EU supports Georgia in protecting its coastal waters
On 29 June, a five-day water monitoring survey started in Batumi, Georgia, organised by the EU-funded project ‘European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership’ (EUWI+).
The survey is carried out by Georgian experts from the National Environmental Agency. It aims to assess the quality of coastal and transitional water ecosystems to help identify appropriate measures to protect water resources.
Apart from the survey, the EU also supports the upgrade of Batumi’s laboratory by organising training courses for experts and providing new state-of-the-art analysis equipment. This aims to improve Georgia’s capacities to manage its water resources.
Two similar surveys were held in September and November 2019. The surveys allowed the National Environmental Agency to determine the ecological status of coastal waters in the Chorokhi-Adjaristskali River Basin District.
The EUWI+ project helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU water management policies, with a main focus on managing transboundary river basins.
Turkmenistan is convinced of the need to attract political-diplomatic tools to achieve peace and prosperity in Afghanistan
The plenary session of the High-level Conference on Afghanistan, which is being held online in Geneva, took place today.
During the meeting, the heads of foreign affairs agencies of dozens of countries of the world, including Russia, Iran, Switzerland, the USA, as well as the representatives of the UN and its divisions, the European Union and other multilateral structures gave speeches. The event was marked by the addresses of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres.
The participants of the meeting discussed issues of cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community in achieving common interests: sustainable development, prosperity and peace in Afghanistan. In particular, the development vectors for 2021-2024, partnership coordination, as well as financial support for the Afghan administration were considered. The focus is on the development of a common political statement and financial mechanism for the economic development of this country.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov outlined the position and actions of Turkmenistan aimed at supporting the process of establishing sustainable peace in Afghanistan, including its involvement in the global economy.
It was especially emphasized that Turkmenistan is convinced of the need to involve diplomatic and political mechanisms in achieving peace in Afghanistan, which is a solid foundation for the country's socio-economic development.
As an example, R. Meredov cited a number of initiatives of the Government of Turkmenistan aimed at supporting fraternal Afghanistan. This includes the expansion of humanitarian cooperation, and the development and implementation of large regional and international infrastructure projects in the field of energy, transport, communications and much more.
At this meeting, it was noted that Turkmenistan intends to continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan and its people.
Turkmenistan adheres to the multilateral partnership in the format “Central Asia – European Union”
During today’s 16th Central Asia - EU Ministerial Meeting, the key issues of regional and international agenda were discussed. The Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan noted the active role of Turkmenistan in addressing the global challenges, as well as strengthening multilateral regional and international cooperation.
Thus, the firm commitment of Turkmenistan to the initiatives in the area of energy security, use of ecofriendly energy, expansion of regional and international transport and transit communications was underlined.
The parties expressed interest in the advancement of trade-economic, transport and energy cooperation and agreed to hold the First Economic Forum “EU-Central Asia” in 2021.
The issues of security and stability in the Central Asia and nearby regions were especially regarded. In this regard, the firm adherence of Turkmenistan to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was emphasized. The importance of the Ashgabat Declaration of 2011 and the Central Asia’s Joint Plan of Action to counter terrorism was highlighted.
The participants expressed interest in continuing cooperation between the Central Asia and the EU on combatting terrorism, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking and cyber security threats. In this context, the Turkmen side called for the intensification of partnership in the CA-EU-UN format.
The parties discussed the advancement of intra-Afghan peace talks and underlined the importance of support to the overall reinstatement of Afghanistan. It was noted that Turkmenistan actively works on the promotion of large infrastructural projects with participation of Afghanistan, including the construction of the gas pipeline TAPI, power and fiber-optic communication lines on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route, building of the railway lines from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.
The participants of the session welcomed the initiative of the Government of Turkmenistan to host in December of current year in Ashgabat, an International Conference entitled as the “Policy of Neutrality and its Importance in Ensuring International Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development” devoted to the 25th anniversary of permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, as well as to organize an International High-Level Forum in the year of 2021, which has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Peace and Trust.
The heads of the external policy agencies of the EU and Central Asia welcomed the mutual cooperation on humanitarian issues and discussed the opportunities of widening ties in the area of education, science, culture, technologies and innovations.
The Joint Communiqué was adopted upon the outcomes of the 16th Central Asia - EU Ministerial Meeting.
A new program to support two state hospitals in Georgia
Tbilisi, 17 September, 2020. The Czech Development Agency continues to support Georgian healthcare system by launching new instrument “Tied Financial Donation”. The first beneficiaries in Georgia are state Republican hospitals in Batumi and Rukhi, which will get Czech medical devices.
A contract was signed today on behalf of the Czech Development Agency by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Tbilisi, Mr. Petr Mikyska, Mr. Irakli Gvazava Acting Director of Rukhi Republican hospital and representative of Batumi Republican Hospital to lay foundation for new cooperation.
