Georgian Prime Minister Meets President of the Venice Commission
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met today in Batumi with President Gianni Buquicchio of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.
The parties discussed the constitutional amendments initiated by the ruling team, which seek to put in place a well-balanced constitution grounded in democratic principles.
According to the Prime Minister, these amendments, developed based on unprecedented public debates by the Constitutional Commission bringing together politicians, NGOs, and independent experts, will enable Georgia to have a constitution that ensures a comprehensive parliamentary model of government, greater effectiveness of the government, better defined functions of the president as a neutral arbiter, and stronger protection of human rights and society as a whole.
The conversation also involved the date of switchover to proportional representation planned in 2024. The Prime Minister emphasized the fact of the introduction of proportional representation being a demonstration of the ruling team's political will, it is a great achievement, as this issue never even was on the table under the previous governments.
The meeting was also attended by Georgia's Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, Speaker of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze, and parliamentary majority leader Archil Talakvadze.
The meeting between the Georgian Prime Minister and the President of the Venice Commission was held under the 17th Congress of European Constitutional Courts in Batumi.
EU and IOM donate fast response boats to Georgia’s coast guard
On 16 June, the European Union and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) donated four modern boats to Georgia’s Coast Guard.
These rapide response boats with a total cost of around 5 million laris will be deployed in Poti and Batumi. They will support the Coast Guard in patrolling coastal waters and conducting effective search and rescue operations, as well as to enhance interdiction capabilities.
The main technical specifications of the boats have been tailored to the needs of the Coast Guard to ensure compatibility with the maritime surveillance equipment and systems already in place in Georgia.
“Safe and secure borders are key for citizens in Georgia, as in any country. Ensuring security of and around the Black Sea – the physical bridge between the EU and Georgia – is a shared priority for both Georgia and the EU,” said Catalin Gherman, from the EU Delegation to Georgia, during the ceremony in Poti.
The boats were donated within the project ‘Support to Integrated Border Management in Georgia’, implemented by the IOM in the framework of the EU’s ‘EU4 Security, Accountability and Fight against Crime in Georgia’ (SAFE) programme.
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Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Batumi State University
Question about the event
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: We are delighted to be here tonight to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Georgia. I’ve had a chance to visit with some of our partners during the two days I’ve been here so far, but tonight’s reception is to thank our wonderful partners here in Adjara for all of the great work that we’ve been doing together over the last 30 years. There have been some really important initiatives that have helped develop the economy, develop civil society, develop democracy and local governance, as well as security cooperation, and many other areas that we’re working on with our Georgian partners here in the entire region. So, tonight is really our thank you.
Question on Georgia’s EU application and the possibility of receiving candidate status
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: For 30 years, the United States has been working toward Georgia’s full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. Almost everything that we have done and are doing here in Georgia is designed to support the people of Georgia’s desire to be part of the European Union and to be part of NATO. That is what the people of Georgia want, and that is what the United States firmly supports. We have been advocating on behalf of Georgia’s EU candidacy because we want to see Georgia succeed in its European aspirations.
When I hear people say that the United States is working against Georgia or trying to drag Georgia into the war or open a “second front,” that is a hundred percent Russian disinformation. That is absolutely not true. The United States has done everything we can to stop this war, to stop the fighting. Even before hostilities broke open, the United States was the country that was working hardest to prevent this war from happening. We absolutely do not want to see Georgia dragged into this war. In our view, what the European Union – what NATO stands for is peace, stability, prosperity. You can see it in every country you’re in: the stability and prosperity and the peace that come with being part of the Euro-Atlantic community. And we want that for Georgia too. We know that’s what the Georgian people want as well. So, we’re going to continue to be fully committed to Georgia’s sovereignty, to its territorial integrity, and to its desire to be fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic family of nations.
Question about the Prime Minister’s recent comments
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: I won’t speak on behalf of the Prime Minister, but what I can say is I don’t know anybody in Georgia who wants Georgia to be part of this war. I think everybody in Georgia is – and certainly, the United States is very aware—of what Georgians have gone through and how they are feeling. What’s going on in the outpouring of humanitarian assistance and support for Ukraine is a good indication of where Georgians’ hearts are in this fight. What is really needed is not this fighting amongst Georgians. It’s for Georgians to come together. This is one issue where I would hope Georgia’s leaders could put aside their differences and come together in the interest of this country’s future: in the interest of this country’s stability and prosperity. Unity is what is needed right now, not more fighting: unity. I would love to see Georgians live up to their motto of “dzala ertobashia” that’s what’s needed right now.
Georgian Prime Minister’s meeting with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office/Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili held a meeting with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office/Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau.
The parties discussed the regional security challenges arising from the military action in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister reiterated Georgia's solidarity with Ukraine by providing humanitarian aid and political support, including in every international format. Garibashvili also underlined the vital role and active steps of the international community toward ending the war as soon as possible.
Special attention was paid to future cooperation during Poland's OSCE chairmanship and regional security issues in this context. Irakli Garibashvili, during his conversation with Zbigniew Rau, emphasized the importance of keeping the issue of Georgia's occupied territory high on the agenda during Poland's OSCE chairmanship, also of OSCE engagement in the Geneva International Discussions (GID), and the need to use this format effectively and achieving tangible results. The parties also focused on the importance of effective co-chairmanship of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), also underscoring the Georgian Government's peace policy.
The Polish diplomat reaffirmed support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister welcomed the crucially important priorities declared by Poland as part of its OSCE chairmanship. The Head of Government thanked the Polish Foreign Minister for visiting Georgia.
