Georgia is a democratic U.S. ally that has sent troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the US Security Strategy, which is entitled “Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats” and is signed by 13 Congressmen.
The document refers to the strengthening of Georgia’s readiness and defense capabilities by enacting the Georgia Support Act. “The Task Force believes that Congress should continue to work to strengthen Georgia’s readiness and defense capabilities by approving arms sales to Georgia in support of its efforts against Russian aggression, offering military assistance, and improving Georgia’s interoperability with NATO. The Georgia Support Act, which has passed the House but not the Senate, mandates a report on how the United States can work with Georgia to counter Russian disinformation and ensure Georgian security needs. It also requires the president to impose sanctions against foreign persons responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses in the Russian-occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali”, reads the document signed by RSC Chairman, Rep. Mike Johnson; Rep. Ann Wagner; Rep. Jack Bergman; Rep. Ralph Norman; Rep. Rob Wittman; Rep. Michael Waltz; Task Force Chairman, Rep. Joe Wilson; Rep. Alex Mooney; Rep. Neal Dunn; Rep. Dan Crenshaw; Rep. Bryan Steil; Rep. Don Bacon; Rep. Clay Higgins.
The document also addresses the need to impose sanctions on the leaders of Russia's disinformation campaign. “Sanctions on Russia should be extended to the leaders of its disinformation campaigns. Additionally, current sanctions have not sufficiently addressed Putin’s foreign cronies who undermine the sovereignty of former-Soviet countries.”
“Bidzina Ivanishvili, the richest man in Georgia, is a close ally of Putin and involved in destabilizing Georgia on Russia’s behalf.” Viktor Medvedchuk is a proRussian oligarch and proxy in Ukraine who has used his media empire to actively assist Russia’s efforts to spread harmful disinformation within the country.282 Furthermore, the Department of State should produce a report listing Kremlin-connected oligarchs who help finance Russian military aggression through proxies and mercenary armies. Such a report would be useful for Congress to determine the necessity of future sanctions and would deter individuals and entities from working with the Kremlin.”
The authors of the document recommend to sanction Russian propaganda chiefs and those undermining U.S. partners from the former Soviet Union and to direct the Department of State to produce a report on Kremlin-connected oligarchs who finance Russian military aggression.
16th South Caucasus Media Conference - Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment
The 16th South Caucasus Media Conference titled "Strengthening media freedom and safety of journalists in a changing environment" will be held in Tbilisi on 9-10 October 2019.
The conference will gather participants from Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia representing the public authorities, media, journalists' associations, civil society, academia, and international experts to discuss the issues of the regulatory frameworks, safe working environment, and new media technologies.
The event will offer four plenary sessions providing an overview of media freedom developments in the region, as well as focus on news creation, quality journalism and distribution of media in the age of digital reporting; the safety of journalists offline and online in times of political change; and the regulatory environment for media freedom and media pluralism.
The working languages will be English and Russian with simultaneous interpretation.
The event will take place at the Hotel Marriott Courtyard Tbilisi.