Georgia hosts Azerbaijan's PM on official visit

Published in Politics
Thursday, 15 December 2022 12:41

Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, arrived in Georgia on an official visit. The administration of the Government of Georgia hosted an official welcome ceremony.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov will meet face to face, followed by a meeting of the Georgia-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Economic Commission under the leadership of the Prime Ministers of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Prime Minister of Georgia: Anaklia Port will be built with co-participation of the State, whereby 51% will be owned by the State

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 14 December 2022 10:38

Anaklia Port will be built with co-participation of the State, whereby 51% will be owned by the State by our decision, while the rest will be tendered internationally and partners, partner companies will be selected. This is significant news, which I want to share with our society. It was stated by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.

The Head of Government of Georgia spoke about the current situation at Anaklia Port and noted that since signing an agreement with an investor in 2016, no commitment was honored by the latter and the port never got built, which is a classic example of larceny.
“Second agenda item, which I wish the general public to know about, is related to Anaklia Port. Back in 2016 we made a decision to build the port. You all witnessed that. Prior to that, during my first tenure in the capacity of the Prime Minister of Georgia, we openly spoke about this topic everywhere. Every rostrum and platform was used, including that of the UN HQ to make our expressed interest and priority known in building the port and agreement was signed in 2016, investor was selected and you are all aware who is this so-called investor, who failed to deliver his commitment, i.e. he failed to build this port. Though, in line with the assumed commitment, we should have admitted first vessels in 2020, if I am not mistaken. Government deferred the deadlines for the commitment several times – 3 or 4 times, if I am not wrong. Nevertheless, the investor failed to attract further investments. Messrs. Khazaradze and Japaridze have in between them as partners spent 3 MLN USD. To my knowledge, the rest has been raised from investors – about 20 or 25 MLN USD. In return, they were seeking assurances from the Government on guaranteed cargo volumes. Land was our and we were requested to hand it over. We did. Roads and railways were built to the site. Hundreds of millions were to be spent by the Government to receive nothing in return. In real terms, this was expected to be a gift to Mr. Khazaradze. After dropping this project and failing to implement it for 4-5 years, these individuals decided to rob our country and why do we have this assumption? They sued against the country and took the case further to the court of arbitrage. They are currently claiming 1.5 BLN USD. Imagine what is happening? These individuals failed to deliver on their commitment, failed the project, could not build the port and are now demanding 1.5 BLN USD from our country and people. This is a classic scheme of Larsen and we all know it, of course. No genuine, sincere or honest goal or intention was ever backing this port construction and it was simply a way to make them rich through theft.
That is why, we are now – and you may well remember about it – working actively towards this end, as I instructed the Ministry of Economy several months ago and we are preparing a new tender – a competitive selection – but the main news is that we decided to build the Anaklia Port with co-participation of the state, whereby 51% will be owned by the state and international contest will be announced on the rest. We will select partners – partner companies. This is the significant news, which I wanted to share with our public. The site itself is abandoned and derelict. You may well be aware of what is happening now in Anaklia. Site has turned into a bowl of dust. It is categorically unacceptable and we need to select the international partner companies now and we also need to start investing in this project. It will be implemented with our co-participation. State will carry out this endeavor in partnership with foreign or other companies. It is our decision” added the Prime Minister of Georgia.
The Head of Government of Georgia also spoke about the Poti Port, the current process of its upgrade and extension. As the Prime Minister of Georgia noted, development of the port infrastructure is the key priority of the Government.
“Development of ports is our main priority. You may well be aware that Batumi Port is managed by foreign companies. Additional investments will also need to be made in Poti Port. Meanwhile, a Georgian company – PACE – made an investment of 100 MLN USD in building new terminals and it may be said in real terms that it is now a small new port. Idea of upgrading and extending the existing port of Poti has been around for a long time. I met the executives and owners of the port facilities in Poti a few days ago together with the Minister of Economy. I wish to publicly reassure them in my full support. Our desire is to have Poti Port extended as well. Additional investments need to be made in Batumi too and a new port of Anaklia should also be built. Interest has been growing day by day towards our corridor in recent period and volume of cargo shipped from Asian countries is huge. Desire is great to get them shipped from China, Japan and other countries. We should be ready in every direction. It is our declared aim and goal. I wish to express full support to every investor that will make injections in port facilities. As for the port of Anaklia, the state should have the main leverage here and thus 51% will be owned by our country” noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
The Head of Government of Georgia spoke about the construction of power plants and creation of additional capacities. According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, construction of a thermal power plant is also planned and it will generate 600 megawatts of additional capacity. In total, it translates into an investment of 3-4 BLN USD during 2-3 years.
The Head of Government of Georgia noted that Memorandums will be launched for the remaining stock of 800 megawatts. A tender will be announced at the end of the year on 1500 megawatts, while additional capacity – both hydro, wind and solar power plants – will be tendered in 2023.
“We made a very vital decision in the recent period in relation to power plants. They were put on hold for the last 5 years, if I am not mistaken. We have been having rather intensive negotiations since 2017 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and reached the following outcome – about 800 megawatts of remaining stock in terms of projects and memoranda will be launched. Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) were originally signed, but suspended by the Government – prior to my term. These projects will be launched to build a power plant of 800 megawatts. Presumably, over a billion will be spent and we will also be tendering our 1500 megawatts. It is a direct investment of 2.5 BLN USD. In total, 1500 megawatts will be generated separately, in line with the newly approved scheme, which has already been considered and approved at the Executive Government Meeting. Second one is 800 megawatts. This is the minimum that will be approved now. Next year, in 2023 we will be tendering our other megawatts of hydro energy. Main focus will be on hydro. Wind and solar power plants will develop as well. We are working on the creation of additional capacities and plan to build thermal power plants in addition. We wish to announce these tenders as well. In total 600, i.e. additional 400 and 200 megawatts are within the interest of investors. Thermal power plant is intended. Overall, it will translate into an investment of some 3-4 BLN USD in the coming 2-3 years” noted Irakli Garibashvili.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili meets Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Published in Politics
Monday, 28 November 2022 14:35

