Ukraine: EU condemns latest Russian atrocities
The European Union on Friday condemned “in the strongest possible terms the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces and their proxies”.
A statement issued by EU High Representative Josep Borrell said Russia’s ongoing illegitimate and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine and its people brought further horrific atrocities day by day.
“Today in Olenivka, in eastern Ukraine, Russia is reported to have killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, including defenders of Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant, who surrendered to Russia, were registered by the ICRC in May and were in Russia’s legal protection under international humanitarian law. Evidence in form of appalling video footage has been widely shared on pro-Kremlin social networks today, in which Russian soldiers commit a heinous atrocity against a Ukrainian prisoner of war.”
Borrell added: “These inhumane, barbaric acts represent severe breaches of the Geneva conventions and their Additional Protocol and amount to war crimes.”
The perpetrators of war crimes and other serious violations, as well as the responsible government officials and military representatives, will be held accountable, the statement said.
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Committee of Ministers again exhorts Russia to pay damages to Georgia following ECHR judgment on collective expulsions
Strasbourg, 23.09.2022 – The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has deeply deplored the lack of response of the Russian authorities to the Committee’s earlier appeals to implement the Georgia v. Russia (I) judgment from the European Court of Human Rights concerning the arrest, detention and collective expulsion of Georgian nationals in 2006-2007. It again exhorted the Russian authorities to pay the “just satisfaction” awarded to the Georgian government.
In an Interim Resolution (*) published today, the Committee of Ministers recalled that, despite ceasing to be a member of the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022, the Russian Federation is still required to implement judgments of the European Court, and the Committee of Ministers continues to supervise their execution. The Committee deeply deplored that no information was provided by the Russian authorities ahead of the meeting.
In its 2019 judgment on just satisfaction, the European Court of Human Rights determined that Russia was to pay the Georgian government, within three months, 10 million euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage suffered by a group of at least 1,500 Georgian nationals. The European Court also ruled that the Georgian government was to set up an effective mechanism for the distribution of the money to the individual victims.
At its latest regular meeting to supervise the implementation of judgments, the Committee of Ministers again reiterated its profound concern that the payment has not been made, more than three years after the deadline expired.
The Committee firmly reiterated that the payment of just satisfaction awarded by the Court is an unconditional obligation. “Delay in fulfilling this obligation deprives the individual victims of the violations from receiving compensation for the damages suffered by them,” the Committee stressed.
It again exhorted the Russian authorities to pay the just satisfaction, together with the default interest accrued, without any further delay.
The Committee once again invited the authorities of the Council of Europe member states to explore all possible means to ensure the execution of this case and instructed the Secretariat to come up with proposals for a strategy for supervising the execution of pending cases against the Russian Federation. The Committee will resume consideration of this case at their next meeting on execution of ECHR judgments in December 2022.
The Committee of Ministers has also adopted a decision on the execution of the judgment in the case Georgia v. Russia (II) which has become final in October 2021 and concerned various violations in the context of the armed conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008.
TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
On September 22, 2022, a telephone conversation took place between the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The head of the friendly country warmly and cordially congratulated President Serdar Berdimuhamedov on his birthday, wishing him good health, well-being and further success in his many-sided state activities. As noted, the Russian Federation highly appreciates the efforts of the President of Turkmenistan aimed at strengthening the traditional cooperation between the two states.
Expressing gratitude for the congratulations and good wishes, as well as for the constant attention to the development of good neighborly relations between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation, the head of state noted with satisfaction that the traditionally friendly relations of our countries, based on the principles of strategic partnership, trust and mutual understanding, are successfully developing today on the widest range of areas.
In this context, the Turkmen leader noted the productivity of the recent meeting with the President of Russia on the sidelines of the Samarkand Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which made it possible to discuss topical issues of interaction and exchange views on the prospects for further partnership.
During the conversation, it was emphasized that Turkmenistan pays special attention to strengthening a constructive dialogue with the Russian Federation as one of the priority vectors of its foreign policy. The productivity of bilateral contacts at the highest state and government levels, as well as the ever-expanding ties with Russian regions, was noted.
The heads of state were unanimous in their opinion that the expansion of trade and economic ties occupies a special place on the agenda of the multifaceted Turkmen-Russian partnership, which is greatly facilitated by the effective work of the joint Intergovernmental Commission.
Confirming their readiness for further comprehensive multifaceted cooperation, the parties expressed confidence in its successful development for the benefit of the peoples of the two friendly countries.
At the end of the telephone conversation, Presidents Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Vladimir Putin exchanged best wishes for each other and the peoples of Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation.
EU formally approves additional €5 billion assistance to Ukraine
The Council of the European Union today formally decided to provide €5 billion of additional macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Ukraine as a matter of urgency.
On 9 September, at an informal meeting of the Ecofin Council in Prague, EU finance ministers agreed to provide an additional €5 billion in assistance for Ukraine. This additional aid was officially approved today after the necessary formal steps were completed in just 11 days.
This financial assistance complements other EU support to Ukraine in the humanitarian, development, customs and defence fields.
This €5 billion macro-financial assistance will be provided to Ukraine in the form of highly concessional long-term loans. It constitutes the second stage in the implementation of the EU’s planned exceptional macro-financial assistance to Ukraine of up to €9 billion, announced by the European Commission this May.
The EU says a decision on the implementation of the third phase of the Union’s exceptional macro-financial assistance of up to €3 billion will be taken shortly, once the structure of this assistance has been determined.
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EU publishes evaluation on effectiveness and impact of EU’s cooperation with Georgia
The European Union’s cooperation with Georgia was strategically sound and benefited from a strong institutional framework in its design and implementation. This is one of the conclusions presented in the evaluation of EU support to Georgia in 2014-2020, published by the EU Delegation to Georgia on 16 September.
The conclusions also state that a wide range of instruments, modalities and funding channels have been used in the cooperation with Georgia. Progress has been made to promote accountability and transparency, and visa liberalisation has yielded good results. The assessment stresses that public confidence in the European Union remains high. Shortcomings include limited progress in judicial reform as well as in the area of human rights.
The evaluation has been conducted over the two past years by an independent team of evaluators. The work included the review of over 2,000 documents and interviews with close to a hundred stakeholders.
The document provides general recommendations on how to improve the cooperation and detailed recommendations on six priority sectors of EU-Georgia cooperation.
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Georgia: EBRD and EU to unlock funds for locals firms through Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Odile Reno-Basso, on a visit to Georgia, has signed agreements with two Georgian banks on loans to local small businesses.
The EBRD will provide new US$ 20 million loans to Bank of Georgia and to TBC Bank to help local firms across the country increase competitiveness and invest in upgrades, including green technologies.
This funding comes under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line – a flagship programme that enables borrowers to enhance production and trade more successfully on the international market, as well as advance environmental practices.
MSMEs can access funds in local currency and benefit from incentive grant funding, as well as technical assistance from international advisers, funded by the EU under the EU4Business initiative. Georgian companies will be able to improve their productivity, competitiveness and working environment for their employees.
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