The mayor of Lithuania’s capital city Vilnius, Remigius Shimashius, posted pictures on his Facebook page showcasing a billboard sign with a text in English and Georgia: “Closer than ever - ახლოს, ვიდრე ოდესმე.”
Georgia’s visa free regime to the Schengen area came into force on March 28th. The day before, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite addressed Georgian citizens with a special video message to congratulate on the upcoming visa liberalization.
“The Georgia-EU visa waiver came into force yesterday, and Georgians can already move freely within the European Union countries. Soon, the first guests from Kutaisi airport will arrive to Vilnius, and we’ve prepared a surprise for them.:) Georgia - Closer Than Ever! #GeorgiaIsEurope,” Vilnius mayor Shimashius wrote.
At the Vilnius airport, there were also bottles of Borjomi water as well as cookies with Georgian, Lithuanian, and EU flags on them
With visa-travel to the Schengen zone, Georgian citizens will be able to travel to 22 member state countries of the European Union and four non-EU member states for 90 days in a 180-day period.
On March 8th, the regulation on the suspension mechanism and visa free regime for Georgian citizens to travel to the Schengen area was posted in the EU Official Journal.
A week earlier, on March 1st, the chairman of the European Council and the President of the European Parliament signed the regulation. At a plenary session on February 2nd, members of the European Parliament decided to grant Georgians visa free travel to the Schengen zone, with 553 votes in favour, 66 against, and 28 abstentions.