Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Georgia is following with concern the latest developments around Ukraine, which pose yet another serious challenge for the European and Global security.
Recognizing Ukraine’s territories - Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states by Russia represents yet another flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of international law, and in fact repeats the scenario of Russia’s military intervention into Georgia’s Tskhinvali region in 2008 and subsequent recognition of the independence of this region and of Abkhazia/Georgia, and their occupation.
Georgia unequivocally supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We express the hope that the international community will give its strict assessment and response to this yet another violation of the fundamental principles of international law, and to the absolutely unacceptable attempt to redraw forcefully the state borders in East Europe.
European Peace Facility: Council increases the financial ceiling to nearly €7.98 billion until 2027
The Council adopted a decision increasing the financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility (EPF) to €7.979 billion (in current prices) until 2027, ensuring that additional financial needs can be covered.
The European Peace Facility has now become an integral part of the EU’s support to promote peace and security globally. Today’s decision brings the financial ceiling of the European Peace Facility to over €7.9 billion. Ensuring the financial sustainability of this instrument is crucial for our support not only to Ukraine, but also for our partners in other parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as needs continue to arise.
This decision implements the political agreement reached on 12 December 2022, when the Council decided to increase the overall EPF financial ceiling by €2 billion (in 2018 prices) in 2023, and allow for the possibility of a further increase at a later stage (up to €5.5 billion in 2018 prices until 2027).
The Council also decided to set a financial reference amount for the common costs of the EU Crisis Management Military Exercise 2023 (MILEX 23) at €5 million and introduce more flexibility in the collection and use of financial contributions from member states and in their use by the facility.
In its conclusions of 15 December 2022, the European Council reiterated the global dimension of the Facility and welcomed the agreement in the Council on 12 December 2022 to ensure its financial sustainability.
Background and next steps
The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all common foreign and security policy (CFSP) actions relating to military and defence matters, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace, and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of non-EU countries and regional and international organisations in relation to military and defence matters.
The EPF is an off-budget instrument and originally had an overall financial ceiling of €5 billion in 2018 prices for the period 2021-2027, with annual ceilings that ranged from €420 million in 2021 to €1.132 billion in 2027.
Thanks to the EPF, the EU has been supporting the Ukrainian Armed Forces through seven successive support packages so far, as well as many other countries such as: Mozambique, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Mali, Somalia, Niger, Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and Mauritania, as well as military components of African-led Peace Support Operations and multinational units such as the Balkan Medical Task Force.
- European Peace Facility: Council agrees €2 billion increase of the financial ceiling in 2023 (press release, 12 December 2022)
- European Peace Facility (background information)
EU disburses another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today that the European Union has disbursed another €1.5 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.
“Our support helps keep Ukraine running, while defending itself,” wrote von der Leyen on Twitter. “And puts Ukraine firmly on its EU path by supporting reforms – good governance and financial stability, for example.”
On 17 January, the European Union disbursed the first €3 billion of the €18 billion of promised macro-financial assistance agreed in December 2022.
This emergency assistance aims to provide short-term financial relief, financing Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration. The loans will have a 10-year grace period.
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STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, on the basis of Article 17418 under the Code of Administrative Offenses, launched administrative proceedings, which implies Desecration of official symbols of the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or other international organizations or desecration of the flag or coat of arms of other states.The law enforcement officers will identify and fine the violators.The Ministry of Internal Affairs calls on rally participants gathered near the Parliament, not to go beyond the limits defined by the law on freedom of assembly and expression, observe the norms of public order and follow the lawful requests of police.Each act of violation will be immediately foiled by police and strict legal response will be followed.
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Briefing of the Director of the Central Criminal Police Department – Teimuraz KupatadzeAs is known to the public, on March 7 and 8, protest rally was held near the Legislative Body of Georgia and on Rustaveli Avenue, which went beyond the norms established by the law on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and turned into violent actions.First of all, I would like to emphasize that it is categorically not allowed to verbally assault, attack or carry out violent actions against police officers.Within these two days, as a result of the violent actions of the rally participants, 58 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were injured, among them 5 are still in various medical facilities.Everyone witnessed clearly how they threw burning objects, pyrotechnics or the so-called “Molotov cocktails” to my colleagues, as a result of which several of them received severe burns.Herewith, it was clearly visible in media live coverages how rally participants threw various blunt objects, stones, wooden or iron objects at the police, as a result of which many policemen received severe injuries.The Ministry of Internal Affairs studies each case of violence against police officers, and the identified criminals will be brought to justice with the full severity of the law.We would like to provide the public with summarized information on the recent events in the area surrounding the Parliament and on Rustaveli Avenue.On March 7 of the current year, after announcing that manifestation was planned to take place, the representatives of the relevant units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in order to protect public order, were stationed near the legislative body and ensured the peaceful conduct of manifestation.However, at the end of the day, the participants of the rally tried to block the entrances to the Parliament.In order to restore public order, based on the necessity, police consistently applied proportional force and special means of coercion provided by the Law of Georgia "On Police" after the warning announcements.Despite numerous calls from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to continue manifestation within the framework of the law, protesters continued their violent actions on Chichinadze and