Statement of the State Security Service of Georgia
"Foreign media has released the photos of cartridges of firearms, used in the course of a terrorist attack that took place in New Zealand. Symbols and inscriptions in various languages, including Georgian are inscribed on them. The State Security Service of Georgia has already established cooperation with the strategic partners, in order to receive information on the individuals detained, as well as the weapons seized in the course of the terrorist attack.
The State Security Service of Georgia expresses its condolences to the people of New Zealand over a terrorist attack," reads the statement.
The attacks in two mosques of New Zealand has killed at least 40. Four people are believed to be in custody, including three men and one woman. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they were not on terror watch lists. Daily Mail has released photos, one of which shows the shooter's weapons marked with the names of other people who, according to the edition, have carried out attacks. The names are written in various languages, including Georgian. In particular, the weapons are marked in Georgian with the names of Davit Aghmashenebeli and Davit Soslani.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs On the 14th anniversary of Russia's military aggression against Georgia in August 2008
Today, the 7th of August 2022, marks the 14th year after the full-fledged military intervention of the Russian Federation against Georgia in 2008. It entailed illegal occupation of the inseparable regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and their recognition as so-called independent states by Russia.
After 14 years of the occupation, Russia does not fulfill the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and expands its illegal control in the occupied regions, continues the process of their militarization, actively undertakes steps towards their de-facto annexation. With building barbed wires and other artificial barriers along the occupation line, illegal detentions and kidnappings, gross violations of human rights and ethnic discrimination of Georgians it is undermining the security, human rights and humanitarian situation on the ground and is trying to isolate the people living in the occupied territories from the rest of Georgia and the international community.
Violation of fundamental human rights in Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, ethnic discrimination and the violation of the right of hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees to return to their homes in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia continues to be a heavy humanitarian burden of Russia’s illegal occupation. The impunity encouraged in the cases of deprivation of lives of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria, and Archil Tatunashvili increases the risk of further violence on ethnic grounds.
Against this background, unrestricted access of international human rights bodies and the establishment of international security mechanisms on the ground, as well as access of the EU Monitoring Mission to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, which is hampered by the occupation force, is becoming even more critical.
Against this challenging backdrop, the Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights from 21 January 2021 on the 2008 Russia-Georgia war was a pivotal event. It legally confirmed the fact of occupation and effective control over Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia by the Russian Federation. Therefore, Russia was held accountable for the blatant violations of human rights and basic freedoms on the ground. This decision, which is the first legal assessment of the 2008 Russia-Georgia War, reveals the futility of Russia’s longstanding effort to avoid legal responsibility for the illegal occupation of Georgian regions and its consequences.
Georgia unequivocally continues implementation of the policy of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict and is determined to use the diplomatic and legal instruments and continue close cooperation with its international partners to ensure unification and peaceful development of the country, facilitate confidence building between the communities divided by the occupation line and creation of a common European future.
Georgia is grateful for the unwavering support of the international community to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and highly appreciates the contribution of international partners in the process of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict. This support is particularly crucial today when with its military aggression against Ukraine the Russian Federation continues ignoring the fundamental principles and norms of international law and undermines the entire European security.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Russian Federation to cease illegal and provocative steps against Georgia, to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, to fulfill the obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, to withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia and to reverse the illegal decision on recognition of the so-called independence of the occupied regions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeals to the international community to continue consolidated efforts for achieving peaceful conflict settlement and de-occupation of Georgian territories, the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes, and ensuring peace and security in Georgia and the region as a whole.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extends its condolences to the families and relatives of the soldiers and civilians who died heroically in the 2008 war.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the NATO Summit in Madrid
The Madrid Summit decisions, including both their practical and political dimensions, are of paramount importance to Georgia.
In view of the challenges facing us, the further development of NATO-Georgia practical cooperation and the deepening of the political dialogue are essential for the improvement of regional security. We hail the approval by the Allies of a set of tailored support measures for Georgia. The document envisages concrete steps to further enhance Georgia’s defence capabilities and to achieve NATO’s more effective engagement in this process. This new instrument, along with the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, will create a greater scope for bringing Georgia’s defence and security sector closer to NATO standards and to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities.
