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Produced by Xinhua Global Service
At the conclusion of the intergovernmental negotiations on 4 November 2021 in Tbilisi, the protocol was signed jointly by Deputy Minister Ekaterine Guntsadze and the German Head of Delegation Santiago Alonso-Rodriguez. With this, Germany commits to further support Georgia, especially in the areas of vocational training, promotion of the private sector, energy and energy efficiency, sustainable urban development and good governance, the embassy of Germany reports about it.
The very good cooperation between Germany and Georgia in development cooperation has already existed for almost 30 years. During this time, Germany has supported Georgia with a total of more than 1.3 billion euros in the area of financial cooperation alone.
Intergovernmental negotiations take place every two years between Germany and Georgia. Since the last negotiations in 2019, the total funding amounts to approximately 188 million euros. Of this, 53 million euros are only grant funds. In addition, there is regional cooperation amounting to almost 76 million euros in grants, from which Georgia benefits for the most part.
Particularly noteworthy is the funding in the area of vocational training. Here Germany is providing grant funds in an unusual amount of EUR 24 million for the construction of centres of excellence via the German government’s KfW. Germany is already financing the construction of a centre of excellence in Tbilisi in the field of construction and logistics. The other two centres of excellence are to be located in the wine and tourism sectors in particular and are to become flagships for dual vocational training. The support that the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been providing for many years in the field of wine and tourism and beyond is also to be put to good use through the centres.
Immediately after the government negotiations, further documents on financial cooperation were signed in a festive ceremony:
Thus, in the field of biodiversity and sustainable local development, an agreement on a grant amounting to 5.24 million euros was signed by Ambassador Hubert Knirsch and Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili. This will enable the implementation of a biodiversity conservation project worth around 24 million euros.
This green package is rounded off by very special funding for the entire South Caucasus region in the amount of 40 million euros in grant funds for nature conservation in the South Caucasus through the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF). Thanks to this funding, 12 existing protected areas are going to receive continued support in Georgia alone, and more will be added, as the establishment of up to five new protected areas is currently in the planning stage. A contract to this effect was signed last week by Ms. Birgit Holderied-Kreß, KfW's Head of Office, and Mr. Tobias Münchmeyer, Managing Director of the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF).
In the central area of German-Georgian cooperation "energy", too, a more in-depth cooperation was agreed, building on the existing portfolio, with the elaboration of a pilot project in another innovative field: green hydrogen. With the signing of a memorandum of understanding between KfW and the Georgian Ministry of Economy, the path of a pilot project was taken into concrete planning. In addition, an agreement was signed to implement an energy efficiency programme in public school buildings.
The next intergovernmental negotiations will take place in Berlin in 2023.
On November 8, 2021, Public Defender Nino Lomjaria visited third President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who was transferred to Medical Establishment No. 18 of the Penitentiary Service, Public Defender reports.
At the meeting, Mikheil Saakashvili told the Public Defender that he had no information about his transfer to Establishment No. 18, as he was informed at Establishment No. 12 that he would be transferred to a multifunctional civil clinic on the basis of the decision of the medical council, which he agreed to.
It should be noted that representatives of the Public Defender's Office visited Establishment No. 12 as well, where they could not find any document about provision of information to Mikheil Saakashvili or his consent relating to his transfer to Establishment No. 18.
Speaking to the Public Defender, Mikheil Saakashvili explained that despite his refusal, he was forcibly placed in Establishment No. 18. The Public Defender's Office immediately informed the State Inspector's Office about the above for the purpose of launching an investigation.
Particular attention should be paid to the environment in which Mikheil Saakashvili is placed, which grossly violates human rights. In particular, insulting and threatening shouts by prisoners of Establishment No. 18 are heard against Mikheil Saakashvili, which can be heard in Saakashvili's cell as well and clearly represents psychological pressure. Upon entering the penitentiary facility, voices of insult were heard by the Public Defender and her representatives. It is highly probable that a similar situation will continue and Mikheil Saakashvili's lawyers and other visitors will be subjected to similar verbal aggression.
The Public Defender has repeatedly stated in her statements that the transfer of the prisoner from Establishment No. 12 to Establishment No. 18 would lead to the disorganization of Establishments Nos. 8 and 18 due to the significant risk of verbal aggression, noise and harassment.
It should be noted that the Public Defender's Office checked the documents on the admission of prisoners to Establishment No. 18, as a result of which it was established that no other inmates of Establishment No. 12, except Mikheil Saakashvili, have been admitted to this facility since January 18, 2021. Information about the period before January 18, 2021 is yet unknown due to the inability to access the special archive at night hours.