On Prime Minister’s decision, Georgian Government to make European Commission’s questionnaire public

Published in Politics
Friday, 15 April 2022 16:35

The European Commission's questionnaire, designed to form an opinion on Georgia's bid to EU membership, will be made public by the Georgian Government. This decision was made at today's meeting of the Government Commission on EU Integration of Georgia, chaired by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
The first part of the special EU membership questionnaire was handed over to Georgia on April 11, in Luxemburg. Based on this questionnaire, the European Commission will develop a document known as the Opinion on granting candidate country status.
The questionnaire consists of political and economic sections. In near future, Georgia will receive the second part comprising sectorial topics and compatibility with EU legislation by sector.

European Commission's questionnaire

PARLIAMENT ADOPTING RESOLUTION ON POSSIBLE MILITARY ESCALATION IN UKRAINE

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 02 February 2022 12:58

At Today’s Plenary Session, the Parliament adopted the Resolution on Possible Military Escalation in Ukraine with 74 votes.
The document developed by the members of the Parliamentary Majority Giorgi Khelashvili, Maka Botchorishvili, Levan Karumidze, Givi Mikanadze and Tamar Taliashvili was introduced to the MPs by the First Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Giorgi Khelashvili.

The Parliament, according to the resolution, expresses grave concern about a possible military escalation in Ukraine and condemns any intention directed against a sovereign state and its territorial integrity, which poses a new threat not only to Ukraine but also to regional peace and security.

The resolution further notes that the Georgian Parliament urges on the Georgian government to continue its contribution to the prevention of war in Ukraine by using diplomatic instruments and working closely with strategic partners.

The majority of the opposition, according to Giorgi Khelashvili, is attempting to avoid supporting important state resolutions by providing an excuse rather than a cause.

According to him, the same thing happened to the constitutional record that backed Georgia's integration into the European Union and the Euro-Atlantic area, such as the Parliamentary resolution on foreign policy that referred to Russia as Georgia's occupier, but the UNM refused to endorse it.

Giorgi Khelashvili once again addressed the opposition before the discussion and called for support for the document.

"The opposition, led by the United National Movement, is almost unanimously opposed to the resolution. This is disappointing, because it would be desirable for us to pass a resolution with the support of all political forces. We can boldly conclude that the aim of the opposition is not to participate in the development of real foreign policy, but only political manipulation. I call on other political parties and factions, if not the National Movement, to take a historical perspective and vote for this resolution, because years later, their signatures will not be found on this resolution”, - Giorgi Khelashvili said.

Most of the opposition MPs demanded from the initiators of the draft that the text of the resolution clearly state the Russian Federation, saying that the document would gain support only in this case and would not remain just a one-party document of the ruling team.

Administration of the Parliament of Georgia

Interim measures indicated concerning Georgia

Published in Justice
Wednesday, 17 November 2021 10:55

The Court has decided to indicate interim measures in the case of Saakashvili v. Georgia and has asked the Georgian Government to provide it with information on the applicant’s state of health, to guarantee his safety in prison and to provide him with appropriate medical care.

The applicant, Mikheil Saakashvili, is the former President of Georgia. Having been convicted for a number of offences committed while in office, he is currently serving a prison sentence. The applicant claims he is a victim of ‘political persecution’ and has been on hunger strike for 41 days.

Source: https://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

The country’s Interagency Development and Reform Council established to develop Georgia’s 10-year development plan, in line with Irakli Garibashvili’s initiative

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 06 April 2021 11:40

On the Georgian Government's decision, the country's Interagency Development and Reform Council has been established to develop Georgia's 10-year development plan, in line with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili's initiative.

Designed to ensure effective response to the country's challenges, the Interagency Council will be chaired by the Head of Georgian Government.

The Development and Reform Council will consist of Ministers, MPs, and other officials. The Development and Reform Councilis authorized to create working groups and subgroups, and, if need be, invite representatives of other institutions, specialist and experts from relevant areas, and/or private sector actors.

The Development and Reform Council seeks to submit the country's 10-year development plan to the Government of Georgia no later than May 31, 2021.

