SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION CONTINUES IN BATUMI
Search and rescue operations by the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is in progress at the site of the collapsed residential building in Batumi. Late at night, rescuers found the bodies of 4 people under the rubble.
The Minister of Internal Affairs hosted the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration of the Kingdom of Belgium
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Vakhtang Gomelauri held the meeting with the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration of the Kingdom of Belgium, Ms. Nicole de Moor, who together with the delegation is conducting the official visit to Georgia.Within the framework of the meeting hosted at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the parties discussed issues related to visa free travel of Georgian citizens to the EU/Schengen Area. Furthermore, the political and practical importance of visa-free travel regime in the process of Georgia’s European integration path was emphasized.Mr. Vakhtang Gomelauri provided detailed information regarding the measures undertaken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia for successful continuation of Visa-Free travel regime and ongoing reforms.The State Secretary for Asylum and Migration of the Kingdom of Belgium positively assessed the successful activities undertaken by the MIA, namely, effective implementation of the so-called Exit Control mechanism, which contributes to the prevention of abuse of visa-free regime by Georgian citizens. Furthermore, Nicole de Moor emphasized the importance of cooperation between the MIA and respective agencies of the EU for the successful continuation of visa-free travel.Within the framework of the meeting, existing successful law enforcement cooperation between Georgia and Belgium has been highlighted, as well as the prospects of future cooperation has been outlined.This is the first official visit of the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration of the Kingdom of Belgium to Georgia. Within the framework of the event, the delegation will also conduct a visit to the Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Tbilisi International Airport, to get acquainted with the specifics of the work and the existing infrastructure.
Irakli Garibashvili: Ambassadori Batumi Island’s large-scale investment project is set to further bolster Batumi’s solid international reputation and Adjara’s economic progress
Yesterday we are launching a unique, global-standard project that is truly exceptional in our region. This project covers two artificial peninsulas, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated in his speech at Ambassadori Batumi Island’s time capsule burial ceremony today.According to the Head of Government, at least 100 million USD will be invested in this project, and 2,000 local residents will be employed.“I would like to greet all of you with enormous respect and congratulate you on this day, because today we are launching a unique, global-standard project that is truly exceptional in our region. This project covers two artificial peninsulas, and one island will be built to bring together recreation and wellness, sports, educational, residential, and tourism directions, and I am confident that this investment project, the largest in the region, will further bolster Batumi’s solid international reputation and Adjara’s economic progress. I would like to greet the project’s initiator and our investor, Ambassadori Group’s leader, Mister Keburia and his family. I would like to thank Ambassadori Group, because this company has already invested tens of millions of dollars and, without exaggeration, has created truly unique projects in various Georgian regions, including Tbilisi, Kakheti, and Adjara. And now we have a project that is unique for our country and the entire region. Thus, I would like to thank the investor. At least 100 million USD will be invested in this project-this is what has been announced at the initial stage-and 2,000 local residents, our citizens, will be employed.“Before obtaining a permit, the company and its founder completed all procedures, carried out the project’s assessment, engaged relevant research institutes, and this project has been developed by top-notch professionals. Generally, I would like to say that this project meets all relevant environmental and safety standards, which is very important to Batumi’s residents, to the residents of our Adjara.“Once again, I would like to thank Ambassadori Group, the project’s authors and initiators. This truly unique project is our pride and joy. On behalf of the Government, I would like to thank the group once again and pledge our full support.“Today we need such projects, such large-scale projects, to be implemented in the country. The fact that the group has decided to launch and carry out a project of this magnitude reiterates that unique conditions are put in place in Georgia today.“As you know, our economic growth is in double digits, while the whole world is facing enormous challenges. Recession is almost everywhere, but we have been able to maintain, above all else, peace, stability, and strong economic development. What our country needs today is precisely the implementation of projects of this kind, strong economic advancement and progress, and this, of course, will create more jobs, greater revenues, wealth, and will bring greater prosperity to our citizens. This is our common wish, task, and dream. Once again, thank you. I wish you success,” the Prime Minister stated.
The event’s invited guests were also addressed by the Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili, the Chairman of the Government of Adjara, Tornike Rizhvadze, and the Cofounder of Ambassadori Batumi Island, Fridon Katamadze.Ambassadori Batumi Island’s large-scale project seeks to create two ultramodern artificial recreation and welfare peninsulas and one island and to put in place relevant infrastructure. Under the project, modern-standard commercial, entertainment, sports, educational, wellness and health, residential, and tourism and recreation infrastructure will be built. The project is fully implemented with private investments. To carry out the project’s initial phase, Ambassadori Group will invest 100 million USD, and construction work will employ 2,000 people.The event was attended by representatives of executive, legislative, and local authorities, and of Ambassadori Group.Press Service of the Government Administration
The 6th Batumi Summer University 2022 – Nuclear Security after Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: New Challenges and Risks
The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the nuclear security and nonproliferation order was the primary debate topic of the 6th Batumi Summer University on Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation Issues. Discussions were centered on the conflict’s consequences for national, regional, and global security.
Internationally renowned academics and researchers have been lecturing and facilitating debates in Batumi every summer for almost seven years. We are proud of our collaboration with academics and learners from Stockholm University, Kings College London, GIPA, Odessa Mechnikov National University, Caucasus University, the University of Georgia, and European University (Georgia), Kutaisi State University, Ilia State University.
The Batumi Summer University on Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation was founded in 2015 and serves as a forum for networking, learning, and exchange among experts in the nuclear industry, decision-makers, academics, and students. It is a yearly, worldwide event with its headquarters at the Batumi State University. The Civil Council on Defense and Security, Batumi State University, and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority are working together on the proposal.
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.
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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