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

At the meeting held at the Administration of the Government, the directions of strategic cooperation existing between Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan and prioritized by both countries were discussed. Readiness to further deepen productive cooperation was expressed. According to the Prime Minister, the visit of Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, is of special importance and emphasizes the exceptional relations between the two countries.
The conversation touched on economic cooperation.
The Prime Minister underlined that Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan are reliable transit partners, and the shared transport corridor offers access to reliable distribution channels and global markets.
Emphasis was placed on the functioning of infrastructural projects of regional importance at full capacity and the importance of Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation.
The meeting was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Georgia, Faig Guliyev, and the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Shamugia.
Press Service of the Government Administration

Economic Council Meeting Gets Held and Led by Prime Minister of Georgia at Government Administration

Published in Economics
Monday, 28 November 2022 10:40

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia held and led a regular meeting of the Economic Council at the Government Administration today.

Council Members reviewed the priority directions of the State Budget for 2023. It was noted that line allocations for the social security programs will increase, along with a funding for enabling the further economic growth in the country.
In addition, Council Members discussed the positive economic trends witnessed in the country and considered new economic initiatives.
Press Service of the Government Administration

 

Rishi Sunak to Irakli Garibashvili: Our close partnership on security and defence has never been more important

Published in Politics
Friday, 25 November 2022 12:21

At this challenging time and while we celebrate 30 years of renewed diplomatic relations, our close partnership on security and defence has never been more important, reads a letter by Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia.