The decree on the establishment of the Development and Reform Council has been signed by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

Press Service of the Government Administration

 

ANAKLIA DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM AND PRINCIPAL INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR FILE ARBITRATION CLAIMS AGAINST GEORGIA

Published in Economics
Thursday, 30 July 2020 13:44

Claims Seek Substantial Damages Caused by Government’s Campaign to Undermine Port Project
that would have created Economic Prosperity for Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 30 July, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and Mr. Bob Meijer, one of its
principal investors, on 29 July filed separate arbitration claims against Georgia in relation to their rights in the
Anaklia Port Project. Together the two claims seek to recover the value of ADC's and Mr. Meijer’s rights in the
Project. The value of those rights is substantial, in excess of US$ 1.0 billion, representing ADC's and Mr. Meijer's
losses directly resulting from the Georgian Government’s campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project.
ADC was awarded the Anaklia Port Project in 2016. The Project (together with an associated Special Economic
Zone) is intended to make Georgia a strategic hub for regional trade between Asia and Europe, creating
thousands of jobs and generating substantial taxes and revenue for the government, and revitalize the Georgian
economy at a time when the nation most needs an economic boost. There is no other port facility or location
along the Black Sea in Georgia other than Anaklia that is capable of fulfilling the economic promise of a worldclass deep water port.
The Anaklia Development Consortium, which was established to develop the Anaklia Port Project, is comprised
of both Georgian and international investors. ADC is bringing its claim in the International Court of Arbitration
of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Mr. Meijer, a prominent Dutch businessman with a long
record of successful investments in Georgia and worldwide, is bringing his claim in the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), under the Georgia-Netherlands Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Following a two-year campaign by the current Government and the ruling Georgian Dream Party to block ADC’s
efforts to succeed with the Project, in January 2020 the Government unlawfully terminated the agreement and,
in the process, caused ADC and it investors to lose the full sum of their investments, denying them future profits
and causing them to be damaged financially and reputationally.
Even though the Government had originally awarded ADC the sole right to develop the Project following a
competitive and transparent selection process, and even though it was understood that Government support
was necessary for the success of the Project in order to enable ADC to attract international investors and
financing, in fact the Government changed course and undertook an overt and covert campaign to ensure the
Project could never succeed.
Representatives of the Government on numerous occasions criticized the Project and its shareholders, publicly
and in private meetings, telling potential investors and lenders that the Government did not wish them to
Anaklia Development Consortium.
participate, and making clear to U.S. government officials that the Project did not have the support of the
Georgian government. This aggressive campaign against the Anaklia Port Project by the Government caused
great damage to ADC and its investors.
Among the illegal and unethical actions of the Government and the Georgian Dream party was the launching of
a baseless money laundering criminal investigation against Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze, two
prominent and successful Georgia businessmen who are principal investors in the Project. The intention of the
slanderous allegations against Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze was to discourage any investors or lenders
from supporting the Project. Such support was necessary for the Project to proceed. Unfortunately the
Government’s campaign succeeded, insofar as investors and lenders withdrew their interest and declined to
participate in the Project without a clear statement of support by the Georgian Government. Both the Public
Defender of Georgia and Transparency International Georgia subsequently found that the charges against
Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze were without merit.
The following statement from ADC reflects the views of ADC and Mr. Meijer:
“The investors of the Anaklia Development Consortium continue to believe firmly that the Anaklia Port
Project and Special Economic Zone should be allowed to proceed, and that the Project will create
unequalled economic opportunity for Georgia. However, that success can only come with the active
support of the Government, and we remain committed to finding a way to get this Project back on track.
“In the meantime, ADC and its investors must protect their interests. While we have made every effort
to engage with the Government to explore possible solutions, we have been rebuffed at every step.
“In a patriotic gesture, ADC paused in its filing of these claims during the height of the Covid-19
pandemic, so as not to burden the Government with any distractions as it fought to protect Georgians.
“Regrettably, the Government is forcing this decision to commence arbitration, and the Government
must bear the responsibility for its consequences.
“The Government would have everyone believe that it terminated the investment agreement because
ADC failed to meet certain obligations under the contract. In reality, the Government deliberately acted
to ensure that ADC could not succeed with Project development. In this instance the Government abused
its power because the ruling party and its leader decided the Project’s success was contrary to their own
political and economic interests. In the process, the people of Georgia are victimized by the
Government’s conduct.
“The reversal of the Government’s support for the Anaklia Port Project and ADC, and its aggressive
campaign to undermine the Project, ADC and its investors (driven at the behest of the Georgian Dream
party and its leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili) seem to be driven by several motives but there are two obvious
ones. First, it would appear that Mr. Ivanishvili may have a vested interest in the development of the
free industrial zone connected to Poti Port. Second, it would seem that Mr. Ivanishvili and Georgian
Dream are sensitive to pressure from Russia, which has made clear its opposition to a deep water port at
Anaklia (which is very close to the de facto border with Russian-occupied Abkhazia) and the western
support that would come with it.
“By its campaign to undermine the Anaklia Port Project and force it into arbitration, the Government is
damaging the Georgian economy. Beyond the matter of foregoing the economic benefits that the
Anaklia Port and economic zone would generate or the unnecessary considerable financial liability, the
Government is in effect discouraging international investors from pursuing any investments in
Georgia, facilitating the further loss of jobs and revenues by the country and stalling the momentum for
placing Georgia on the map as a regional trade hub between Asia and Western Europe.
“Finally, the manner in which the Government has conducted itself in its attacks on ADC, its investors
and the Project itself could be in violation of one of the conditions of the proposed U.S. government aid
to Georgia, under which 15% of the aid is withheld until the U.S. Secretary of State can affirm that the
Government of Georgia has been, according to the legislation, ‘protecting the rights of foreign
businesses to operate free from harassment and to fully realize all due commercial and financial benefits
resulting from investments made in Georgia.’
“The responsibility for these consequences rests solely with the current Government and the ruling
party.”
NOTE: ADC and Mr. Meijer are represented by a team led by Mr. Andy Moody at Baker McKenzie in London and
Ms. Ketevan Kvartskhava at BLC in Tbilisi.
Further details can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com

