The Georgian MPs informed the French senators about the relations between Georgia and the European Union and the current situation in the occupied regions of the country.
The Chair of the EU Integration Committee, Maka Botchorishvili, and the Head of the Permanent Delegation of Georgia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Irakli Chikovani met with members of the European Affairs Committee in the Senate of the French Republic.
The session was chaired by the Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Senate, Jean-François Rapin.
Maka Botchorishvili dwelt on Georgia's priorities, the dynamics of relations with the European Union, and the role of EU enlargement in terms of ensuring security in the region.
The parties also focused on Georgia-EU relations and the progress achieved in the process of EU integration.
Irakli Chikovani drew attention to the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia.
The parties attached special attention to the security challenges in the region and the importance of the EU integration process.
The Parliamentary Delegation, headed by the Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Beraia held the bilateral meetings within the NATO PA sessions.
According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, Georgian MPs met with the representatives of Sweden, Finland, Turkey and Estonia and dwelt on the regional security and security challenges of Georgia, the Russian war against Ukraine, the Russian occupation and its consequences, as well as the conventional and hybrid threats that Georgia encounters.
Georgian MPs underlined the necessity of Georgia’s NATO integration and the acceleration of this decision emphasizing the necessity to further enhance the countering the security and hybrid threats for the national defense of Georgia.
According to I. Beraia, providing the drastically aggravated security milieu, the partners well realize the importance of Georgia’s membership, which makes Georgia optimistic.
“The NATO allies can make a brave decision in case of their political will and it is a good signal for us that Georgia’s NATO membership can be accelerated, which is the ultimate goal we look forward since the value-based choice of the Georgian citizens is to become a NATO member. We dwelt on the value of Georgia for NATO against the background of the increased threats in the region. We stressed that Georgia has not only the will but the capacity and experience to contribute to NATO security. When our partners aspire to diversify the energy resources and enhance the connection between the East and West, it increases the role of Georgia as a NATO member state. The partners strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country and pledged to further support us in all the formats and at all international platforms and in international organizations”, - I. Beraia stated.
The parties touched upon bilateral relations, Parliamentary cooperation and exchange visits.
The Georgian Delegation is composed of the First Deputy Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Giorgi Khelashvili and the Deputy Chairs of the Defense Committee, Vladimir Chachibaia and Teona Akubardia.
According to Droa, L. Ioseliani and representatives of Georgian Dream did not attend the PACE voting procedure where Russia was declared a terrorist regimeMonday, 17 October 2022 16:35
"On October 13, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to declare Russia a terrorist regime. The voting process was attended by 100 representatives of the member states, of which only one abstained from taking a position, and 99 unanimously declared Russia a terrorist regime.
The representatives of Georgian Dream, as well as the member of the Citizens party, the deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Levan Ioseliani, did not attend the mentioned vote and, therefore, did not support the declaration of Russia as a terrorist regime.
Only Khatia Dekanoidze (UNM) attended the voting from Georgia, who supported the said decision. This is confirmed by the data of the voting archive of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
This step once again emphasizes the loyalty of Georgian Dream to Putin's regime and the fact that Russia is a natural political and civilizational space for them.
For Georgia, as a state occupied by Russia and a country with a Russian colonial past, the mentioned fact and the pro-Russian rule of Georgian Dream are not only shameful, but also pose a danger for us to stay in the ruins of a defeated imperial state. We must do everything to get our homeland back and finally establish a place for it in the Euro-Atlantic family," Droa says in a statement and shares the relevant link: https://pace.coe.int/en/votes/39122
PACE calls for a review of cases of political prisoners opposed to President Putin, and for their release, including M. SaakashviliMonday, 17 October 2022 16:21
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls for a review of cases of political prisoners opposed to President Putin, in the Russian Federation and in other countries, and for their release, including Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukrainian citizen and former President of Georgia. The above is said in the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - "Further escalation in the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine", which was approved by the Assembly yesterday.
The resolution, among other things, talks about the repressive environment in the Russian Federation.
