Georgian Prime Minister meets with CEO of OMV Petrom SA which will explore oil and gas in Georgia

Published in Economics
Thursday, 11 March 2021 13:01

Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, together with Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava, held a meeting with the leaders of OMV Petrom SA, a company that will explore oil and gas in Georgia.

The meeting at the Administration of the Government emphasized the importance of this project. The relevant agreement places Georgia among the countries with oil and gas shelf exploration.

The project involves extraction, and collection, acquisition, and processing of geological and geophysical data for oil and gas extraction in the course of 25 years on the Black Sea's continental shelf.
The Prim Minister emphasized that the Georgian Government welcomes cooperation with OMV Petrom-a subsidiary of OMV, which ranks among Europe's top 10 oil companies-and is ready to provide support toward the project's successful implementation.

According to the Head of Government, the entry of such a large company reaffirms that Georgia's business environment, including in the area of oil and gas extraction, is transparent and appealing to world-class oil giants.

During the meeting, OMV Petrom was represented by CEO Christina Verchere, Exploration and Appraisal Director Bernhard Krainer, and Business Development and Commercial Director Jose Rafael Duque-Ramirez.

After the meeting with the Prime Minister, the relevant agreement was signed, at the Government Administration, by Giorgi Tatishvili, Head of the State Agency for Oil and Gas at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, on one hand, and by Jose Rafael Duque-Ramirez and Bernhard Krainer, on the other, as representatives of OMV Petrom SA.

On June 22, 2020, the State Agency for Oil and Gas LEPL at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development announced an open international competition for the general oil and gas license encompassing the Black Sea's license blocks 2 and 3. OMV Petrom SA, a member of the large Austrian oil group OMV, won the license to operate in block 2.

The tender's wining company will carry out 2- and 3-dimensional seismic exploration works, and drilling will commence in the last phase of the project. The value of the drilling phase will depend on exploration results.

The value of a similar project involving the exploration of the Domino well by Austrian OMV in Romania's territorial waters is 1.5 billion USD. Exploration work on the Black Sea is underway in Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. Exploration work has resulted in the discovery of large hydrocarbon wells in Romania and Ukraine. Bulgaria, where the company also operates, is close to a similar commercial discovery.

Press Service of the Government Administration

Irakli Garibashvili: Process will soon start for the selection of a new potential investor for the Anaklia Port Project

Published in Economics
Friday, 05 March 2021 12:54

Georgian authorities had always demonstrated unprecedented support towards the Anaklia Port Project. It was stated by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.

As noted by the Prime Minister of Georgia, irrespective of deferring deliverables at multiple occasions, investor failed to meet its commitments and therefore the process will soon start for the selection of a new potential investor.

"Authorities of Georgia, including the executive and legislative wings, demonstrated full support to the Anaklia Port Project. I wish to remind the society that Parliament of Georgia in its 9th Convocation indicated the Deep Sea Port of Anaklia as a key priority in the Constitution of Georgia. Principal and miscellaneous obligations of the investor were deferred at multiple occasions. Only the principal ones were deferred three times! Also, the Government acquired land from individual property owners in the total value of 58 million GEL and transferred the chain of custody to the investor. We also assumed the obligation to build a motorway and rail road to access the port. The Road Department of Georgia has blueprints ready for it. Besides, Partnership Fund was prepared to allocate a subordinated loan in the volume of 100 million USD to let the investor meet its obligations. Nevertheless, you may well be aware that the investor failed to meet its obligations and could not raise the required equity or borrowing in the volume of 400 million USD. We will be launching a process to select a new potential investor in the nearest future. Respective agency subordinated to the Ministry of Economy of Georgia will be announcing a tender in line with the procedures promulgated in the law. What is equally important, international consultants will be contracted to guide us in the selection process to identify the successful bidder" stated the Prime Minister of Georgia.

Press Service of the Government Administration

Parliament of Georgia Expresses Vote of Confidence to New Government Led By Irakli Garibashvili

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 23 February 2021 10:33

The Parliament of Georgia has expressed a vote of confidence to Irakli Garibashvili as Prime Minister of Georgia and the new composition of the Government.

The supreme legislative body of the country has unanimously supported the Government of Georgia led by Irakli Garibashvili and cast 89 votes for the Governmental Program branded as For Building a European State.