Comment by the MFA of Georgia in response to the comment of the Information and Press Department of the MFA of the RF

Published in Politics
Friday, 29 May 2020 15:52

On May, 26th, while Georgia was receiving congratulations from the neighboring and partner countries honoring its Independence Day, the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation disseminated another falsehood on the functioning of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia.

The above-mentioned disinformation is of particular concern in the context when activity of the Center is widely recognized as one of the vital factors in successful struggle of the Government of Georgia against the coronavirus pandemic and functioning of the Center is highly appreciated by the Georgian society along with international community.

Georgia’s relevant agencies have repeatedly commented on the details of the status and functioning of the Center, however Russia’s constant provocations have forced us to address the issue again since we see the urgent need to attract attention of the international community to the Russia’s fabrications and rude attempts to diminish the role of successful institution contributing to the security of Georgia and throughout the entire region.

The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center functions as an integral laboratory unit of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. The facility was launched in 2013 and represents the highest level institution of the Laboratory Network of Disease Epidemiological Surveillance which, itself, is a referral center of the Georgian Public Health System.

Construction of the facility started in 2004 based on a framework Agreement signed by the US and the Georgian Governments in 1997 as well as Agreement of 2002 between the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Georgia “On Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development.”

The Lugar Center, along with its equipment were fully transmitted to the ownership of the Government of Georgia and since 2018 the Lugar Center along with the laboratory network have been fully financed by the Government of Georgia. Structurally, the Lugar Center is a subdivision of the Center for Disease Control and a part of the Georgian Healthcare System.
The Lugar Center unites the 2nd and the 3rd level biosecurity laboratories equipped by the modern equipment with the aim to timely detect and identify the pathogens that cause dangerous diseases in humans and animals based on the principle of “United health”.
Three virology (poliomyelitis, influenza and measles) laboratories accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) operate in the Center. Besides, under the international quality control, the following laboratories operate at the facility: the diagnosis of rotavirus, invasive meningitis, malaria, antibiotic resistance, diphtheria and salmonellosis. The Center has an international ISO accreditation for the clinical laboratory research.

Laboratory capabilities of the Lugar Center are also used by the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture (LMA) and the Eliava Research Institute of Bacteriophage. In addition, the Center’s capabilities are widely used by masters and doctoral students from relevant universities of various countries, including neighboring ones, to conduct scientific research.
Any research or activity at the facilities of the Center are carried out by the relevant experts exceptionally under the coordination and management of the competent Georgian agencies. The American partners have no role in setting the tasks for the Center, moreover they do not possess the possibility to conduct an independent research.
Georgia is fully committed to its international obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, including the requirements and provisions of the Convention on the Management of Biological Laboratories. Within the 7th Review Conference, the Member States have developed a mechanism for transparency and confidence-building – so called peer exercise, which appears to be the only instrument for transparency.


Within such mechanism and in order to ensure the transparency of the Richard Lugar Centre, Georgia hosted an international peer exercise at the facilities of the Centre on November 14-15, 2018. The above-mentioned event was organized jointly by the Georgian and German sides and Security and Bio experts from up to 20 countries were able to participate in this peer exercise. It is worth to mention that the invitation to participate has been also extended to the Russian experts, however a strict refusal of their participation has been received. This very fact clearly proves the ostentatious interest of the RF in operations at the laboratory.