Chitadze streets.In order to ease the tension and de-escalate the situation, the police forces opened the road for the rally participants, cleared the streets surrounding the Parliament and called on them to continue manifestation peacefully.Nevertheless, the rally participants threw various objects - stones, so-called “Molotov Cocktails”, inflammables, blunt objects - at the direction of the police officers, and physically attacked and resisted them. They also damaged vehicles on purpose belonging to the Ministry and special police gear.Later on, the crowd began an organized attack on the parliament building, throwing so-called Molotov cocktails and pyrotechnics.We all saw that the protesters set fire to the building of the legislative body, threw stones, broke the windows and damaged the protective barriers.Deliberate, mass violation of public order continued for several hours. In order to restore the public order, the police applied the proportional force and special means several times.During the manifestation, the law enforcement officers arrested 66 people in accordance with Articles 166 and 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, on the facts of petty hooliganism and disobedience to the legal demands of the police.The rally continued on the second day near the legislative body.In order to de-escalate the situation, employees of various police units were stationed in the inner territory of the Parliament.Throughout the day, the police protected the public order in the area surrounding the legislative body.Within the framework of the mandate defined by the Law of Georgia "On the Police", with the purpose to ensure safety, the police carried out superficial inspection of citizens near the place where manifestation was held, as a result of which 10 people were arrested. They brought illegal items at the rally, intended for violent actions, including stun gun, batons, stones, and various types of pyrotechnics.The participants of the rally gathered in front of the Parliament had the opportunity to hold a protest in a peaceful and safe environment.Nevertheless, calls for violent actions were periodically heard from individuals.After one of the speakers called on the gathered people to picket the legislative body, the protesters began to block the entrances leading to the parliament and picket the building.The gathered people damaged the protective barriers located near the parliament building, entrance doors, smashed the building's windows, damaged the iron grilles, threw stones, various objects and pyrotechnics at the parliament building and yard.Therefore, the police forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in order to maintain public order, prevent violent and aggressive actions from the side of law-breakers, applied appropriate coercive measures and special means provided by the Law of Georgia "On Police".Despite numerous attempts by the police to defuse the tense situation, the people gathered on Rustaveli Avenue started attacks in the direction of the police officers, throwing Molotov cocktails, stones, wooden poles and other objects.The rally participants damaged, overturned and set fire to vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They damaged the bus of the Special Tasks Department with stones, painted and damaged the fire truck as well. Material property belonging to Tbilisi City Hall was damaged as well.Throughout the night, the participants of manifestation violated the public order and the rule of law, resisted police officers, damaged the infrastructure and set fire to various things on the central avenue and its surrounding locations.On March 7-8 of the current year, due to the facts of law violations that occurred during the protest rally in the vicinity of the Parliament, the law enforcement officers arrested one individual under Article 353(1) while 133 people were taken under arrest in total in accordance with Articles 166 and 173 envisioned by the Code of Administrative Offences.Some of the detainees were brought before the court yesterday. The rest of the arrestees were released, as the term of stay in the temporary detention center was expired and will appear at the court later.the Ministry of Internal Affairs continues investigation in order to determine, identify and arrest all those who attacked policemen and other violent actions during the protest.Violent incidents are being investigated under Articles 353 (1) and 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation under articles 353 and 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia in connection with violent incidents that took place in Tbilisi, Rustaveli Avenue, near the Parliament building.The law enforcement officers arrested 66 people in accordance with Articles 166 and 173 under the Code of Administrative Offenses, on the facts of minor hooliganism and disobedience to the legal request of the law enforcement officer. The facts of the offense committed by the mentioned individuals shall be submitted to the court within the time frame established by the law.From the side of the Ministry, the appropriate legal assessment will be given to the actions of all individuals who facilitated and organized the development of a peaceful protest into violent action.Yesterday, throughout the day, the relevant units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were mobilized near the parliament building in order to ensure the public order and peaceful conduct of the manifestation.Later, the protest of the gathered went beyond the limits established by law on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and took a violent turn.Participants of the rally attempted to block entrances of the Parliament, which was prevented by police. Despite numerous calls from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to express their protest in a peaceful manner within the framework of the law, rally participants continued their violent actions and ignored the legal requirements of the law enforcement officers.The police, in order to ease the tension and de-escalate the situation, opened the road and called on protesters to disperse. However, the rally participants threw various objects - stones, inflammables, blunt objects – to the direction of the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, physically assaulted and resisted the policemen. Participants of the rally damaged and set fire to vehicles belonging to the Ministry as well as special police equipment.In order to restore public order and foil violations of the law, the police was forced to gradually apply proportional force and special means of coercion provided by the Law of Georgia "On Police" based on the necessity and after the appropriate warning.Later, the gathered people started an organized attack on the parliament building, throwing the so-called "Molotov cocktails" and pyrotechnics, including in the direction of law enforcement officers.Members of the manifestation set fire to the building of the legislative body, threw stones, smashed windows and damaged the iron protective barriers.There was a mass violation of law and order from the side of rally participants, which persisted continuously for several hours.As a result of the violent actions of the assembled citizens, up to 50 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were injured, several of them required surgical intervention and are still in medical institutions. During the manifestation, citizens were injured as well.The Ministry will study all facts of violation that took place during the manifestation and will give an appropriate legal assessment to each one of them.
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