According to the letter, the United Kingdom stands with Georgia in the face of continued Russian aggression.
“Dear Prime Minister,
“Thank you for your letter of congratulations dated 26 October.
“Firstly, may I say how grateful I was for your visit to the British Embassy in Tbilisi to convey your condolences on the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“At this challenging time and while we celebrate 30 years of renewed diplomatic relations, our close partnership on security and defence has never been more important. Please be assured that the UK stands with Georgia in the face of continued Russian aggression. The UK remains resolute in our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We will continue to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and press for the provision of unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to these regions.
“I am pleased that in early 2023 the UK will host the next Wardrop Strategic Dialogue, covering the full range of cooperation between our two countries and further building on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that entered into force on 1 January 2021.
“I also welcome the support that Georgia is providing to Ukraine. This illegal war has brutally reminded us of the threat that Russia poses to fundamental principles of international law, including territorial integrity. The UK’s support for Ukraine, like our support for Georgia, will not falter.
“I look forward to working with you to strengthen our partnership and reinforce the prosperity, peace and security of our peoples,” the letter reads.
Press Service of the Government Administration
 

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili meets Oliver Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 16 November 2022 12:17

The dynamic of implementation of the European Union’s recommendations and Georgia’s significant progress toward European integration were the main topics discussed at the meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Oliver Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement.

At the meeting held as part of Oliver Várhelyi’s visit to Georgia, it was pointed out that the year 2022 has seen an abundance of bilateral visits, which reiterates the high level of political dialogue between the EU and Georgia.
According to Irakli Garibashvili, the authorities are ready to fulfill assumed responsibilities in order to achieve rapid progress on the path to EU membership, and a number of important steps have already been taken in this direction.
As the Head of Government emphasized, it is important that the process of the Associated Trio member countries’ accession to the EU enjoys firm support from EU institutions.
The conversation also touched on the security environment in the region and worldwide. It was noted that Georgia is the EU’s reliable partner and ally in the region.
The key directions on the agenda of Georgia-EU cooperation and reforms implemented under the Association Agreement were discussed at the meeting.
Press Service of the Government Administration

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili meets Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic

Published in Politics
Friday, 11 November 2022 11:16

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Jan Lipavský, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

At the meeting, Irakli Garibashvili pointed out that the visit by the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic to Georgia during the Presidency of the EU Council underlines the firm support of the Czech Republic for Georgia’s priorities. In this context, emphasis was placed on the importance of the Czech Republic’s support in the process of European integration.
The conversation touched on Georgia’s considerable progress on the path to European integration. Irakli Garibashvili briefed the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic on the dynamic of implementation of the EU’s recommendations.
The conversation at the meeting also revolved around the First Summit of the EU-initiated European Political Community held in Prague. It was noted that numerous important and interesting discussions were held within the scope of the summit, with their participating leaders considering effective ways to solve existing challenges.
The discussed issues also included the regional and global security environments. Focus was made on Georgia’s key strategic location. The Prime Minister emphasized that Georgia can play a significant role in the diversification of transport routes and in terms of ensuring Europe’s energy supply.
It was underscored that Georgia is the EU’s reliable partner and ally in the region.
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Martin Dvořák, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to Georgia, Petr Mikyska, the Foreign Minister of Georgia, Ilia Darchiashvili, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Czech Republic, Mariam Rakviashvili, and the Head of the Government Administration, Revaz Javelidze. 
Press Service of the Government Administration

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia Holds Online Meeting with Odile Renaud-Basso, President of EBRD

Published in Politics
Thursday, 03 November 2022 10:01

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia held an online meeting with Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) today. Dignitaries spoke about the successful cooperation and avenues of future interaction between Georgia and EBRD.

The Head of Government of Georgia noted that EBRD is not only a loyal partner of Georgia, but has had a great contribution in the democratic development of the country. Most significant role of the EBRD in addressing the difficulties witnessed in the post-pandemic period was noted at the meeting.
Dignitaries also discussed the specific directions of sectoral cooperation, including the energy security and energy independence of the country, projects of regional importance aimed at the increase of power energy generation through exclusive green/renewable sources, Black Sea connectivity, various infrastructure projects, economic and structural reforms, strengthened role of the private sector, human capital and other.
The Prime Minister of Georgia expressed hopes towards continuing the existing fruitful cooperation. It was noted that support of the EBRD is priceless in the funding of priority areas of the country.
EBRD has so far invested over 4.9 billion Euros through 270 projects in Georgia, out of which a lion’s share is concentrated in the private sector of the country. Georgia is one of the largest beneficiaries of the EBRD.
Meeting was attended by the following officials of the EBRD: Klara Krol, Member of the Board of Directors Representing the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Croatia and Georgia; Thomas Revial, Director of the President’s Office; Matteo Patrone, Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus; Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, Regional Director for the Caucasus; Oleksandr Pavlyuk, Associate Director and Senior Political Counsellor; Tea Melikadze, Senior Banker; Francesca Foglia, Adviser in the President’s Office; David Managadze, Principal Banker for Power and Energy; Nina Davitashvili, Moderator of the Meeting. Georgian attendees included: Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development; Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance and Revaz Javelidze, Head of Government Administration.
Press Service of the Government Administration