"The authorities have implemented a far-reaching crackdown on civil liberties based on intimidation and open persecution, with the goal to provoke a state of terror in the general public for political purposes. Democratic figures are being repressed or killed, the system of opposition parties has been destroyed, the judiciary is not independent and many media and civil society organisations, such as Memorial International, have been closed down. Despite the many draconian measures passed in recent years, anti-war demonstrations and protests have been breaking out across the country. Amongst the most prominent public figures being persecuted for voicing criticism against the war is Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has been detained since April 2022. On 10 October 2022, the Assembly was honoured to award Mr Kara-Murza with the 2022 Václav Havel Prize, affirming support for his courage and determination to create a peaceful, democratic Russia. The Assembly calls on the Russian authorities for the immediate release of Vladimir Kara-Murza. The Assembly also calls for a review of cases of other political prisoners opposed to President Putin, in the Russian Federation and in other countries, and for their release (including Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukrainian citizen and former President of Georgia)," reads the resolution.
99 out of 100 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe supported the resolution calling on European countries to declare the current Russian regime a terrorist regime, while one member, a Turkish MP from the Republican People's Party, abstained.
Givi Mikanadze, a member of the Georgian Parliamentary Delegation, addressed the participants of the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
G. Mikanadze informed his colleagues on Georgia's political and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the people of Ukraine.
Givi Mikanadze focused particularly on Russia's ongoing aggression in Georgia's occupied territories and the unlawful practice of "borderization".
The member of the Parliamentary Delegation expanded on the security challenges.
At the end of the speech, the MP reiterated
The PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights discussed the report of Givi Mikanadze on "The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on prison population in Europe".
The members of the Committee positively estimated the report, which will be voted on in November 2022 at the PACE Standing Committee in Reykjavík.
The draft of the resolution was prepared by the working group, which was led by Givi Mikanadze.
The research that formed the basis for the draft resolution looked at how inmates' rights were curtailed during the epidemic and how those rights were made up for in the correctional systems of 46 member nations.
The secondary goal of the research was to examine how staff members were involved in the use of preventative measures at the penitentiary institutions.
The draft of the resolution was created using the Council of Europe's guidelines and criteria.
STRASBOURG. “Today, we see the historically important results of dialogue in Europe, between Europeans. We see actions that have made Europe unprecedentedly stronger. Never yet in history was united Europe as strong as it is today. So, focus on everything that is needed to prevent the Russian terrorists from destroying our lives. This is the power of dialogue,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said to Assembly members this morning in his address to the PACE Autumn plenary session.
Together, he added, “we are isolating Russia. Together we are punishing it for the terror and making it feel the price of the war it has unleashed. Thanks to our dialogue we have very important programmes of support for Ukraine. Defence programmes, financial support, programmes to support Ukrainians, the ones who had to flee their homeland to save themselves from hostilities…”
This dialogue must continue, Mr Zelenskyy stressed, “to make Russia responsible as the aggressor state, and every Russian murderer and butcher for all the crimes of this war, for every manifestation of their terror. When legal mechanisms are created, when they start working, this will become one of the most powerful guarantees for long-term peace.” Europe can play “a historic role in creating a special tribunal for Russia's aggression against Ukraine. Let's do it. It will be the best way to protect the principles of international law,” he said.
Thanking the Ukrainian President for his intervention before the Assembly, PACE President Tiny Kox said: “the applause you just received shows how much we appreciate your courage, your determination, but also your wise words and the wisdom that you shared with us on how to bring this war to an end as soon as possible and to restore justice, national sovereignty, and the territorial integrity of your country.”
“We all consider Russia's unilateral aggression as an attack against the multilateral cooperation that is meant to protect all our citizens in Europe. That is why we try to do whatever is in our mandate to support your country and your citizens in these most challenging and dangerous times”, Mr Kox added.
During the address at the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the member of Parliament of Ukraine, Serhii Soboliev said that it's impossible to realise how Europe and the European Union can be without such nations as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
“it's very important to understand that as well, as it's impossible to realise how Europe and the European Union can be without the free nations of the Western Balkans, including Kosovo. It's also impossible to realise how Europe and the European Union can be without such nations as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. This report has the excellent possibility to understand that now we are all in one boat: a boat of democracy, but this boat must be protected, and must be protected not only by economical methods, but by military methods as well”, - said Serhii Soboliev.
In addition, the member of the Social Democratic Party Titus Corlățean noted: “all the time the EU enlargement process was a huge asset for the European Union”.
