Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
The “visit” by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in the occupied Abkhazia region represents a continuation of Moscow deliberate policy against Georgia.
Such action at the 9th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war serves for legitimization of forceful change of borders of the sovereign state through military aggression, ethnic cleansing and occupation. By this step, the Kremlin tries in vain to support and legitimize its occupation regimes.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the “visit” of the Russian President to the occupied Abkhazia region in violation of the Georgian state border, which blatantly infringes the fundamental norms and principles of international law.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls upon the Russian Federation to cease its provocative actions against the Georgian statehood and respect the territorial integrity the sovereign state.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals also to the international community to duly assess Moscow’s aggressive steps and take effective measures to ensure that the Russian Federation fulfills its international obligations, including the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
Georgia: Leading MEPs react to the refusal of the political parties to reach an agreement
In a joint statement, MEPs deplore that Georgia’s political leaders did not agree to EU mediator Christian Danielsson’s proposal and announce consequences in terms of EU-Georgia relations.
Following a meeting on 1 April with Christian Danielsson, personal envoy of European Council President Charles Michel for the EU-mediated political dialogue in Georgia, leading MEPs issued the following joint statement:
“We are deeply disappointed with the political leaders in Georgia for their inability to reach an agreement last Tuesday despite the best efforts deployed by the European Union to help put an end to the current political crisis. Both the ruling and the main opposition parties taking part in the discussions are to be blamed for this outcome and a special responsibility lies with the party in government.
We reiterate our strong support to Christian Danielsson’s tireless work and welcome the publication of the proposal he made to the political parties, which further increased the transparency of the mediation process. It is essential to rebuild confidence between political party actors. The content of this proposal is indeed the right way ahead for Georgia: ambitious electoral and judicial reforms, meaningful sharing of responsibilities in the Georgian Parliament and, most importantly, a solution on future elections and on two cases of politicised justice. This solution is politically balanced and respects both the rule of law and the international assessment of the 2020 elections. We also welcome the idea of a Jean-Monnet Dialogue process supported by the European Parliament, when the political situation allows.
Following the refusal from the political parties to compromise, Georgia’s leaders should not expect a return to business as usual from the European Union. The European Parliament in particular will call for consequences in terms of EU financial assistance, including both a suspension of further disbursements of and an increase in conditionality linked to EU Macro Financial Assistance and budget support programmes.
In the meantime, the adoption of ongoing electoral and judicial reforms in the Georgian Parliament requires broad political support and the need to fully implement the recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission. These reforms are key to rebuild trust. We call on the ruling party to ensure a genuinely inclusive process to avoid the further undermining of both future elections and the judiciary, as well as unnecessarily closing the door to a possible agreement in the future.
We call on Georgia’s leaders to take action immediately. The future of EU-Georgia relations is at stake.”
The increasing frictions between political parties in Georgia following the November 2020 parliamentary elections and the arrest of the opposition leader in mid-February have sparked a major political crisis in Georgia. The EU is actively engaged to help overcome the tensions among Georgia's political parties. Christian Danielsson, European Council President Charles Michel's personal envoy, conducted in Tbilisi two rounds of mediation among the parties and presented a proposal for a way ahead for Georgia. The European Parliament strongly supports his efforts.
Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (The Greens/EFA, Germany), lead member of the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group for Georgia;
Sven Mikser (S&D, Estonia), European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Georgia;
Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany), European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Ukraine;
Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe, Lithuania), European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Belarus.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 52nd Round of the Geneva International DiscussionsThe 52nd Round of the Geneva International Discussions was held on 26 March, 2021. The deteriorated security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories on the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, intensification of the de-facto annexation process by the Russian Federation and the release of the illegally detained Georgian citizens were among the main topics of the discussions.
In the frames of the negotiations the Georgian delegation talked extensively about the historic Judgment of the European Court of Human rights, which creates a significant international legal instrument in the process of peaceful conflict resolution. Participants from Georgia underlined that the Court established the Russian Federation’s effective control over and occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia and hence ruled the Russian Federation’s responsibility for the human rights violations during the August 2008 War and the subsequent period of occupation. The Georgian delegation stated that the ECHR underlined the Russian Federation’s responsibility for ethnic cleansing of Georgian population and for hampering the implementation of the right of return of IDPs and refugees. The Georgian participants also pointed to those parts of the Judgment which highlight the non-compliance with the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement by the Russian Federation and its continuous large-scale military presence in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia in violation of the undertaken obligations.Intensification of de-facto annexation process of Georgia’s occupied territories was raised sharply in light of the adoption of the “programme” for creation of a common social-economic space between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia region, as well as in the context of discussions by the President of Russia with the Sokhumi occupation regime about the creation of a “union state”. Georgian participants talked extensively about the intensified provocations carried out by the Russian federation on the background of COVID-19 pandemic, building a new Berlin wall in terms of erecting barbed-wire fences and other artificial barriers, as well as about the facts of illegal kidnappings and detentions of people living along the occupation line. The Georgian delegation demanded unconditional release of all the Georgian citizens being under the illegal detention in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
Significant attention was paid to the increased militarisation and regular military exercises in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia, continuation of the creeping occupation in the territory adjacent to the village Chorchana, as well as Russia’s intensified use of the hybrid war instruments, which serves for the destabilisation of the situation in the country.