On December 4-7, 2018, a meeting of the Member States of the Biological Weapons Convention took place at the UN Geneva office, where the report on the functioning of the Lugar Centre drafted by international experts gained a full approval and support.

Despite the above-mentioned, the Russian Foreign Ministry challenges the findings of the leading experts after their visit at the facility. Furthermore, based on the fake disinformation of suspicious “experts”, false allegations are widely spread specially in the Russian media sources thus clearly underlying incompetence and aggressive nature of their arguments.

As for the provision of the comment by the Information Department of the Russian MFA regarding the possible visit of the Russian experts to the Lugar Centre, it is noteworthy to mention that Georgia, as a responsible Member State of the Convention on Prohibition of Biological Weapons, is and always has been ready, to host competent Russian experts, who holds the relevant level security permission to access the facilities of the laboratory. However, such visits might be conducted within the framework of the Convention and in full compliance with the existing mechanism. There was such possibility in 2018, although Georgia is open to discuss the modalities of the peer exercise/visit with Member-States upon new initiative. At the same time, Georgia does not see the possibility for one-side unilateral visit taking into account Russia's rough and aggressive disinformation campaign with the only possible aim to diminish the functioning and researches at the facilities of the Lugar Centre.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the international community, primarily on the Member States of the Biological Weapons Convention, to assess the aggressive statements of the Russian Governmental Agencies toward Georgia; to condemn clear disinformation and to oppose the attempts to undermine the successful functioning of the institution exponential for the whole region. Despite the fact that Georgia does not have any bilateral legal commitment to the RF on the transparency of the Centre, the Georgian side expresses its readiness to host next peer exercise within the frame of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons with participation of multinational team, including relevant Russian experts.
 

Georgia reports 707 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 456 patients recovered

Published in Health
Wednesday, 20 May 2020 10:30

Georgia reported five new cases of COVID-19 today bringing the total number of infected people to 707.

The date has recently been updated on a special web page stopcov.ge created by the Georgian government.

The number of recovered persons is 456. Twelve patients died. Three persons are brought from abroad for medical treatment. There are 3914 people in quarantine, 340 – inpatient care.

Georgia reported 195 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Published in Health
Tuesday, 07 April 2020 14:09

The number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) increased up to 195 in Georgia.

The information was recently updated on a special website stopcov.ge created by the Georgian government.

Also, according to the official data, 39 patients have fully recovered from the virus. Two people died of COVID-19 in the country.

There are 4735 people under quarantine and 383 – in inpatient care.

 

Georgia confirms 9 cases of COVID-19

Published in Health
Friday, 06 March 2020 08:16

Georgia has confirmed nine cases of the novel coronavirus /COVID-19/, a website – stopcov.ge reports. Georgian government has created this website to inform the public about the coronavirus.

162 individuals are under quarantine in Georgia currently, while 45 others are in hospitals, under the observation.

Head of the National Disease Control Centre Amiran Gamkrelidze stated that those five individuals travelled to Italy with the man who had tested positive for the novel virus.

Amiran Gamkrelidze noted that 25 people who had contact with this man were examined. Only five of them tested positive for the COVID-19.

Those five individuals were hospitalised in Tbilisi infectious hospital.

 

Georgian CSOs to promote free trade with EU in rural areas

Published in Economics
Thursday, 08 June 2017 09:33

A new project in support of economic development in rural areas in Georgia was launched on 2 June. The EU-funded 'Regional Civil Society Organisations as Vectors of Rural Economic Development' project aims at promoting the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) in the seven rural regions of Georgia. The project will strengthen the capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs) so that they can help regional small, micro and medium enterprises, as well as individual agricultural producers, to seize the opportunities opened by the DCFTA.

The CSOs showed interest in the various trainings planned in the regions which will enhance their skills and knowledge about DCFTA-related aspects, advocacy techniques and value chain research. This will help regional producers to identify local products that have potential to enter European markets.

Within the project, CSOs will establish information and resource desks in rural areas of the regions of Imereti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Adjara and Kvemo-Kartli.

The project is part of the EU’s assistance to the Georgian government in implementing the DCFTA, facilitating Georgia's integration into the EU market. The EU support focuses on strengthening the capacities of Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises and ensuring the economic integration of internally displaced persons, returned migrants, women in business and young entrepreneurs.

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