USAID Program in Georgia to create 2 000 working place
In case of increase USAID Program in Georgia 2 000 working place will be created – this statement was made by the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili at the joint press conference with US Secretary in State John Kerry.
“This visit has concrete results in bilateral cooperation issue. We have signed the important document which means deepening defence and security cooperation between Georgia and US. One more document was signed by us today. This is education cooperation. This is the exchange program which gives the opportunity of scholarship,”-Giorgi Kvirikashvili said.
According to him, the sides also discussed USAID program.
TURKMENISTAN HOLDS AN ACTIVE POSITION ON RESISTING THE CLIMATE CHANGE
On 21 April 2021, upon the invitation of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev took part in the virtual roundtable on climate change.
The event in participation of authorized representatives from dozens of world countries is taking place in the framework of the preparations to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) planned to take place in Glasgow in November of current year.
The participants of the roundtable discussed a wide range of issues in the area of climate change, including the mobilization of efforts of the state and private sectors, the opportunities for providing assistance to the vulnerable countries in adapting to the climate impacts and the role of embedding the innovations into the given process.
Speaking at the roundtable, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev voiced the cardinal actions of the Turkmen side on overcoming the global climate crisis on the national, regional and international levels.
Turkmenistan stands for the proactive and long-term international partnership and the development of ecological diplomacy. During the roundtable, the national programmes and strategies of Turkmenistan were voiced, which among others provide for the collective preventive measures on combatting the climate change, transition to the use of ecologically clean and resource-saving technologies, as well as the attainment on the national level the zero level and decrease of greenhouse gas emissions until 2030.
DETAILS RELEASED OF GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN TO STRANGLE ANAKLIA PORT PROJECT
Ruling Georgian Dream Party Reversed its Support for Vital Project,
Wiping Out Economic Benefits for Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 9 September, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project, today shared additional details of the Government’s campaign, directed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, to undermine the project by dissuading potential project investors, lenders, contractors and suppliers from joining the project in order to kill it.
The following statement is issued on behalf of the ADC Supervisory Board:
“All infrastructure projects of such scale require government support; namely the encouragement of lenders and investors, the assistance in permitting, regulatory approvals and a favorable tax regime, and providing any ancillary support; in this instance, the provision of land and the construction of road and rail infrastructure. For a government to actually oppose an infrastructure project that it had itself approved is highly unusual in the global economy.
“The Georgian Government’s campaign to strangle ADC’s ability to develop the Anaklia Port Project represents a self-inflicted wound for itself and considerable injury to Georgia’s economy and its role in the region.
“Taken together, the Georgian Government's specific actions are part of a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to destroy a project which the Government itself originally sponsored and endorsed, but subsequently chose to destroy as a result of what appear to be the political and economic self-interests of the Georgian Dream Party and its principals.
“The Government manufactured all sorts of excuses for not wanting to see various investors, lenders and partners involved in the project, but the Government really only had one purpose: to choke the project to death by scaring away everybody who might have an interest in supporting it.
“Also, is it beyond coincidence that government ministers – including two Prime Ministers -- who voiced support for the project or otherwise expressed concern about the growing controversy with the project were tendering their resignations shortly after such comments were made?
“The damage to Georgia caused by the Government goes well beyond the potential loss of the Anaklia Port and the associated Special Economic Zone. The conduct of the Government is scaring away investors at a time when Georgia cannot afford to lose any more foreign investment. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of foreign direct investment in Georgia has fallen from nearly US$ 2 billion in 2017 to just over US$ 1.3 billion in 2019, and in the first quarter of 2020, stood at only US$ 171.8 million - a catastrophic decrease even before the Covid crisis began to take effect. As Retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges of the Center for European Policy Analysis said, ‘the government only has itself to blame.’”
