The meeting of the two Chambers of the Parliament adopted, on Tuesday, with a majority of votes, a resolution regarding the European perspective of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and the Western Balkans. A decision to this effect was approved on Monday by the Standing Bureaus assembled. The text of the project was agreed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through this resolution, the Parliament reiterates its full support for the advancement of the European integration of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. Also, it supports the adoption of a positive decision by the European Council regarding the opening of EU accession negotiations with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, taking into account the "clear and substantial efforts and progress made by the two states in the implementation of EC recommendations", as well as the Union's commitment to supporting these countries in the European way. The Parliament calls for the continuation of European support for the advancement of Georgia's European path, including by granting the status of a candidate state for accession, "taking into account the clear pro-European orientation of the citizens of this state". The Romanian Parliament "encourages" the continuation of Georgia's efforts to implement the recommendations of the European Commission. Also, the Bucharest Legislative emphasizes the need for an increased commitment from the EU to ensure peace, stability and security in its Eastern Neighborhood, as well as in order to "develop all dimensions of the connectivity of the states in the region" with the European Union. The Parliament reaffirms its support for the advancement of the enlargement process in the Western Balkans "based on the merits of the candidates in fulfilling the assumed commitments, the attachment to European values and a clear pro-European strategic option". According to the resolution, the Parliament reiterates its readiness to cooperate and provide support to the Parliaments of the candidate and potential candidate states for the advancement of the accession processes. The text of the resolution invokes the right of any sovereign state to decide on its foreign policy and security arrangements corresponding to its national interests. The debate on the resolution also took place in the context in which the president of the Committee for Foreign Policy in the Senate, Titus Corlățean, proposed the adoption of a declaration in support of Georgia's European path.
US Embassy: The U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world
EXCLUSIVE The United States has become aware of a trend in Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic processes globally, according to the US Embassy in Georgia. Europetime was told in the embassy that the U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world. The United States on Friday released a U.S. intelligence assessment sent to more than 100 countries that found Moscow is using spies, social media and Russian state-run media to erode public faith in the integrity of democratic elections worldwide. The assessment was sent in a State Department cable dated Wednesday to more than 100 U.S. embassies in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa for distribution to their host governments. Europetime was curious as to whether there has been communication over the aforementioned matter with the Georgian side via the embassy. “The United States has become aware of a trend in Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic processes globally. It is well-documented that Russia seeks to influence the outcomes of democratic elections globally in favor of specific candidates and political parties. In response, the U.S. State Department has briefed more than 100 democracies on these Russian efforts and steps we can take in response. We also are speaking openly about these findings. The U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world. We are seeking to increase public awareness of and resilience to these Russian activities. It is critical that we work together, as democracies, to counter these Russian efforts. In our cable to the governments invited to the Summit for Democracy, we notified each country, privately, on whether we assess Russia had sought to degrade public confidence in elections held in their country. We are keeping these briefings confidential, even as we act transparently by sharing our general findings with the public,“ the U.S. Embassy said.
The United States and the European Union agreed to expand collaboration to counter foreign information manipulation and interference
According to a state department spokesperson, the United States and the European Union agreed to expand collaboration to counter foreign information manipulation and interference. The state department mentioned that “our support in Georgia complements the EU's recommendations and includes efforts to ensure Georgia's 2024 parliamentary elections are free and fair.“ „The United States strongly supports the EU-led enlargement process. We encourage candidate and aspirant countries - including Georgia - to seize this historic opportunity to realize their full potential and secure their future in Europe. Our support in Georgia complements the EU's recommendations and includes efforts to ensure Georgia's 2024 parliamentary elections are free and fair. We will continue to work with Georgia's Central Election Commission and international partners in these efforts. The U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world. Georgia’s adherence to democratic standards is key to its Euro-Atlantic integration. The United States and the European Union agreed to expand collaboration in countering foreign information manipulation and interference, to include support for like-minded partners, via U.S. and EU coordinated activities in the US-EU Summit Statement of October 20, 2023. The United States will always be a partner in supporting the governance, rule of law, electoral, and anti-corruption reforms that advance the long-standing goal of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. We are working with countries throughout the region, international organizations, and our European partners to make progress on these shared goals,“ a State Department spokesperson told Europetime. The United States released a U.S. intelligence assessment sent to more than 100 countries that found Moscow is using spies, social media and Russian state-run media