Georgia Adopts a Law on the Development of Mountainous Regions
Targeted, poverty reducing benefits for people living in the highlands of Georgia, as well as incentives for businesses and budget support to economic and social development are envisioned in a newly adopted Law on the Development of Mountainous Regions, which comes into force today, 31 July 2015.
The draft law adopted by the Parliament of Georgia last week was prepared by the Government of Georgia with the leadership of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, and support from the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus, Austrian Development Cooperation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“The new Law establishes objective criteria for classifying mountainous areas and settlements. It provides important and substantial social, economic and business benefits, together with a guarantee of annual funds from the national budget reserved for mountain development,” said Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia.
The benefits described in the new Law include: tax exemptions for selected companies operating in the mountainous areas; improved social benefits for local residents; higher salaries for teachers and medical staff; and increased social assistance for pensioners. In addition, more opportunities and support will be available for infrastructure and business development in the highlands.
The funds will be provided from the national budget through the specially designed Mountainous Areas Development Fund. The selection of mountainous settlements that qualify for privileges and support will be undertaken by a National Council on Mountainous Regions to be formed under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Georgia. Based on criteria specified in the Law, the Council will propose a list of mountainous settlements and present it to the Government for approval.
‘Drawing on international experience, the new Law presents an important opportunity to help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in the mountainous areas through enhanced human and economic development,” said Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia.
With funds from the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus and Austrian Development Cooperation, UNDP has provided expert support to preparing a draft Law on Development of Mountainous Regions of Georgia and facilitated cooperation of the Government and Parliament of Georgia with the two highland countries – Austria and Switzerland, whose governments are actively supporting regional development in Georgia.
Prime Minister of Georgia Met US Congressmen Visiting Georgia on His Invitation
Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met US Congressmen visiting Georgia on his invitation today.
Meeting held at the Government Administration was focused on the highest level of strategic partnership between the United States and Georgia, which is once again evidenced by the growing cooperation between the two countries.
Congressmen visiting Georgia are co-sponsors of the Georgia Support Act initiated at the House of Representatives in the US Congress, for which the Prime Minister of Georgia expressed his gratitude.
US support in the institutional building of Georgia, increased capability of defense, implementation of democratic reforms has been highlighted at the meeting. It was also noted that Georgia continues to carry out reforms for the consolidation of democratic achievements in cooperation with US and other western partners.
The Prime Minister of Georgia expressed gratitude to US Congressmen for the bipartisan support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, in peaceful conflict resolution, non-recognition policy and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia.
Discussions were also related to the local elections, thereby noting that Georgia stands ready to hold them in a free, fair and transparent manner. It was also noted that the Government of Georgia welcomes the active engagement of international observers in the election process and stands ready to admit as many organizations of such mandate as possible.
Black Sea security was also reviewed at the meeting. It was noted that Georgia remains to be a reliable partner of the USA in the region.
Topics discussed at the meeting included the current situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. It was noted that in the conditions of complicated situation, unlawful occupation of Georgian territories by Russia, uninterrupted provocations and borderisation, visit of US Congressmen is particularly important for the country. Focus was made on the significant role of Georgia in the international security and peace operations. Particularly noteworthy was the crucial role of Georgia in the emergency evacuation of people from Kabul.
Economic relations between the USA and Georgia were also discussed. It was noted that further advancement of trade and economic relations with the United States, as well as the launch of negotiations on free trade with the United States are among the top priorities of the Government of Georgia.
Readiness was expressed at the meeting towards continuing the close cooperation between the USA and Georgia both at the executive and legislative levels for the extension and deepening of the strategic partnership.
Delegation of US Congressmen included: Alexander Xavier Mooney for West Virginia, Bryan George Steil for Wisconsin, Kelly Michael Armstrong for North Dakota, Carol Miller for West Virginia, Rep Ron Estes for Kansas. US Congressmen represent various committees. Visit has been organized by the US-Georgia Friendship Association. It also includes the Association President and Honorary Consul of Georgia in San-Diego Melory Tsipuria.
Meeting held at the Government Administration was attended by David Zalkaliani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; Ilia Darchiashvili, Head of Government Administration; Giorgi Tsikolia, Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary Envoy of Georgia to the United States of America.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Georgia – Javelin Missiles
WASHINGTON, August 3, 2021 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Georgia of Javelin Missiles and related equipment for an estimated
cost of $30 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Georgia has requested to buy eighty-two (82) Javelin FGM-148 Missiles; and forty-six (46) Javelin Command Launch Units (CLU). Also included are Enhanced Producibility Basic Skills Trainers; Missile Simulation Rounds; Security Assistance Management Directorate Technical Assistance; Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions Project Office Technical Assistance; other associated equipment and services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total cost is $30 million.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Georgia which is a strategic partner and a key contributor to security and stability the region. The Javelin system will help Georgia build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements.
The proposed sale will improve Georgia’s capability to meet current and future threats by increasing its antiarmor capacity. Georgia will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractors will be Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture of Orlando, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona. However, these articles are being provided from U.S. Army stock. There are no known offset agreements proposed in conjunction with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Georgia.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.
Irakli Garibashvili: Lethal outcome of viral infection is practically impossible after vaccination. I want to call on everyone again, to get vaccinated.
Several days ago we received half a million doses of Pfizer vaccine. It is the US support and I wish to once again thank the USA and President Biden personally for this gift. It was stated by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.
