshenko said, "we have to defend our sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy together." He added that the two countries face the same challenges and threats.

"[The] international community must increase its pressure on Russia until it fully fulfills the Minsk (peace) agreements and removes its armed forces for the occupied territories," Poroshenko said. "For Georgia it is about occupied territories of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia, and for Ukraine it is about the annexed Crimea and the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine."

Moscow illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014 and has been supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east in a war against Kyiv's forces that has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014

In 2008, Russia recognized Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries shortly after fighting a brief war against Tbilisi, and Moscow maintains thousands of troops in both regions.

With reporting by