Two new portfolio ministers will be joining the new government. Juansher Burchuladze will be the Minister of Defense and Irakli Karseladze will serve as a Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

Seven ministers remain unchanged: David Zalkaliani as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gocha Lordkipanidze as a Minister of Justice, Vakhtang Gomelauri as a Minister of Internal Affairs, Natia Turnava as a Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Ivane Matchavariani as a Minister of Finance; Mikheil Chkhenkeli as a Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports; Levan Davitashvili as a Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture.

Press Service of the Government Administration

"Georgian Dream" nominates Irakli Gharibashvili for premiership

Published in Politics
Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:56

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party has officially nominated incumbent Defense Minister and previously Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili for the prime ministerial post, GD Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze announced after the meeting of the GD political council on Thursday.

Kobakhidze believes Gharibashvili would successfully lead the Cabinet.

“Irakli Gharibashvili is one of the GD leaders, former Interior Minister, Prime Minister, and current Defence Minister. Paramount reforms were implemented under his management. He is a professional with outstanding experience who can successfully head the government,” Kobakhidze stated.

Earlier today, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation following the court ruling to arrest the Head of the United National Movement opposition party Nika Melia. Gakharia said he failed to reach an agreement with GD over Nika Melia’s case.

Source: https://1tv.ge/en/news/gd-nominates-irakli-gharibashvili-for-premiership/

Statements Made Today by Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting

Published in Health
Friday, 15 January 2021 14:24

Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. It was stated by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.

As also noted by him, targeted restrictions resulted in a positively declining trend, though 1500 cases a day is still a high indicator for a country like Georgia.

"Almost a year has passed since we all together started a fight against the pandemic and this process continues both domestically and globally. As of today, we have 1177 cases resulting from the targeted restrictions that were imposed to lead to such a positively declining trend over 2 recent months. Nevertheless, we should all understand that in absolute numbers about 1500 COVID-19 cases a day is still a high number for Georgia. Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. We all see what is happening in Europe. Situation is worsening everywhere. Restrictions are getting tighter elsewhere, though we will extend the current restrictions in the country till February 1 in this case" noted Giorgi Gakharia.

According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, relevant agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Health are actively working with representatives of the real economy and businesses to come up with specific measures and to create a possibility for reopening the economy as early and effectively as possible.

"These are test schemes, matters relating to vaccination and others. The Ministry of Health will be submitting a plan that we worked on together with representatives of real economy and businesses. We will have to slightly adjust our scheme of work for the upcoming phase to make sure that our fight with the epidemic gets successful, enabling us to effectively reopen the economy. We see 3 new priorities in the fight with the pandemic. First one is to adjust the scheme of testing. You may well be aware that the volume of testing has been increased in the country and we should continue doing so. Second and equally important is to maintain targeted restrictions wherever needed, which have served to be effective. Vaccination is of course among our priorities" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

According to the Head of Government of Georgia, citizens will have all the quality vaccines that get authorization by the applicable international organizations.

"A lot of nonsense has been rumoured in relation to vaccination and we cannot even guess where these ideas or information come from. Designated Commission is established on matters related to vaccination, which is led by the Ministry of Health. The Commission has several aims and goals to achieve. First one is to address all the issues related to logistics. You may well be aware that different vaccines have different logistic regimes. Also, everything should be prepared for the readiness of the country to launch the actual vaccination. Second one is to define those target groups that will be vaccinated as a priority in the first instance. Third one is to ensure the supply of quality vaccines of international authorisation as early as possible not only through COVAX platform, but through other means as well. First two goals have already been dealt with by the Ministry of Health and a plan exists. They will be submitting it to the Council on Monday and will be endorsed at the upcoming Executive Government Meeting. Thus, no basis exists for any question marks. I once again stress that citizens of Georgia are to receive all those quality vaccines that will be authorised by applicable international organizations" stated Giorgi Gakharia.

In addition, targeted social assistance of citizens continues and applications are being lodged from individuals, who lost jobs in the second wave of the pandemic.

The Prime Minister of Georgia also explained that social allowances will be paid from January 28, 2021.

"It is 1200 GEL for 6 months. I wish to urge every citizen of the country to lodge their applications as soon as possible. As of today, 45 000 such applications have been uploaded to our portal" noted Giorgi Gakharia.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Georgia has ruled to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. Applicable permission was issued today by the Government to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Executive Government Meeting.

"Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia should be given permission to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. You may well be aware that it has a very important social significance for our citizens living in high terrain regions of the country, especially in winter and especially in Tusheti. Relevant means of mobility should be provided. It has been ensured for years by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support of the Government and this program continues" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

The Head of Government of Georgia also commented on the recent incidents occurring in Buknari village. In the opinion of Giorgi Gakharia, religious diversity is a wealth of the country and authorities are prepared to act in the most decisive manner every time an attempt occurs causing friction between the citizens of Georgia on religious grounds.

"Religious diversity is a historic reality and it is our wealth. We have been building our statehood over centuries. The Government of Georgia has always been and will remain to be a guarantor for each citizen to exercise their human freedoms and rights as promulgated in the Constitution of Georgia. We will never let anyone to limit human freedoms and rights in any form, though will neither allow anyone to provoke a friction between community members on religious grounds with any unlawful action. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already been instructed on this matter. The State and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will act in the most decisive manner wherever a slight, plain attempt occurs leading to or provoking a friction between community members on religious grounds" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.


Press Service of the Government Administration

Inter-Agency Coordination Council Discusses Current Epidemic Situation and Preparation for COVID Vaccination Stage in Georgia

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 05 January 2021 15:18

Current epidemic situation, new confirmed strain of COVID-19, intensive testing and preparation for the vaccination stage were discussed by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at its regular meeting held today at the Government Administration.

Detailed discussions were held at the Council Meeting on the current epidemic situation in the country. It was noted that volume testing was small in recent days. Detection of new cases was also minor and thus 2 316 confirmations today are related to people contracting the virus prior to the last 3 days.

New strain of COVID-19 was also discussed. One case has been confirmed so far in Georgia. It was noted that its clinical performance is similar to the previously known strain, though community transfer rate of this one is relatively faster and more caution is required on the grounds of information available at this stage.

Performance of the intensive testing as a process was also discussed by the Council, including the additional steps taken for the extension of scope and coverage of systemic target groups to make sure that the process becomes more effective.

Steps made by the Specialized Task Force established with the instructions of the Prime Minister of Georgia for the uninterrupted flow of COVID vaccination process in the country have been discussed at the meeting today as well. It was noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas diplomatic missions of Georgia are engaged in the negotiations held on behalf of the State with international partners and pharmaceutical companies to make sure that first dozes of the COVID vaccine reach the country as early as possible.

It was once again noted that effective enforcement of the imposed restrictions is required, along with all the recommendations that need to be adhered. They include the social distancing and uniform wearing of face masks.

Since the detection of the first case of COVID-19 in Georgia, 232 079 individuals have been proven positive through lab testing, out of which 222 787 individuals recovered and 2 646 died.

Currently 377 individuals are placed in quarantine, 763 - at clinical hotels and 4 012 - at hospitals under medical supervision.

The Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by the Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and Administration of the President of Georgia.

 

Press Service of the Government Administration

 

Imported Social Natural Gas Price Has Been Optimised with an Agreement Signed After a Meeting of Giorgi Gakharia and Rovnag Abdullayev

Published in Economics
Friday, 18 December 2020 10:40

Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia met Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR State Oil Company of Azerbaijan today.

Focus of the meeting was made at the kind neighbourly relations and partnership of Georgia and Azerbaijan in various areas. Special attention was paid to the investment projects implemented by SOCAR in Georgia and prospects of deepening cooperation in future.

It was noted that cooperation of Georgia with SOCAR is truly successful in the area of natural gas, which is once again evidenced by the optimisation of the social gas price in the country.

Namely, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia has been instructed by the Government of Georgia to negotiate with SOCAR a deal to import 200 million cubic meters of the so-called social gas with a reduced tariff from Azerbaijan to Georgia. Amendments were made to the existing agreement on social gas supply originally signed in 2016. Signing ceremony held today engaged Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia; Giorgi Bakhtadze, CEO of Oil and Gas Corporation and Rovnag Abdullayev, President of SOCAR after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia.

As a result of the referred agreement. Government of Georgia will be able to maintain the stability of natural gas price for citizens of Georgia.

It was underlined that after the completion of the fourth stage of the South Gas Corridor, which envisages the transportation of Shah Deniz gas to the European market, will channel higher volumes of Azerbaijani gas through Georgia. At the same time, the country will be able to purchase more concessional Azerbaijani gas to meet its domestic demand.

Meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia and signing ceremony was attended by Faig Guliyev, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of Azerbaijan to Georgia; Mahir Mamedov, CEO of SOCAR Energy Georgia; Elshad Nasirov, President of SOCAR for Investments and Marketing; Vagif Aliyev, Director of Investments at SOCAR.