An important part of the negotiations was dedicated to the grave humanitarian and social-economic consequences of the restriction of freedom of movement along the occupation line. Dire conditions of the residents of Gali and Akhalgori districts as well as of the Codori Gorge was stressed in this context. Fatal results entailed by hampering medical evacuations was emphasised and necessity of unimpeded access to healthcare services of people living in the occupied territories was underlined. Georgian participants raised the issue of restriction of freedom of movement of Tamar Mearakishvili, the activist from Akhalgori district, who had not been allowed to cross the occupation line and visit her family by Tskhinvali occupation regime for years.
The talks also focused on ethnic discrimination of Georgians remained in the occupied territories, grave consequence of the restriction of education in native language, as well as crucial importance of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of local population. The Georgian delegation pointed to the increased attempts of russification and isolation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions from the rest of Georgia.
It was highlighted that the impunity in the cases of murder of David Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili encouraged ethnically based violence and crime. The Georgian delegation once again raised the issue of the necessity for execution of justice in the mentioned cases.
The emphasis was made on the need for access of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), as well as international human rights organisations in Georgia’s occupied territories. The necessity for ensuring unimpeded humanitarian support for the conflict-affected people during the COVID-19 pandemic was stressed, which in its turn represents one of the main obligations under the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
Extensive talks were held on the efficient use of the negotiations formats, including the need for regular and proper functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs). In this context the necessity of unconditional resumption of Gali IPRM and unhindered work of Ergmeti IPRM was underlined.
The necessity of adequately addressing problems and needs of conflict-affected and IDP women was highlighted in both working groups and the importance of amplification of “Women, Peace and Security” agenda in peace negotiations was underlined.
Active discussions were held on the major agenda items such as non-use of force and establishment of international security arrangements. The Georgian delegation underlined crucial importance of reiteration and implementation of the non-use of force obligation by Russia in light of Moscow’s continued use of force and threat of use of force against Georgia through its illegal military presence and regular military exercises in the occupied territories. The Georgian participants stressed that the only guarantee for the ceasefire and non-use of force was the deployment of international security mechanisms in the occupied territories, which would have been a milestone in the process of lasting peace and security on the ground. Georgian participants made emphasis on the issue of implementation of EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement by Russia, as well as demanded withdrawal of Russian occupation forces from the territory of Georgia and deployment of international security mechanisms on the ground.
Active exchange of views took place on one of the major agenda items like safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees expelled as a result of ethnic cleansing from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia. Despite the attempts of the Georgian delegation for non-politicised discussion of the issue the Russian Federation and the representatives of the occupation regimes once again tried to use this topic for political manipulations and left the negotiations table during the discussions on this agenda item.
The next round of the GID will be held on 29-30 June 2021.
Geneva International Discussions were launched on the basis of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Discussions are held within the frames of two Working Groups, where participants are represented in their individual capacity. In the first Working Group talks are focused on security and stability in the occupied territories of Georgia, while in second Working Group – on humanitarian and human rights situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as on the issues related to safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin. The discussions are held with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN and OSCE, and participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation and the USA. The Head of the Provisional Administration of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, as well as the representatives of the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali occupation regimes also attend the Working Groups.Press Service of the MFA Administration
Press-conference titled “Significance of peace and trust in modern world” was held in the MFA of Turkmenistan
On March 24, 2021, a press-conference titled “Significance of peace and trust in modern world” was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in a hybrid format. The event was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Independence, to the 25th anniversary of the permanent Neutrality of the country as well as to the announcement of the year 2021 as the Year of Peace and Trust.
The press-conference was attended by the editors-in chief of the national printed editions, representatives of the foreign media, accredited in the country and heads and representatives of the national media. Heads and representatives of the authoritative foreign broadcasting organizations, as well as about 80 journalists from the information agencies of 18 countries of the world participated to the press-conference by means of videoconferencing.
The speakers from Turkmenistan and foreign countries set out their vision of the notions peace and trust, which today are very important as never before. They highlighted the role of mass media in promotion of these values on national, regional and international levels.
The participants of the press-conference highlighted timeliness of the proclamation by the UN General Assembly the year of 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust. In this context the participants expressed the success and efficiency of the foreign and domestic policy of Turkmenistan conducted under the wise leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov during independence years.
At the press-conference the speakers picked up Turkmenistan’s success during independent years in political, economic and cultural-humanitarian fields. It was underlined the important position of Turkmenistan in the sphere of promotion of peaceful and trustful relations in the region and beyond.
The participants expressed to the Turkmen side their gratitude fo the organization of this event. Representatives of International media confirmed their interest to work in close contacts with Turkmen colleagues for further strengthening of bonds of friendship and mutual understanding among the countries and peoples.
В МИД Туркменистана состоялась пресс-конференция «Значимость мира и доверия в современном мире»
24 марта 2021 года в Министерстве иностранных дел Туркменистана в гибридном формате состоялась пресс-конференция «Значимость мира и доверия в современном мире». Данное мероприятие, приурочено к 30-летию Независимости Туркменистана, 25-летию постоянного Нейтралитета, а также объявлению 2021 года – Международным годом мира и доверия.