During the meeting at the Government Administration, the Polish side was represented by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia Mariusz Maszkiewicz, Polish Ambassador to Montenegro/ Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Artur Dmochowski, Head of the Polish OSCE Chairmanship's Task Force Paweł Kotowski, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus Viorel Moșanu, and Senior Policy Support Officer of the OSCE Secretariat's Caucasus Desk Siegfried Wöber, while the Georgian side was represented by Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, Head of the Government Administration Ilia Darchiashvili, and Georgia's Permanent Representative to the OSCE/Ambassador to Austria Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Today’s Cabinet session, chaired by Georgian Prime Minister, at the Government Administration, discussed 9 issues on its meeting agenda
Today's Cabinet session, chaired by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili at the Government Administration, discussed 9 issues on its meeting agenda.
To strengthen the defense capabilities of Georgia's Armed Forces, and improve anti-amor capacities, the Government is working on procuring an additional supply of Javelin man-portable anti-tank missiles. In 2021, the Department of State made a decision on a possible foreign military sale of 30 million USDs' worth of additional Javelin missiles to Georgia. The Defense Ministry-in order to carry out this transaction of national and public importance expeditiously-will employ simplified procurement to acquire new Javelin man-portable anti-tank systems under the relevant agreement between the Governments of the two countries.
Given the priorities of the Defense Ministry, it has been decided that the financing to this end, amounting to 26,246,866 USD, will be covered with the amount allocated by the US and, in line with the agreement between the Governments of the United States and Georgia, with sums transferred from Georgia's state budget.
Today's Cabinet meeting also discussed proposed amendments to the Law of Georgia on Medicines and Pharmaceutical Activities. According to these amendments, importing pharmaceutical products to Georgia will require a certificate confirming production in line with GMP (good manufacturing practices) standards. Before March of 2022, the Government of Georgia will present mandatory stages and terms for producing said certificate.
These amendments are designed to ensure equal approaches to pharmaceuticals manufacturers, wholesalers, and importers. The Government will endorse the bill to the Parliament with a request for an expedited review.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Irakli Garibashvili: This visit by American command ships is yet another clear demonstration of the strong strategic relations between Georgia and the US
I welcome our strategic allies and partners visiting Batumi Port, and I welcome American command ships, their crews and personnel, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated today in Batumi, aboard USS Mount Whitney.
According to the Head of Government, this port visit by American command ships is yet another clear demonstration of the strong strategic relations between Georgia and the US.
"Georgia is very important country in the Black Sea region. Our geographic location has a profound significance. Georgia is a loyal ally and participant of global security. We understand well the importance of Black Sea security, and we are committed to assisting our allies in this direction. We share the responsibility of cementing regional peace and stability, and we will continue doing everything to that end. Army command compatibility, partnership-oriented drills, and the unity of our forces in times of crisis offer the best way to ensure security in the region. I am happy to see that our friends, during their stay in Batumi, will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with our country's rich history, culture, and traditions. Along with our guests, I would like to express enormous gratitude to the US Government and the American people, each American, who have stood by Georgia since the regaining of independence. On behalf of our Government and the Georgian people, I once again thank you visiting, and I wish you a successful stay," the Prime Minister addressed the crews and personnel of the American ships.
The guests aboard the USS were also addressed by US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan and Commander of the Sixth Fleet/Vice Admiral Gene Black.
"It is an honor to welcome to Georgia USS Mount Whitney and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Porter. Many representatives of the crews and personnel of these ships are visiting this beautiful country for the first time, though the ships themselves have been here many times before. We are very proud of their return today. In September of 2008, after Russia's invasion of Georgia, Mount Whitney delivered 17 tons of much-needed humanitarian aid from the USAID, marking the first visit of the ship to the Black Sea water area, and look at Georgia's immense progress since! The history of these glorious ships, and the capabilities and achievements of their crews, are truly impressive. This visit reaffirms that the United States and Georgia, as partners, are committed to the idea of security and defense. Less than a month has passed since the recent visit by the US Defense Secretary, who reminisced about his time together with Georgian troops on battlefield and expressed gratitude to them. Alongside troops from the North Atlantic Alliance's member states and allies, more than 22,000 Georgians have participated in trainings and battles. The crews and personnel of these ships enable the US to carry out integrated aerial, land, and maritime operations with military and humanitarian missions, whenever we are called and whenever we are needed in the world. Your being here also reaffirms the unwavering commitment of the United States to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Thank you, Mister Prime Minister, Mister Vice Prime Minister, Mister Defense Minister, Mister Chief of Defense Forces, and heads of the border guard and maritime patrol services, for facilitating this visit-and, more importantly, for your strong support of our security and defense partnership," Ambassador Degnan said.
Vice Admiral Gene Black thanked Georgia and Batumi for hosting the US ships and crews.
"Georgia's support makes a direct contribution to maritime security in the Black Sea Region. Our host city has embraced our crews and personnel with genuine warmth and hospitality. I deeply appreciate that. I am also grateful to Georgia's Defense Forces and the Georgian people for supporting US- and NATO-led missions. Georgia is our strategic partner, and our support for the country remains unwavering. The United States remain committed to maintaining close bilateral relations and assisting Georgia in developing its defense capabilities. Your contribution to our joint security effort testifies to the strength of our strategic partnership and to the common maritime interests and values we share. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, during his visit to Georgia last months, stated that ‘Georgia has consistently and resolutely supported the United States in ensuring peace and stability in this region. I am happy to have this opportunity to reaffirm our strong support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.' The United States Navy-together with the member states and allies of the North Atlantic Alliance, including Georgia-is bolstering maritime security and stability in the Black Sea Region. No single country can deal with all threats on its own, the reason why I, on behalf of the United States of America and the North Atlantic Alliance and the Sixth Fleet, I thank Georgia for this opportunity further strengthening our relations," Vice Admiral Gene Black stated.
Press Service of the Government Administration