“It was the case with the Central Eastern former communist countries; it is the case now with some of the Eastern partners, such as Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and I hope also Georgia before the end of the year. It should definitely be the case, but not only in making reference to a European perspective. We should use the proper words”, - said Titus Corlățean.
The senator of the French Senate, member of the Union Centrists group, Claude Kern also addressed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He said that the European perspective of the Western Balkans should be strongly reaffirmed, without the difficulties associated with joining the European Union.
“The same goes for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova – and perhaps, I hope, one day for Georgia. But the pre-accession phase is a crucial step if we are to avoid importing systemic problems into the European Union”, - said Claude Kern.
Remind you that the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is holding in Strasbourg from 10 to 14 October.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by videoconference on Thursday.
There will also be addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.
Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, will present the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Europe.
The Organization’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić will hold the usual question time with PACE members.
Member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, addressed the press: "Creation of a new initiative group to impose sanctions against persons and organizations guilty of war crimes and genocide against the UkrWednesday, 12 October 2022 14:09
On October 12 at the Council of Europe, Oleksiy GONCHARENKO, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, addressed the press on the following issue: "Creation of a new initiative group to impose sanctions against persons and organizations guilty of war crimes and genocide against the Ukrainian people"
On 24 February 2022, Russia started a full-scale, unprovoked and unjustified military invasion of Ukraine. The purpose of this Russian aggression is to seize the territory of the sovereign, democratic and European state of Ukraine. In Ukraine, Russia is organising genocide and committing war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population.
The military aggression against Ukraine is the result of the collective actions by the political, military and civilian classes of Russia, often supported by powerful business owners.
Many of those responsible for initiating, supporting and committing the aggressive military action in Ukraine own property and bank accounts within the territory of the Council of Europe. Even after the outbreak of the large-scale hostilities, a number of persons who had been under Ukrainian sanctions but had not been under European sanctions, could move freely throughout the territory of the Council of Europe.
We, representatives of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Great Britain, Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, found a group to identity and ultimately impose sanctions on individuals and entities involved in the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and who are located on the territory of the Council of Europe and the United States of America.
The Council of Europe and the European Union impose sanctions based on their own information, the United States and the United Kingdom on the basis of their own again, and Ukraine on the basis of theirs as well. This leads to desynchronization of actions and sanctions.
We, the founders of this initiative, aim to synchronize and coordinate all these lists of sanctions.
We start with a list of 1940 individuals who are involved in the Russian aggression against Ukraine and against whom the Government of Ukraine has already imposed sanctions, but neither the Member States of the Council of Europe, nor the EU, nor the United Kingdom, nor the United States of America took any action against yet.
We are urging the European Commission, His Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, the Government of the United States and all the Governments of the Council of Europe Member States to impose sanctions against all 1940 individuals already on the Ukrainian sanctions list.
STRASBOURG. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on the European Union to give new impetus to the enlargement process to the Western Balkans, “rewarding progress in compliance with criteria” and fostering a climate of trust. “It is imperative not to lose focus of the Western Balkans, even if the need to support the European aspirations of other countries, such as Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, has emerged in the meantime,” the parliamentarians stressed.
The resolution adopted today in Strasbourg in plenary session, based on the report by George Papandreou (Greece, SOC), said that since the 2003 Thessaloniki Summit between the Western Balkans and the EU, the failure to adequately reward progress “had sapped political momentum and public enthusiasm”, and that the European vision had lost its shine, giving way to ethno-nationalism.
PACE called on the authorities of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo* “to address without delay the outstanding challenges”, and in particular to improve the political culture in order to ensure collaboration between political institutions and forces; strengthen the efficiency and independence of the judiciary; improve the functioning of the public administration; step up the fight against corruption; refrain from inflammatory discourse, including on ethnic grounds; protect the rights of national minorities and the freedom of the media; and promote reconciliation.
Finally, the Assembly considers that the Council of Europe, drawing on its expertise, should “redouble its efforts” to help the Western Balkan countries meet the EU enlargement criteria and, together with the EU, play a greater role in promoting effective regional co-operation, the normalisation of relations and the solution of bilateral disputes.
*Throughout this text, all reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.