to erode public faith in the integrity of democratic elections worldwide. The assessment was sent in a State Department cable dated Wednesday to more than 100 U.S. embassies in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa for distribution to their host governments. US Embassy: The U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world On October 20, the EU-US Joint Summit was held in Washington. At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted a joint statement reaffirming the commitment of the EU and the US to “supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and its European perspective”. The summit was attended by EU leaders, including President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, as well as US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The summit reviewed the close transatlantic partnership and areas of cooperation within the partnership. Discussions focused on EU-US relations, the situation in the Middle East, Russia’s war against Ukraine, trade and the economy, climate change and energy, green and digital transitions, sustainable development and financing, and global affairs, including the situation in the Western Balkans, Armenia-Azerbaijan, Africa, the Indo-Pacific, and China. With regard to Georgia, the EU and US representatives emphasized their “full commitment” to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as the country’s European perspective. On November 8, the European Commission recommends that the European Council grant Georgia candidate status. Noting that the Commission welcomes the reform efforts undertaken by Georgia in line with the country’s constitution, which envisages its integration into the EU as a priority, and overviewing steps taken towards the implementation of the EU 12 priorities since 2022, “the Commission recommends that the Council grants Georgia the status of a candidate country on the understanding that the following steps are taken”: Fight disinformation, foreign information manipulation, and interference against the EU and its values. Ensure a free, fair, and competitive electoral process, notably in 2024, and fully address OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. Finalize electoral reforms, including ensuring adequate representation of the electorate, well in advance of election day.
The European Commission recommends that the European Council grants Georgia candidate status. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, made the relevant statement at the press conference in Brussels. The Commission recommends that the Council grants Georgia the status of a candidate country on the understanding that a number of steps are taken. The press conference in Brussels, at which Von der Leyen and European Commissioner for Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi will present the report on EU enlargement to the media, started a few minutes ago. Commission adopts 2023 Enlargement package, recommends to open negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, to grant candidate status to Georgia and to open accession negotiations with BiH, once the necessary degree of compliance is achieved. In the case of Georgia, in light of the results achieved, the Commission recommends that the Council grants Georgia the status of a candidate country on the understanding that a number of steps are taken. Noting that that the Commission welcomes the reform efforts undertaken by Georgia in line with the country’s constitution which envisages its integration into the EU as a priority and overviewing steps taken towards the implementation of the EU 12 priorities since 2022, “the Commission recommends that the Council grants Georgia the status of a candidate country on the understanding that the following steps are taken”: Fight disinformation and foreign information manipulation and interference against the EU and its values. Improve Georgia’s alignment with the EU common foreign and security policy. Further address the issue of political polarization, including through more inclusive legislative work with opposition parties in Parliament, notably on legislation related to Georgia’s European integration. Ensure a free, fair and competitive electoral process, notably in 2024, and fully address OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. Finalize electoral reforms, including ensuring adequate representation of the electorate, well in advance of election day. Further improve the implementation of parliamentary oversight notably of the security services. Ensure institutional independence and impartiality of key institutions, notably the Election Administration, the National Bank, and the Communications Commission. Complete and implement a holistic and effective judicial reform, including comprehensive reform of the High Council of Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office, fully implementing Venice Commission recommendations and following a transparent and inclusive process. Further address the effectiveness and ensure the institutional independence and impartiality of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Special Investigative Service and the Personal Data Protection Service. Address Venice Commission recommendations related to these bodies, in an inclusive process. Establish a strong track record in investigating -corruption and organized crime cases. Improve the current action plan to implement a multi-sectorial, systemic approach to de-oligarchization, in line with Venice Commission recommendations and following a transparent and inclusive process involving opposition parties and civil society. Improve the protection of human rights including by implementing an ambitious human rights strategy and ensuring freedom of assembly and expression. Launch impartial, effective and timely investigations in cases of threats against safety of vulnerable groups, media professionals and civil society activists, and bring organizers and perpetrators of violence to justice. Consult and engage with civil society, allowing for their meaningful involvement in legislative and policymaking processes and ensure they can operate freely. The European Commission’s also reported on the progress by Georgia on the reform priorities in the European Commission Staff Working Document- Georgia 2023 Report accompanying the EC Communication document (as well as in its Key Findings Report on Georgia.) The results present a mixed picture of the country’s progress, in its pursuit of EU integration.