The two hospitals are newly built and started partial functioning after COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. However, not all the departments have necessary equipment. Recognizing the problem, the aid aims to ensure modern technologies are provided to both hospitals in order to enhance and improve services provided by them.
The new Republican Batumi hospital is designed for 170 beds. For the first time in its history, hospital will offer citizens the service of midwifery and pediatric medical care and Czech products are designed for it. Meanwhile, Rukhi Republican hospital is designed for 220 beds and by getting new equipment, they will improve surgical and intensive care departments.
The new cooperation also involves trainings for hospitals’ staff, provided by Czech professionals, who will share their experience and simplify the use of new technologies. The Czech Republic will continue to support both hospitals in the future.
New equipment will be delivered in two stages before the end of 2020. Total cost amounts to EUR 371 000, from which Batumi Republican hospital will get EUR 186 000 and Rukhi Republican hospital EUR 185 000.
Explore the Black sea Jazz Festival with Visa
- Visa became the official sponsor of the Black see Jazz Festival
- Consumers paying with their Visa cards issued by TBC bank will get discounts at the Black sea Jazz Festival
Tbilisi, 21 August 2020 – Visa today announced that it will be sponsoring theBlack sea Jazz Festival, one of the most visited and popular music event in Georgia. The event, taking place in Batumi over three days from 21-23 August, will host thousands music lovers enjoying live performances from artists including headliners: Giorgi Mikadze, Nino Katamadze, Luka Topuria’s trio, Stephane, Young Georgian Lolitaz and MokuMoku.
To make the music experience even more enjoyable for the festival-goers, Visa and its partners TBC Bank and Eastern Promotions are offering some additional perks to all cardholders of Visa cards issued by TBC bank, including 10% cashback while purchasing tickets and 10% discount on spot in the bar.
“Visa is a partner of numerous major global and national projects, including the Olympic Games and FIFA™ World Cups," said Cristina Doros, country manager for the Caucasus region, Visa, CISSEE. “Regional and local sponsorship is also our focus, and we are proud of our successful partnership with music festivals in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and Serbia. Music brings people together and talks to everyone with universal language of melody, rhythm and emotion. For us as a global brand, partnering with Black Sea Jazz Festival is an opportunity to contribute to the cultural heritage of Georgia, interact with our business partners and Visa cardholders at an emotional level, and encourage cashless payments via explicit demonstration of their advantages for the consumers.”
“We are pleased to host 14th Black Sea Jazz Festival, despite difficult times, and we are honored to have such a reliable partner as Visa. In these times, it was crucial to support Georgian artists and not to break our annual tradition of hosting festival, which everyone is awaiting year after year. This year music lovers will enjoy the program specially prepared by the Georgian artists for this festival,” – noted the representatives of Eastern Promotions.
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EU launches new project to target organised crime in the Eastern Neighbourhood
A new Europol-led project, funded by the European Union, has been launched, focused on strengthening the capacity of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to fight organised crime more effectively. The project will contribute to reducing crime and creating a safer living space for citizens in the region.
Through this four-year initiative, Europol will support cooperation between law enforcement authorities, both on a strategic and operational level. Special funding will enable the Eastern Partner countries to participate in operational activities against some of the ten most significant threats to EU security listed under the EU Policy Cycle. Existing networks for information sharing and operational cooperation may be further extended into joint investigations to improve the effectiveness in fighting transnational organised crime.
“This initiative is an important step in developing strong operational cooperation and trust between the law enforcement authorities of the EU Member States and our Eastern partners,” said Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol. “Our aligned efforts will bring a stronger response to the common challenges and cross-border threats we face.”
Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East at the European Commission, stated: “Organised crime networks operate across national borders and destabilise the entire region. Tackling serious and organised crime is a shared challenge by the European Union and its partner countries. By strengthening the strategic and operational cooperation between Europol and partner countries, we are proud to contribute to joint investigation successes.”
Located along the Black Sea and forming part of the ‘heroin route’ from the Middle East to Europe, all six Eastern Partner countries are threatened by organised criminal groups active in the area. These groups are involved in migrant smuggling, organised property crime, trafficking in human beings, firearms and drug trafficking, money laundering, and other related crimes such as document fraud. These criminal syndicates threaten not only the safety and security of people, but also the stability of the Eastern Partnership region and of the whole EU. More cooperation between law enforcement authorities of EU Member States and the Eastern Neighbourhood countries is crucial to improving the effectiveness of the common response to organised crime across borders.
As part of a larger €10 million EU cooperation initiative, the EU has dedicated €2.5 million to support the project that will run for the next four years. Two other components are focused on law enforcement training and threat assessment (a project led by Cepol with the participation of Europol) and on criminal asset recovery (managed by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute - UNICRI).