Some examples of the Government’s efforts to strangle ADC and the Anaklia Port Project include:
- Georgian Dream party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili requested to meet with ADC to discuss the Anaklia Port Project and asserted that the expansion of Poti Port could achieve the same objectives of the Anaklia Port at a far lower cost.
- During a June 12 meeting of the Georgian Dream party, attended by more than 100 party officials, Party Leader Bidzina Ivanishvili personally blamed Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his actions in support of the Anaklia project and for having close ties to ADC investor Mamuka Khazaradze. Mr. Kvirikashvili resigned the day after that meeting.
- In February 2019 ADC learned that during an October 2018 meeting with senior U.S. State Department officials in Tbilisi, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia (then Minister of Interior) advised the U.S. officials that the Anaklia Port project was not in Georgia’s interests.
- SSA Marine, which was selected as the Anaklia Port operator and was a potential investor, alerted ADC of its concerns about what seemed to be the Government’s support of an expansion of the Poti Port. (Following detailed studies sponsored by the Government back in 2013-14, it had been determined that Poti Port could never meet Georgia’s needs for a Deepwater Port, which is why the government itself selected Anaklia for development at that time. The Government’s subsequent expressions of support for expansion at Poti was a clear signal to the lending and investment community that the Government was no longer supportive of Anaklia.)
- A sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it had decided against supporting the project because of the negative actions of the Georgian Government, and the possible shift of support to the Poti Port.
- Another sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it was withdrawing its support because one of its counterparts had just done so (above) due to the state’s apparent shift of support from Anaklia to Poti.
- It has been reported that Infrastructure Minister Maya Tskitishvili, in ministerial hearings before Parliament, undermined SSA Marine as a potential investor and as the port operator, claiming the company lacked experience and financial capacity. These assertions were not true. In the process of her speech, the minister also breached legal obligations of confidentiality that were associated with the investment agreement.
- SSA Marine advised ADC that it was suspending its activities related to the Anaklia Port project.
- Mr. Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, told “Forbes Week” that the negative public discussions and media reports of the Anaklia project were having a negative impact on the business climate within Georgia. He subsequently resigned within days of the interview.
- A major U.S. private equity firm which was in advanced negotiations with ADC to join the project revealed to ADC that Government officials warned the firm to stay away from the project.
- Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, in a trade visit to the U.S., met separately with SSA Marine, the leadership of the U.S. private equity firm that were interested in investing in the project, and with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo expressed support for the Anaklia project with the prime minister standing next to him, saying it would “strengthen Georgia’s ties with free economies and not allow Georgia to be under the economic influence of Russia or China.” Upon his return to Georgia, Mr. Bakhtadze resigned, and this again put the project in unchartered waters.
- At a meeting in Tbilisi, a large Hong Kong-based private equity group with significant Central Asian transportation synergies that was considering joining the project was told bluntly by Infrastructure Minister Tskitishvili that the Government did not desire their participation in the project. At this same meeting Ms. Tskitishvili reaffirmed the Government’s seeming opposition to SSA Marine’s involvement in the project.
- Giorgi Volski, Vice Speaker of Parliament, falsely claimed that the Hong Kong private equity group mentioned above is a “Russian” company, with the intention either of disparaging it or sowing further confusion about the government's position in respect of the project.
- In a meeting between Prime Minister Gakharia and an Anaklia Supervisory Board member, Mr. Gakharia stated that “things had to get quiet” before he could reassure the major potential U.S. investor of the state’s support for the Anaklia Project, which the board member understood to be a condition that ADC and Mr. Khazaradze stop criticizing the government publicly on its opposition to the Anaklia Project, and the government would stop criticizing ADC.
- Also, the Supervisory Board was promised a letter of support to a U.S. investor from the highest levels of the Government, but this never materialized, even though ADC did comply with the Government’s request.
- A delegation from the U.S. (in Tbilisi to participate in the 5th annual Tbilisi International Conference sponsored by the McCain Institute) met with new Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and subsequently with Mamuka Khazaradze. Representatives of the delegation told Mr. Khazaradze that Prime Minister Gakharia told them the Anaklia project was not commercially viable when this was patently not the case.