State Security Service: Citizen of Georgia killed as a result of shooting by Russian occupation forces
According to the State Security Service, a citizen of Georgia was killed as a result of shooting by the Russian occupation forces. According to the agency, the Russian occupation forces illegally detained another citizen of Georgia. "On November 6, 2023, near the village of Kirbali, Gori municipality, in the occupied territory, during the attempt to illegally detain a local resident, a Georgian citizen died as a result of shooting by the Russian occupying forces, and another citizen was illegally detained. Active communication is underway using all the tools available to the central government of Georgia", reads the information disseminated by the State Security Service.
Well-known Kazakh media publications “Elitar.kz” and “Kazakh. Inform” published an interview with Mamuka Murjikneli, General Director of Batumi Multimodal Terminal, which refers to the development of the Middle Corridor. As the journalist notes, the Batumi Multimodal Terminal is one of the most important on the road connecting Asia and Europe and is considered a strategic factor, and the proof of this is cited by the visit of the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan to the Multimodal Terminal in Batumi, as well as the fact that the terminal was created and functions with the synergy of Asian-American-Georgian partnership and cooperation. The interview's translation is provided by Europetime. The new geopolitical conditions in the region have changed many things and made the role of transit countries even more prominent and important. In this context, the role of Kazakhstan is very important. During the visit of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Ismailov to Georgia, one of the main topics was the importance and role of the Trans-Caspian international transport route. During a meeting with his colleague, the Prime Minister, the deepening of strategic cooperation between the two countries was emphasized, and especially the importance of the “Middle Corridor” initiative, which includes Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and which is aimed at increasing the attractiveness of this route for cargo transportation. The corridor will connect Central Asia, China and other Asian countries to Europe. A five-year road map has been developed outlining the responsibilities of each country until 2027. Considering all this, we think that our readers will be interested in an interview with Mr. Mamuka Murdzhiknel, General Director of the Batumi Multimodal Terminal in Georgia. Mr. Mamuka, if you can tell us a few words about the multimodal terminal, we know that the construction of the terminal did not stop even during the pandemic period and today it is already operating at full capacity. The necessity and purposefulness of these steps and the construction of the terminal as a whole, as can be seen from today’s point of view, was correctly seen, analyzed and assessed by your company. First of all, thank you for the interview and interest. Our company Wondernet Express Investment Group started the construction of the Batumi multimodal terminal in 2018, completed it in 2021, and today the terminal is operating at full capacity. The leading European design institutes and the world's largest suppliers of shipping and warehouse equipment took part in the development of the specified project. The terminal is fully automated and includes conveyor belt systems and a ship loader. It is equipped with modern equipment necessary for reloading mineral fertilizers, the latest filtration technology, and the terminal will be able to process up to 1,500,000 tons of fertilizers per year. Our partner is the American, largest trading corporation Trammo. We represent a symbiosis of Georgian-Uzbek-American investments and interests, which is very important and has strategic importance today. The main cargo we handle at this stage is urea, although our terminal's technical equipment and standards allow us to handle other mineral fertilizers as well. Receiving cargo at our terminal is carried out in a completely closed premises, as well as its storage and subsequent transfer to the vessel. We have a belt conveyor system, which means that we automatically transfer the cargo from the wagon to the warehouse and from there load it directly onto the ship in a closed premises. Mr. Mamuka, the importance of the Middle Corridor was emphasized in the interim report published by the EBRD, this factor and the importance of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route were once again emphasized during the visit of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr. Alikham Ismailov, to Georgia. And a few months ago, during the official visit of the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan to Georgia, he personally visited your multimodal terminal in Batumi. If possible, tell us a few words about this and your plans for the future. Thank you for this question, we are a private company, far from politics, but we think and understand our strategically important role and the role of companies like us. We feel and fully understand our function, so we constantly care and are focused on development. Here I mean everything, for example, infrastructure development, personnel training, as well as the idea of expanding the terminal itself. The visit of the prime minister of Uzbekistan to our terminal was really important and honorable for our company. This means that our hard work, responsibility and transparency do not go unnoticed, and we will definitely be considered one of the flagships when it comes to the middle corridor. I think that today's situation in the region has shown even more the need for cooperation between our countries, this mutual cooperation is now strategically important, Kazakhstan is the most important country in this regard, as well as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan. There is extraordinary mutual respect and love among our people, as a former diplomat, or rather an ambassador who worked in Central Asia, I know this attitude well and am pleased with my current status and new opportunities that I can still be in touch with countries and people that are important and interesting to me, my Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Azerbaijanis. And together with our friends we can implement and develop important projects and plans in terms of logistics. In this regard, the Batumi multimodal terminal is a new window at the Transcaucasian logistics crossroads, which begins in Central Asia, including Kazakhstan. As I already told you, I had the honor to work and represent my country as an ambassador to Central Asia. Over these years, I have had many good friends in these countries, which I am especially happy about. Also, one of the founders of our company, businessman Mr. Dmitry Abdushelishvili, comes from a family of diplomats, his father was the first ambassador of independent Georgia to the Republic of Uzbekistan after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and later his brother. Thus, in addition to business activities, Central Asia is a bond of deep cultural, human relations and connections for us, and therefore, we are even more pleased with each step taken towards our mutual rapprochement and mutual cooperation.
