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.
AMBASSADOR DEGNAN'S REMARKS TO MEDIA AT SKILLS WEEK
Question about the event
Ambassador Degnan: I’m very pleased to be here today, along with the Minister of Education, my EU colleague, and many other distinguished guests for the launch of Georgia’s Skills Week. The United States has been helping Georgia develop its education sector for years, including in the area of vocational education and training. This is because we want Georgian citizens to be able to acquire the skills they need through vocational education and training in order to get good paying jobs for rewarding lifelong careers. This is our latest program through USAID: industry-led skills bring together the private sector that coordinates with vocational education and training institutions to make sure that students are coming out with the skills that are needed in today’s market. The programs are designed to bring together the government, the private sector, vocational and education training institutions, and civil society to make sure that Georgians have the opportunity for better paying jobs and rewarding careers that are going to help both their families and their communities. So, we are delighted today to launch Skills Week, a weeklong celebration of the achievements that Georgia has made in this area.
Question on designations on individuals associated with the Georgian judiciary and U.S. study tours for judges
Ambassador Degnan: Our study tours have been popular and successful because they bring together judges from the United States with judges in Georgia and give them an opportunity to learn from each other and to share their best practices and lessons learned. Sometimes they talk about how they manage their courtrooms, the heavy workloads, or sometimes particularly interesting issues that come up during cases. Our programs are open to those who are qualified, as well as those who will benefit from these exchanges with American judges and maybe bring ideas back to their courtrooms. They’re also open to those who can go because this is a big time commitment. Sometimes, given the workloads of judges here, they’re not always able to go for the full two weeks; sometimes it’s even longer than two weeks. So, we are always delighted when Georgian judges choose to participate in our programs, and we usually have a lot of interest in them. We look forward to continuing this great exchange between Georgian and American judges.
On your second question, Parliament created these investigatory commissions as a mechanism to look into issues that are important to the people of Georgia, to look into issues of the day that require greater transparency, and more information to allow the citizens of Georgia to be better informed and also to hold people accountable and provide transparency on important issues. So, the reason this mechanism was created by Parliament was to provide citizens with more information. I think it’s a very useful technique that’s been a mechanism that’s used in many different Parliaments, including the US Congress. We would hope that Parliament and Members of Parliament would make full use of these tools that they have created in the interest of their citizens.
Question on Helsinki Commission’s call for Nika Gvaramia’s release
Ambassador Degnan: The Helsinki Commission is a very well-respected organization that has a mandate from the United States Congress to monitor human rights around the world, including media freedom. They have been clear, as have many others, including our Embassy, on concerns about Mr. Gvaramia’s case, including the original charges, the timing of the charges, and then subsequently the conviction and decision. This is a letter from an organization that has been a friend of Georgia’s for a very long time, a strong supporter of Georgia in its democratic development and its progress toward European integration. Any decision regarding pardoning is solely up to President Zourabichvili, and I’m sure she takes all of the requests—such as those from the Helsinki Commission—into consideration in making her decisions.
Black Sea Arena Launching a Wide-Scale Campaign in Georgia Branded as Starring Georgia
At the decision of Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, Black Sea Arena is launching a wide-scale campaign in Georgia branded as Starring Georgia. Main goal of the campaign is to promote the country and to boost its tourism, economic and cultural potential.Within the scope of the new campaign, concerts will be held in Shekvetili, Tbilisi and other locations, apart from the Black Sea Arena.Following events have already been announced:Nile Rodgers & Chic on August 5 at Black Sea Arena/Front StageFKJ on August 6 at the Black Sea Arena/Front StageDamian Lazarus on August 10 at The Social SpaceThe Killers on August 15 at the Black Sea ArenaAll Day I Dream on August 18 at The Social SpaceImagine Dragons on August 31 at Mikheil Meskhi StadiumBox Office will gradually start selling tickets for the scheduled concerts from April 24 via its website at www.BSA.ge.
High-level Meeting on Black Sea Submarine Cable Project Held in Tbilisi
A high-level Steering Committee meeting within the Agreement on Strategic Partnership in the Field of Green Energy Development and Transmission between the Governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary was held in Tbilisi. The Parties to the Agreement emphasized the importance of cooperation in Green Energy Development and Transmission as well as energy security thus underlining the significance of implementation of the Black Sea Submarine Cable project.
The Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili, opened the meeting. Minister of Finance of Georgia Lasha Khutsishvili, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Aleksandre Khvtisiashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó, Director of Azerbaijan Renewable Energy Agency Javid Abdullayev and State Secretary of the Ministry of Energy of Romania, George-Sergiu Niculescu also attended the event. European Union Ambassador to Georgia Paweł Herczyński, Regional Director of the World Bank in the South Caucasus Sebastian Molyneux, General Director of “Georgian State Electric System” Giorgi Gigineishvili and other high-ranking guests also took part in the event.
The Black Sea Submarine Cable project will be implemented with the support of the Georgian Government and the cooperation of the Georgian and Romanian transmission system operators – “Georgian State Electric System” and “Transelectrica”. On December 17, 2022, an Agreement on Strategic Partnership in the Field of Green Energy Development and Transmission between the Governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary was signed. One of the important issues of the Agreement was the Black Sea Submarine Cable project – upon the implementation of the project, a 1195-kilometer cable will connect Georgia and Romania (1100 km underwater and 95 km on-land cable). The Cable will allow the countries of the South Caucasus and Romania to take advantage of expanded export opportunities and trade based on the hourly prices of the electricity market.
The Black Sea Submarine Cable is a strategic project and a great investment opportunity for Georgia and its neighbouring countries. It will contribute to the development of the renewable energy sector, increase transit opportunities and bilateral trade potential between the EU and the South Caucasus region, which in turn will ensure a sustainable and reliable energy future for the regions.
At this stage, "Georgian State Electric System" with the help of consulting company CESI is carrying out a feasibility study of the project. In the future, within the framework of the project, environmental and social impact assessment and geophysical and geotechnical studies of the Black Sea bottom will also be carried out. The possibilities and best ways of practical implementation of the project will also be determined. The committee will review a presentation prepared by CESI outlining ongoing and planned activities within the feasibility study.
Next meeting of the Steering Committee established within the frame of the Agreement on Strategic Partnership in the Field of Green Energy Development and Transmission between the Governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary will be held in Bucharest.
U.S. Embassy Statement on designations on four individuals associated with the Georgian judiciary for their involvement in significant corruption
U.S. Embassy Statement on designations on four individuals associated with the Georgian judiciary for their involvement in significant corruption.
Source: Video U.S. Embassy Statement
US Embassy:The creation of scapegoats and fighting them in order to maintain power is a repeating strategy of dictators
The creation of scapegoats and fighting them in order to maintain power is a repeating strategy of dictators, reads the statement released by the US Embassy in Georgia.
According to the statement, dictators are also known for repeating each other's mistakes. Putin tells his people that the entire civilized world is their enemy and that only he stands on the path to truth. Putin’s enemies are pregnant women, whom he bombs inside maternity wards, small children and elderly people who sing to each other in shelters to find comfort, and people who choose freedom.One year ago Putin was certain that Kyiv would fall in a day, that Ukrainian people would greet his army with flowers, and that the west would turn a blind eye. But Kyiv stands, Ukrainian people are fighting with unprecedented courage, and the West has never been so united.Dictators like Putin repeat each other’s mistakes because they forget the eternal verity which was brilliantly formulated by Rustaveli centuries ago: "Evil is vanquished by good, for the essence of good is enduring", reads the statement.
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