Georgia welcomes the adoption of a new strategic concept by the NATO Summit in Madrid. The new concept duly reflects the recent geopolitical shifts and the Alliance’s long-term response to the emerging threats. It needs to be highlighted that the new strategic concept gives due consideration to the topical importance of the Open Door Policy and to Georgia’s membership perspective, in line with the 2008 Bucharest Summit Decision, as well as to the fundamental principle that each sovereign country has the right to choose its own security arrangements, without external interference in any form.
Paramount importance needs to be attached to NATO’s unequivocal support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as confirmed repeatedly in several documents adopted by the Madrid Summit.
Georgia highly appraises the Madrid Summit decisions to further strengthen the security of the NATO Member States, as well as to ensure the Black Sea security.
We also welcome the Madrid Summit’s decision regarding the enlargement of the Alliance. We congratulate Finland and Sweden on being invited to join the Alliance. Their accession will make Europe safer and the Alliance – stronger. Being the actual implementation of the Open Door Policy, this process is essentially important for Georgia, as an aspirant country. We also hail the decision of the Alliance to continue to support Ukraine.
Georgia places a particularly high value on the messages voiced during the North Atlantic Council’s meeting signaling the Member States’ firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for its Euro-Atlantic integration.
The decisions made regarding Georgia during the Summit will contribute to improving Georgia’s security and defence capabilities and will bring the country closer to its ultimate goal – NATO Membership.
MFA of Georgia
Public Defender’s Statement on Nika Gvaramia Case
On May 11, 2022, the final hearing was held in connection with the case of Nika Gvaramia, former Director General of Rustavi 2 Broadcasting TV Company Ltd. We would like to remind the public that on November 4, 2019, the Public Defender filed an amicus curiae brief with Tbilisi City Court relating to one of the episodes of the mentioned case. The document is based on key issues identified as a result of studying the case materials and reviews correlation between corporate-legal and criminal liabilities.
In the amicus curiae brief, the Public Defender indicates that the decision made by the manager of the enterprise (changing the terms of the contract, determining the amount of income), which was agreed with the owner of the enterprise, is considered a crime in the given case. According to the indictment, the director could have brought more income to the company but he did not do so, which is a crime.
The amicus curiae brief reviews the practices of the courts of the USA, UK, continental European countries and Georgia, according to which, such an entrepreneurial decision may not lead even to corporate liability, not to mention criminal liability. The decision made by the director might be to make less profit, but it might serve the best interests of the corporation and aim to insure against short-term or long-term risks.
In this case, corporate-legal liability should be ruled out, as the decision made by the director was not: (1) an action that was not agreed with partners (use of dominant position), (2) aimed at personal enrichment through fraud, and (3) risk analysis reasonably indicates that the move was in the best interests of the corporation. Moreover, criminal liability should also be ruled out, as the director has not committed a criminal action in order to make a profit. Clearly, changing the terms of the contract for the basic needs of the corporation does not constitute a crime.
Thus, the managerial decision made during the management of the enterprise cannot be evaluated without taking into account the specifics of the legal status of the director. The Public Defender hopes that this document will help the court fairly assess the case circumstances and make the right decision, taking into account the international experience and practice regarding the elements of director's responsibilities.
U.S. Embassy Statement on the Ruling in the Cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia
Today’s ruling, in the cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia, calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, and further demonstrates the fundamental importance of having an independent, impartial judiciary in Georgia. From its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges. The disturbing pattern of selective investigations and prosecutions targeting those in opposition to the current government undermines the public’s confidence in the police, prosecution, the courts, and the government itself. Particularly at this time, when Georgia has an unprecedented opportunity to advance its Euro-Atlantic integration, even the perception of politicized prosecution is detrimental. It is the United States’ firm position that a healthy democracy depends on ensuring judicial independence and protecting media freedom. That is why we have repeatedly called for the government to undertake comprehensive reforms to advance these fundamental democratic principles.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the so-called elections in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South OssetiaThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the so-called presidential elections held on 10 April, in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as yet another illegal act of the Russian Federation directed against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in complete contradiction with the norms and principles of international law.
Such provocative actions are aimed to legitimize the illegal occupation of the Georgian regions and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians.
Given the illegal occupation of Georgia’s two regions and the occupying power exercising an effective control on the ground, the so-called elections cannot have any legal effect. The so-called referendum on unification with Russia recently announced by the Tskhinvali occupation regime will likewise be null and void as another illegal step taken towards annexation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and to comply with its international obligations, including the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and to reverse its illegal decision on recognition of so-called independence of the occupied regions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment and take effective measures on the illegal step aimed to infringe on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.