State Department: Russia is seeking to undermine democracies from within, the IC found that this Russian activity is global in scope
Russia is seeking to undermine democracies from within. The IC found that this Russian activity is global in scope, a State Department spokesperson told Europetime. „We have long known that Russia is seeking to subvert democratic processes around the world, and we are raising awareness that, as part of these efforts, Russia is pursuing operations to degrade public confidence in the integrity of elections themselves. To better understand this threat, the U.S. Intelligence Community undertook a review of Russian operations to undermine public confidence in democratic elections that took place between January 2020 and December 2022. The IC found that this Russian activity is global in scope. Russia is seeking to undermine democracies from within. In response, the U.S. State Department has briefed more than 100 democracies on these Russian efforts and steps we can take in response. We also are speaking openly about these findings. The U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world. We also will continue to work with other democracies to further these efforts. We are seeking to increase public awareness of and resilience to these Russian activities. „We will continue to work with our fellow democracies to advance these actions, including through new policy initiatives – like this multi-part exposure campaign,“ - a State Department spokesperson told Europetime. The United States on Friday released a U.S. intelligence assessment sent to more than 100 countries that found Moscow is using spies, social media and Russian state-run media to erode public faith in the integrity of democratic elections worldwide. The assessment was sent in a State Department cable dated Wednesday to more than 100 U.S. embassies in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa for distribution to their host governments. US Embassy: The U.S. government has and will continue to expose Russia’s efforts to undermine democratic elections around the world
NATO and Allies are stepping up patrols in the Baltic Sea following recent damage to undersea infrastructure in the region. The increased measures include additional surveillance and reconnaissance flights, including with maritime patrol aircraft, NATO AWACS planes, and drones. A fleet of four NATO minehunters is also being dispatched to the area. „We continue to monitor the situation closely, and we remain in close contact with our Allies Estonia and Finland, and our partner Sweden,” said acting NATO spokesperson Dylan White. “NATO will continue to adapt its maritime posture in the Baltic Sea and will take all necessary steps to keep Allies safe.” Since the Nord Stream sabotage in September 2022, NATO has enhanced patrols near critical undersea infrastructure and has promoted technological innovation – including with drones – to better detect any suspicious activity. Earlier this year, NATO created an undersea infrastructure coordination cell to deepen ties between governments, military, industry actors and NATO, and has since established the NATO Maritime Centre for the Security of Critical Undersea Infrastructure within NATO’s Maritime Command.
EU expresses "strong concern about Russia’s reported plans to establish a permanent naval base of its Black Sea Fleet in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia"
The European Union expresses strong concern about Russia’s reported plans to establish a permanent naval base of its Black Sea Fleet in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, an EU High Representative spokesperson says in a statement. As it is noted in the statement, "the military presence of Russia in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is illegal, it violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the principles of international law and international commitments taken by Russia, including the 12 August 2008 agreement and its implementing measures of 8 September 2008." "Should Russia proceed with the reported plans, it would further increase tensions and threats to stability in the region. The European Union reiterates its firm support to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders," the statement reads. On October 4, the de facto leader of occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, voiced an intention of Russia to establish a navy base near occupied Ochamchire, a seaside town some 35 kilometers away from Anaklia, a key maritime location controlled by the central government of Georgia on the Black Sea coast. Bzhania’s announcement comes when Russia’s Black Sea fleet, harassed by Ukraine at its Crimean bases, is being relocated to safer harbors. „Russia will reportedly build a permanent naval base in Abkhazia, but it will likely remain small. Russian-backed Abkhazian President Aslan Bzhania announced on October 5 that he had signed an agreement with Russian authorities for the construction of a permanent Russian naval base near occupied Ochamchire, Abkhazia. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the alleged permanent base in Abkhazia. Publicly available satellite imagery shows that existing port infrastructure near occupied Ochamchire is limited and that the surrounding coastline consists of sandy beaches — terrain largely unsuitable for the construction of naval infrastructure. The existing port is unsuitable to become a primary base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, but the Russian military could expand existing naval infrastructure and use the Ochamchire port as a subsidiary base in the future,“ - the American Institute for the Study of War reports in a study that it customarily devotes to the conflict fought by Russia in Ukraine.