The Head of Government of Georgia noted that 2 million doses of vaccine have been accumulated in the country, out of which 1.5 million doses of Chinese-manufactured and half a million as produced by Pfizer.
"In addition, million doses of Pfizer have been ordered directly from the producer and the process of supply has already been started and is in progress. In total, we will have 3 million doses of COVID vaccine, out of which 2 million is already in the country and 1 million doses will arrive in a month or maximum in a month and a half. It will be supplied in phases, every week-end. I wish to once again urge the population and once again explain the importance of vaccination. A lot of questions are asked about the need for immunization. Main answer and argument, which I wish to share with our population, is that a lethal outcome - which is the most painful result for us - is practically impossible after vaccination. Thus, I wish to once again urge everyone to get vaccinated and to safeguard the life and health of our own, our parents, our children and loved ones. Wide-scale disinformation is spread about vaccines in general. I wish to urge the population to rely and trust scientists and science, rather than thousands of lies, gossips and rumors spread via social media" stated Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia.
In the opinion of the Head of Government of Georgia, the number of infected individuals has practically doubled in the last two weeks as a direct result of careless street rallies. The Prime Minister of Georgia called on the population of the country to be vigilant and treat every action and public gathering with a degree of responsibility.
"Number of infected individuals has practically doubled in the last two weeks. I wish to note with due fairness that it is a direct outcome of the careless street rallies lasting for several days. These events have practically led to the doubling of the number of infected. I wish to once again urge the population to be vigilant and treat every action and public gathering with a degree of responsibility" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
The Head of Government of Georgia spoke about the positive trends witnessed in the economy of the country, thereby noting that the growth indicator reached 12% in the first 6 months of the year, thus enabling the State to keep away from borrowing and the Government of Georgia has thus increased the State Budget by over a billion.
"We opened-up everything. Economy has been growing super-fast for several months now and we have unprecedented growth in the world. In April our economy grew by 45%, in May - by 25% and we expect factual data for June to manifest 18% of growth. We practically have a 12% growth indicator in the first 6 months of the year, which ultimately enabled us to keep away from borrowing this year. Moreover, we were able to increase the State Budget by over a billion. The Minister of Finance of Georgia has already submitted the adjusted budget parameters to the Parliament of Georgia. It has led to our increased capacity to finance a number of program initiatives for our population" noted Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Irakli Garibashvili’s meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is visiting Georgia to attend Georgia's European Way, an international conference in Batumi.
During the face-to-face meeting, the parties discussed the extraordinary friendship and strategic partnership between Georgia and Ukraine.
Irakli Garibashvili and Volodymyr Zelensky examined regional security and the situation on the Black Sea.
The Prime Minister reassured the President of Ukraine of his firm support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and thanked him for Ukraine's strong support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Irakli Garibashvili and Volodymyr Zelensky also discussed Russian threats and the dire consequence of occupation, a challenged shared by both countries, also emphasizing the importance of peaceful conflict-resolution.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Irakli Garibashvili’s meeting with Charles Michel
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili held a face-to-face meeting with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, who is visiting Georgia as part of the Georgia's European Way international conference in Batumi. Irakli Garibashvili thanked Charles Michel for visiting Georgia and pointed out that the recent high-level visits demonstrate the excellence of the relations between Georgia and the EU and underline Georgia's importance to the EU.
Georgia remains the EU's reliable ally and a crucial stronghold of democracy in a geopolitically complex region, the Prime Minister emphasized.
The meeting underscored Georgia's positive role in the Caucasus. President Michel singled out the Georgian Prime Minister's successful mediation resulting in the release of 15 Armenian citizens and important maps of mined territories handed over to the Azerbaijani side. Irakli Garibashvili reaffirmed his commitment to continuing active engagement in the process of dialogue and to making Georgia a platform for negotiations in order to facilitate the peaceful resolution of the present conflicts and to ensure peace and stability in the region.
The Prime Minister, together with the President of the European Council, discussed the importance of EU engagement in the Caucasus Region and the significance of the political agreement achieved in Georgia through Charles Michel's personal involvement. The ruling team has implemented the agreement's provisions, and this process continues, the Head of Government said and added that, unfortunately, most of the opposition have yet to sign Charles Michel's agreement, and that is a major obstacle crippling the stabilization and pacification of the political situation.
During the face-to-face meeting with Charles Michel, the Prime Minister also emphasized that the Government's major task is to maintain stability and peace in Georgia, a stance also shared by the President of the European Council.
The conversation also touched on the upcoming local self-government elections. According to the Prime Minister, the authorities are motivated to ensure peaceful and transparent elections. Garibashvili also addressed President Michel with a request to delegate as many EU observers as possible, to prevent everyone from engaging, for any reason, in speculations concerning the elections. The meeting also emphasized that Georgia has already invited all international election observer organizations to the upcoming elections in October.
One of the topics of the conversation between the Prime Minister and President Michel was electoral reform. According to Irakli Garibashvili, the ruling team, with the opposition's engagement, has developed a near perfect electoral reform. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the authorities' commitment to continuing the ongoing judicial reform. As a result of the years-long court reform, considerable progress has been achieved, though it is not enough, the reason why the process will continue to be successfully finalized, Irakli Garibashvili said.
Press Service of the Government Administration