Joint Media Statements by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 25 October 2022 12:12

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia:

“I am honored to host Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia today. I wish to thank Mr. President for visiting us. Considering the kind neighborly relations, strategic partnership and cooperation agenda existing between our countries, Your visit has the greatest significance. Herewith, I wish to note your immeasurable contribution in approximating the relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia and in strengthening our friendship and brotherhood. Truly unique relations and friendship exist between our nations. It is based on close historic ties and mutual respect. I am strongly convinced that such high level relations will be further strengthened for the benefit of our people and our countries.

We had a very important meeting today. A lot of topics were discussed in relation to the strong partnership and cooperation existing between our nations.  We reviewed the challenging situation worldwide and current global developments, of course. We touched upon the difficult situation within the region and we all agree that what is happening now in Ukraine should get regulated through negotiations. Also, I wish to note that great importance is acquired by peace and stability in the face of fast pace of changes and hard challenges within the region and around the world. Peace and stability are the core factors of development in our region and welfare of our people in general.
We also referred to the current situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia for the commencement of the peaceful negotiation process under the recent agreement. It gives us great hopes, of course. Once again, I wish to confirm hereby that Georgia and I personally, as well as our government declares full readiness for the continuation and facilitation of the peace policy, which we started together. I wish to note here that the referred Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative does not contradict, nor substitutes any other format of cooperation. On the contrary! It will help the process. I am confident that we will do a lot of significant work together again.
Mr. President, I also welcome the initiative voiced by You in Prague on the creation of a joint, tripartite discussion format facility in the South Caucasus.

We also spoke about the existing energy, economic, trade and transport projects, as well as their importance. Georgia is one of the most significant countries and friends of Azerbaijan, while Azerbaijan is the most important strategic partner of Georgia.

We also reviewed the significant strategic projects that are of historic importance. These are the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Gas Pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway, South Corridor projects of natural gas transportation and spoke about the significance of the Middle Corridor.
Mr. President, we confirm full readiness to intensify our relations to the maximum in view of the current and planned projects.
Lastly, I wish to quote your dear father – national leader of Azerbaijan –  a much respected person to us – Heidar Aliyev – and recall his words uttered in Georgia, during his visit to Tbilisi. He addressed the Georgian people with the following words: Azerbaijani and Georgian people are fortunate to have each other as neighbors and to have close relations. Our ancestors saw the fruits of this happiness. Our aim is to give an eternal life to these traditions and convey it to future generations. Thank you once again!”        
Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

“We are delighted to visit your beautiful country and I am happy to be at this gorgeous place. This wind reminds me of Baku and it confirms that even wind is welcoming us in Georgia. I thus feel at home.