На пресс-конференции руководители и представители национальных и зарубежных средств массовой информации, иностранные журналисты, аккредитованные в Туркменистане. Посредством видеоконференцсвязи в мероприятии участвовали руководители авторитетных иностранных телерадиовещательных организаций, а также около 80-ти корреспондентов информационных агентств из 18-ти стран мира.
Выступившие в ходе встречи делегаты из Туркменистана и зарубежных стран изложили свое видение понятий – мир и доверие, которые сегодня актуальны как никогда раньше. Выделена роль СМИ в продвижении этих ценностей на национальном, региональном и международном уровнях.
Участники пресс конференции особо отметили своевременность провозглашения Генеральной Ассамблеей ООН 2021 года – Международным годом мира и доверия. В данном контексте они выразили успех и эффективность внутренней и внешней политики Туркменистана, проводимой под мудрым руководством Президента Гурбангулы Бердымухамедова.
На мероприятии выделены успехи Туркменистана за годы независимости в политической, экономической и культурно-гуманитарной областях. Особо подчеркнута важная позиция Туркменистана в деле продвижения миролюбивых и доверительных отношений в регионе и за его пределами.
Выражена благодарность туркменской стороне за организацию данного мероприятия. Представители международных СМИ подтвердили заинтересованность в работе с туркменскими коллегами для дальнейшего укрепления уз дружбы и взаимопонимания между странами и народами.
Joint Statement of U.S. Army Europe and Africa and the Georgian Ministry of Defense
As part of the United States’ commitment to strengthening the Georgian Defense Forces (GDF), Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Commanding General, made an official visit to Tbilisi. Minister of Defense Juansher Burchuladze welcomed Gen. Cavoli March 15-17 and reaffirmed the shared commitment to security cooperation.
The visit provided an opportunity for Gen. Cavoli and Minister Burchuladze to discuss regional security challenges, mutual security cooperation initiatives and perspectives of future cooperation. Joint training and exercises were highlighted, including plans for upcoming multinational exercise Agile Spirit, which is scheduled to be held in the summer of 2021 in Georgia.
Gen. Cavoli also met with Georgian Chief of Defense Major General Giorgi Matiashvili and discussed the successful progress of the GDF within the Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP), which focuses on enhancing Georgia’s ability to staff, equip and train its forces, as well as post-GDRP security cooperation priorities. Gen. Cavoli praised the growing leadership role and enhanced capabilities of the Georgians in the U.S. - Georgia military relationship.
In addition, Gen. Cavoli visited the Vaziani training area where the GDRP –Training (GDRP-T) team focuses specifically on enhancing Georgia’s ability to train its forces. The Georgian Defense Forces maintain a high-level of training for its international missions and the GDRP-T mission enhances Georgia’s interoperability and strengthens the country’s territorial defense capabilities. U.S. and Georgian forces are proud to serve side-by-side in the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and around the world.
Press Service of the MOD
STATEMENT OF PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF GEORGIA
As the public is aware, due to the secret recordings disseminated by TV Pirveli, on March 9, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia launched an investigation into unauthorized recording of and/or eavesdropping on a private conversation, as well as recording private communication, illegal using and dissemination of information obtained through technical means – the elements of the crime contrary to Article 158 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
On the same day, based on the motion of the Prosecution Service, which concerned the content of the television report on TV Pirveli, Tbilisi City Court issued a warrant on seizing the device from TV Pirveli, which had the recordings of private conversations used in the show “Nodar Meladzis Shabati” on March 6.
On March 10, before said court warrant was delivered to the TV company by post, the Prosecution Service had a phone conversation with one of the employees of TV Pirveli, during which they were informed that the court warrant would be sent by post for execution and that they could provide the investigation with the materials requested by the court warrant by the form and at the time and the place convenient for them. They expressed readiness to cooperate with the investigation in the matter.
We would like to emphasize that the publicly spread information that the Prosecution Service is going to enter the TV company by force is false and serves the purpose of intentionally misleading the society. This is also proven by the fact that the court issued a warrant only on seizing the device having specific electronic information and not searching the office of the TV company.
It is significant that in accordance with the procedural law, the TV company and its journalists have the right not to hand over to the investigation an item, a document or another object having the information important to the case. However, the Prosecution Service of Georgia hopes that TV Pirveli will cooperate with the investigation and will provide us with the secret recordings aired by it, so that the relevant examinations for establishing the authenticity of said recordings can be ordered promptly and all the required investigative and procedural actions can be conducted.
Despite the position expressed by TV Pirveli about the court warrant, if they wish to cooperate with the investigation, they can submit the secret recordings in their possession and the device having electronic information to the Prosecution Service at the time they find convenient.
We would like to explain once again that the goal of the investigation is to ensure rapid obtaining/reception of the secret recordings aired by the TV company, so that the relevant examinations for establishing their authenticity can be ordered in a timely manner and all the required investigative and procedural actions can be conducted. Cooperation with the investigation on the TV company’s part is essential in this process.