- Fadi Asly, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is quoted in the media saying, “No one will invest in Anaklia project as long as Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to destroy it.”
Taken together, these are only a selection of the instances where the Government of Georgia actively undermined the project in an effort to prevent ADC from developing the project. ADC intends to present evidence during the upcoming arbitration proceedings to demonstrate the degree to which the Government took such steps.
Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com
Statement of the State Security Service of Georgia
In relation to the information disseminated via mass media, we would like to inform you, that the Counterterrorism Center of the State Security Service detained a citizen of the Russian Federation on charges of purchase and storage of forged documents envisaged by article 362, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
The accused individual – V.B. has been detained in the framework of an investigation of a criminal case launched into the fact of preparation of murder by contract, which has been carried out by the State Security Service on the basis of respective operational information.
Throughout the process of investigation of the mentioned criminal case, in order to obtain evidence and attach it to the case in line with criminal procedure, on the basis of judge’s orders, numerous overt and covert investigative activities have been carried out; furthermore, operational control over V.B and his contacts have been continuously underway, due to which, a crime committed by V.B., in particular, the fact of purchase and usage of the forged documents by V.B. has been outlined. On the basis of authentic and consolidated evidence obtained by the investigation, the investigative authority took a decision to detain V.B., as a result of which the exposed individual on the one hand has been brought to justice and at the same time a graver crime has been prevented.
It is worth mentioning that intensive investigative activities are ongoing into the case on the very stage, numerous forensic examinations are scheduled, additional information is requested within the framework of international cooperation, through Interpol channels, witnesses are being interviewed.
On the basis of the above-mentioned, State Security Service of Georgia calls on every person, including a party of the criminal case, refrain from disseminating of any clarified or unclarified information so that the investigation is not obstructed, dissemination of significant and/or fake information is prevented, that eventually will damage a major public interest – to establish an objective truth in relation to the case.
Press release of the State Security Service
Statement of the State Security Service of Georgia
"Foreign media has released the photos of cartridges of firearms, used in the course of a terrorist attack that took place in New Zealand. Symbols and inscriptions in various languages, including Georgian are inscribed on them. The State Security Service of Georgia has already established cooperation with the strategic partners, in order to receive information on the individuals detained, as well as the weapons seized in the course of the terrorist attack.
The State Security Service of Georgia expresses its condolences to the people of New Zealand over a terrorist attack," reads the statement.
The attacks in two mosques of New Zealand has killed at least 40. Four people are believed to be in custody, including three men and one woman. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they were not on terror watch lists. Daily Mail has released photos, one of which shows the shooter's weapons marked with the names of other people who, according to the edition, have carried out attacks. The names are written in various languages, including Georgian. In particular, the weapons are marked in Georgian with the names of Davit Aghmashenebeli and Davit Soslani.
The EU Monitoring Mission hosts a Medical Security Course in TbilisiThe EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Georgia hosted a Medical Security Course in the Mission Headquarters, Tbilisi, between 22 and 27 November 2018.The course is conducted for civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Missions by the Swedish Contingencies Agency (MSB). This Medical Security training was developed by the MSB specifically for CSDP Mission safety and security personnel.A total of 14 students, coming from EUAM Ukraine, EUAM Iraq, EUCAP Somalia, EUPOL COPPS, EUCAP Niger, Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) and the host Mission, participated in the course.This Medical Security Course is a comprehensive theoretical, practical and simulation based five-day long course. Its main goal is to give the course participants the knowledge, skills and ability required to prevent and respond in cases of medical emergencies in a safe, secure, timely and effective manner.The MSB Senior Programme Officer and the point of contact in CPCC Security and Duty of Care Office were present during the training.The EUMM has hosted various training courses in the past and welcomes such courses. This was the third Medical Security Course hosted by the EUMM this year.