I am delighted to be in your country again. We meet often with Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia. The Head of Government of Georgia was visiting Azerbaijan twice last year. We always meet each other at international events and are always eager to use these opportunities. I am confident that this visit will contribute to a greater development of relations between our brotherly nations.
It is all based on the relations enjoyed by our nations for centuries and we have a successful interaction on this solid basis. We have a strategic relation nowadays as an alliance, as we actively cooperate in many areas – both at the international level (within international organizations) and at the bilateral level.
We carried out a number of very important projects and they were important not only for our countries, but for the region and entire world.
As Mr. Prime Minister has already mentioned, we touched upon a lot of topics and continue to talk on other matters. Of course, current developments in the region and security issues were in the center of our discussions. Peace was established after the second Karabakh war. I informed the Prime Minister of Georgia about the current peace negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We believe that conflict resolution requires a Peace Agreement to be signed by and between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We already shared 5 key principles with Armenia. I hope that they will demonstrate the political will and start the peace negotiations to make sure that such a Peace Agreement gets signed with Azerbaijan.  If it happens, peace will be enjoyed in the South Caucasus and new opportunities will arise for cooperation.  We now have an opportunity to hold consultations between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. If Armenia is ready, we will be eager to start the process within this format even today.
As for the bilateral agreement and format of interaction with Georgia, we are happy that trade volumes are rising. In the last 9 months we exceeded 1 billion USD towards this end. Azerbaijan has invested significant funds in Georgia and investments tend to advance cooperation. We have overall invested 3 billion USD in Georgia and believe that it will be of mutual benefit.
Of course, we spoke about the future energy policy and exchanged ideas on the projects that have been carried out. In terms of operation, they are utterly successful. We look forward to the launch of new ones to increase the natural gas export to international markets. We plan to export 22 million cubic meters of gas and this volume will further increase in coming years.
We  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Azerbaijan and the European Commission and plan to double the export of natural gas to Europe during the coming 5 years. We have this capacity and plan to export almost 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe by 2027. Of course, we discussed this topic with the Prime Minister of Georgia. There will be new topics as well. Meanwhile, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Gas Pipeline will boost exports. This pipeline will increase the throughput volumes. We also wish to use Baku-Supsa Terminal. I know that it is idle at present, but wish to absorb this venue as well.
New projects envisage new initiatives in the power energy sector. Azerbaijan plans to export power energy to international markets. Of course, our routes will by all means go through Georgia. Our capacity is 10 gigawatts in terms of renewable energy. Through the Caspian, we can export 157 gigawatts. It is by international calculations and projections. We believe that it will be a new benchmark for exporting power energy and believe that Georgia and Azerbaijan will cooperate successfully towards this end. Overall, our cooperation potential will increase and grow, welfare and energy corridor prospects will advance.
I should also underline that cargo shipment between Georgia and Azerbaijan has increased by 75 percent. I should say that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway may be used to transport 5 million tons. Following year will witness more investments towards this end, in these corridors and more financial resources will be allocated. We plan to use this route to make sure that cargo is transported from the Caspian, through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Europe and new routes are absorbed.
We know that it is in the best interests of every country to have an increased use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route. Marine ports of Georgia will be used to channel cargo from Central Asia to Europe and vice versa. I believe that we have a potential and capacity to increase. New realities are shaping up and we should be ready for this.
I need to say that the International Trade Platform and Marine Port of Baku with its potential will increase from 25 to 50 million and more investments will be made towards this end. We need to closely cooperate in the transport sector with Georgia to make it a cohesive and joint effort. We need to develop relations with neighbors for the advancement of transport opportunities, as otherwise we will not be a reliable transit country.
We have a friend, neighbor and strategic partner in the face of Georgia. Overall, by taking into account the rising demand on energy carriers, Georgia and Azerbaijan are at the same front and we will work together to make sure that our national interests, i.e. interests of two brotherly nations are based on such bonds and shaping such significant relations that bring benefit to the entire world. Our friendship serves as a basis to this. With our nations, our countries and us – the leaders – I see this opportunity and thank the Prime Minister of Georgia for inviting me to this beautiful place, hereby wishing the friendly and brotherly people of Georgia eternal and boundless prosperity.”

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s meeting with Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Published in Politics
Monday, 24 October 2022 14:57

Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

At the face-to-face meeting held within the scope of the Azerbaijani President’s working visit to Georgia, the special friendly relations and strategic partnership between Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan were emphasized.

The high level of the two countries’ strategic partnership and active political dialogue were noted. Intensive cooperation in the directions of trade and economic was also underscored. Irakli Garibashvili pointed out that peace and stability in the region ensure steady economic development. It was noted that Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan enjoy close cooperation in the area of foreign policy, joining efforts to work on overcoming existing challenges.

Commitment was expressed to furthering the bilateral political, economic, cultural, and other ties between the two countries.

The conversation during the meeting also touched on the regional and global security environments.

 Press Service of the Government Administration

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