THE ROYAL NAVY SHIP HMS DEFENDER IS IN GEORGIA
The Royal Navy ship HMS DEFENDER has arrived at the Batumi Port. The Director of the MIA Border Police Coast Guard Department, CAPT Ramaz Papidze, the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara Tornike Rizhvadze and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Georgia Mark Clayton met with the Commander of the ship, CAPT Vince Owen and the crew at Batumi Port.
Press-release of the MIA Georgia
Public Defender Appeals to Constitutional Court against Temporary Exceptional Construction Rules in Batumi
The Public Defender of Georgia has applied to the Constitutional Court and demanded to suspend the temporary exceptional rule approved for constructions planned in Batumi and to declare it unconstitutional. The mentioned temporary regulation allows construction companies to conduct the construction process without observing safety norms, basic construction requirements, as well as strength, sustainability, fire safety and evacuation rules.
On June 23, 2022, in the last week of the spring session, the Parliament made changes to the Spatial Planning, Architecture and Construction Code of Georgia in an accelerated manner. The changes make it possible for a wide range of constructions planned in Batumi not to follow the construction obligations that ensure the safety of buildings and structures, safe environment for health and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The disputed regulation, until the approval of the general development plan for Batumi in 2027, in violation of the building safety norms and functional zone requirements, allows to exceed the maximum construction intensity coefficient (k-2) and maximum height of buildings by any volume, as well as to disregard all other regulations established by legislation, except for the regulations relating to the protection of cultural heritage.
Particularly alarming is the possibility of implementing construction projects without observing the strength, stability, fire safety and evacuation norms of buildings, which poses a great risk to people's lives and health and violates the positive obligation of the State under Article 10 of the Constitution to take appropriate measures to protect the right to life.
The disputed norms also suspend the requirement of ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities. Thus, the State violates the obligation under paragraph 4 of Article 11 of the Constitution to provide an accessible environment for persons with disabilities for full, equal and independent participation in public life.
The disputed rule allows the implementation of the kind of construction projects in Batumi, which can have a serious negative impact on healthy living environment, bring irreparable consequences for correct urban planning and maintenance of recreational and public spaces.
It is necessary to plan and implement measures in Batumi in order to alleviate, and not on the contrary, aggravate the difficult situation of spatial arrangement, created as a result of active, chaotic and spontaneous constructions over the years, something indicated by the Public Defender for many years. The implementation of massive constructions without the general urban planning and the requirements established by the Code may cause irreparable damage to the realization of the right to environmental protection.
In order to prevent the expected irreparable damage, we also request with the constitutional lawsuit to suspend the operation of the disputed norms until the final decision is made by the court.
U.S. Embassy Supported Exercise for Georgian Security Partners
This Joint Maritime Operations Center Table Top Exercise (JMOC TTX) facilitated by DTRA’s International Counterproliferation Program, brought together Georgia’s maritime-oriented interagency on 8-11 August to collaboratively respond to port and coastal security scenarios.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S Defense Threat Reduction Agency worked shoulder to shoulder at various locations along Georgia’s Black Sea Coast with Georgian security partners from the Maritime Transport Agency, the Coast Guard, the State Security Service, the Emergency Management Service and other organizations to address maritime security challenges.
The exercise builds on the JMOC TTX executed in September 2021 and will carry momentum into a JMOC TTX planned in spring 2023.
Participating agencies will be able to use lessons learned to develop enhanced response procedures and plans. Lessons will also potentially inform national-level maritime security strategy and legislation.
The JMOC TTX showcases another example of the U.S. government’s long-standing support to the government of Georgia.
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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BORDER POLICE LIEUTENANT COMPLETED A ONE-YEAR NAVY OFFICER’S COURSE AT THE BRITANNIA ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE
Lieutenant Ruslan Dolidze, Senior Inspector of the Boarding Team of the MIA Border Police Coast Guard Department, successfully completed a one-year Navy Officer’s Course at the Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC).
The graduation ceremony, held in Dartmouth, was attended by Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
From the Georgian side, the Director of the Border Police Coast Guard Department, CAPT Ramaz Papidze attended the graduation ceremony. CAPT Papidze congratulated the Coast Guard Officer on the successful completion of the course and wished him success in his career.
Within the framework of his visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Director of the Coast Guard Department held various working meetings. CAPT Papidze met with the Deputy Commander for NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM), Vice Admiral Didier Piaton, Commander of the Britannia Royal Naval College, CAPT Roger Readwin, and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Republic of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Sophie Katsarava.
THE MIA BORDER POLICE COAST GUARD EXPOSED THE VIOLATION OF NAVIGATION RULES
The officers of MIA Border Police Coast Guard Department detained Vessel HONG FA SHANG HAI, a cargo ship sailing under the flag of China in the Georgian territorial waters, for violating the rules of navigation.
The captain of the ship, who is a Chinese citizen, was charged by the Operative-Investigation Main Division of the Border Police for violating the rules of navigation per Article 114, Part 1, Paragraph 1, Sub-paragraph “T” of the Code of Administrative Offences of Georgia.
The captain of the ship was fined 50,000 GEL. After paying the fine, the ship was allowed to sail freely.