Press Service of the Government Administration

Giorgi Gakharia on Michael Pompeo’s upcoming visit: It is yet another demonstration of the all-time high level of Georgia-US strategic partnership

Published in Politics
Thursday, 12 November 2020 15:34

During today's meeting of the Interagency Coordination Council, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia commented on the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to Georgia, scheduled for November 17-18.

The Head of Government emphasized that it is yet another demonstration of the importance and all-time high level of Georgia-US strategic partnership.

"Our meeting will firstly discuss issues pertaining to the US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, and we will, of course, speak about the current developments in the South Caucasus, Georgia's further democratization, and economic and security issues. These topics have been suggested by our partners, and we are preparing to discuss them. We all must understand that it is not just a visit by the Secretary of State of our partner country; it is also a visit by Georgia's friend, and we will do everything to make sure that this visit further deepens the remarkable strategic partnership between the US and Georgia, especially in the direction of the critically important ongoing developments in the South Caucasus which will have a serious impact on our country's everyday life, security, and future.

Consequently, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the challenges we are facing today, we must be fully focused on making ready for this visit," the Prime Minister said.


Press Service of the Government Administration

Statement by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 15:06

Another military confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia has created a grave situation. There are heavy casualties and, unfortunately, the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of dialogue has not been possible thus far.

We all understand that further escalation of the situation will have an extremely negative impact on the security of the entire region. We once again call on the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and international actors to make the most of the available opportunities to end the escalation and resume dialogue. As you know, our country has good neighborly relations with both countries, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Historically, our Azerbaijani and Armenian citizens living in Georgia have always played a great role in the development and strengthening of our country, as well as the entire region. At the same time, their peaceful coexistence is a good example demonstrating that Georgians, Armenians, and Azerbaijanis have the potential to turn the entire South Caucasus into an area of peace and development.

It is our common interest for peace to be established in the region as quickly as possible. Georgia is ready to facilitate this process in any way, including by hosting a meeting of representatives of the sides of the conflict in Tbilisi for the purpose of holding a dialogue.

Press Service of the Government Administration

Georgian PM Gakharia and European Commissioner Varhelyi Sign Financing Agreements Worth 129 Million EUR for COVID Recovery

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 11:03

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia held a meeting with European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi in Brussels.

The meeting focused on the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of the assistance provided by the European Union to Georgia was stressed.

The head of the Government of Georgia and European Commissioner Varhelyi signed two financing agreements with a total budget of 129 million EUR, which aim to improve the socioeconomic situation in Georgia as a result of the spread of the coronavirus. Giorgi Gakharia stated that the signing of the COVID-19 Resilience Contract and the Integrated Territorial Development documents within the framework of the visit is yet another confirmation of the special partnership between Tbilisi and Brussels.

The European commissioner emphasized the strengthening of transport and communication links, economic recovery, and development. The Prime Minister paid special attention to the importance of developing physical transport and communication links with the European Union in political and economic, as well as security directions, noting that the majority of the population of Georgia supports Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia's important role in the wider Black Sea Region was also stressed.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister spoke about Georgia's reforms and democratic development in accordance with European standards, in terms of which the country is a regional leader. Giorgi Gakharia underscored the recently implemented electoral reform, as a result of which the country has moved to a new stage of democratic development.

The parties discussed the difficult situation and instances of violation of human rights in the occupied territories of Georgia.
While discussing the occupation, the Prime Minister noted that 20 percent of not just the country's territories, but also its development and opportunities are under occupation. Giorgi Gakharia thanked the European Union for its strong support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The discussion also touched on the importance of implementing new initiatives within the framework of the Eastern Partnership and focusing more on bilateral relations with the associated partners. It was noted that Georgia is a leader country in the Eastern Partnership.
The Prime Minister also underscored the progress made by the state in terms of the reform of civil service, stating that a politically neutral civil service has been established in the country and that corresponding steps have been taken at the legislative level as well, which is one of the key components of good governance.

The meeting, which was held at the European Commission, was attended by Georgian Foreign Affairs Minister Davit Zalkaliani, Head of Georgian Mission to the European Union and Ambassador of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Luxembourg Nata Sabanadze, and Head of Government Administration Natia Mezvrishvili.

Press Center of the Government of Georgia

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