U.S. Embassy: Allegations made publicly today against one of our assistance projects are false and fundamentally mischaracterize the goals of our assistance to Georgia
Decrying these “unwarranted attacks,” the U.S. Embassy reiterated that it will continue to support “Georgian organizations that are helping the people secure the future they determine and deserve, and to secure their basic rights guaranteed by the Georgian Constitution.” According to the Embassy, despite thee unwarranted attacks, they will continue to support Georgian organizations who support people to secure the future they determine and deserve and to secure their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Georgian constitution. „Allegations made publicly today against one of our assistance projects are false and fundamentally mischaracterize the goals of our assistance to Georgia. USAID has been supporting the Georgian people since 1992. As always, our assistance is transparent, and we welcome any opportunities to discuss any concerns the government may have. The right of citizens to freely voice their concerns and aspirations is foundational to any democracy and is a value shared by both of our countries. USAID has collaborated with CANVAS for more than two years to help people to speak up for the issues that matter to their families and communities. We have partnered with CANVAS to deliver training to mothers advocating for better cancer treatments for children, and to people advocating for the rights of elderly citizens in their communities. Despite these unwarranted attacks, we will continue to support Georgian organizations who support people to secure the future they determine and deserve and to secure their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Georgian constitution,“ reads the statement. Security Service Says USAID-funded Trainers were Plotting to Foment Unrest in Georgia. In a statement released today, the State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG) said three Serbian trainers, who were brought to Georgia to participate in a program funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), were actively recruiting activists with the intent of orchestrating the violent overthrow of Georgia’s lawfully elected government. SSSG said these trainers are affiliated with CANVAS – Center for Applied Non-Violent Actions and Strategies.
NATO Secretary General stresses enduring support for Ukraine in call with President Biden, transatlantic leaders
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined NATO’s enduring support for Ukraine in a call with transatlantic leaders on Tuesday (3 October 2023). “As Russia continues its brutal war we are all committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Stoltenberg said. The call was hosted by US President Joe Biden, bringing together G7 leaders with NATO and European Union leadership, as well as Poland and Romania as co-chairs of the Bucharest Nine (B9) group. Stoltenberg stressed the importance of continued support to Ukraine as the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace. He welcomed that Allies are sharing the burden equitably, with around half of the military support pledged for Ukraine coming from the US, and the other half from European Allies and Canada. He also highlighted the steps taken at the Vilnius Summit to bring Ukraine closer to the Alliance than ever before – including the removal of the requirement for a Membership Action Plan, the establishment of the NATO-Ukraine Council, and a major package to achieve full interoperability of the Ukrainian forces with NATO. The Secretary General visited Kyiv on 28 September, expressing NATO’s strong support in meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his government. The following day, Stoltenberg delivered a video address to the first meeting of the International Defence Industry Forum in Kyiv, stressing that “Ukraine needs capabilities: high quality, high quantity, and quickly.”
NATO will temporarily deploy Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance planes to Šiauliai, Lithuania. The first of two aircraft will arrive on Thursday (28 September 2023) and will fly missions to monitor Russian military activity near the Alliance’s borders. “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has increased our focus on the security environment in the Baltic Sea region,” said acting NATO Spokesperson Dylan White. “Our AWACS can detect aircraft and missiles hundreds of kilometres away, making them a key early warning capability for NATO. I thank Lithuania for hosting the aircraft. This is an important contribution to our shared security.” In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, NATO has boosted its air presence in the eastern part of the Alliance using fighter jets, surveillance planes and tankers. In the wake of Russian drone strikes near NATO territory, the United States last week deployed four additional F-16 fighter aircraft to Romania to enhance NATO’s air policing mission. Since February 2022, NATO AWACS have conducted hundreds of flights over Eastern Europe to monitor Russian warplanes. The AWACS will start their reconnaissance flights over Alliance territory in the coming days. The mission is scheduled to last several weeks. The aircraft belong to a fleet of 14 NATO-owned surveillance aircraft based in Geilenkirchen, Germany. Around 150 military personnel will deploy to Šiauliai in support of the aircraft.
NATO Secretary General calls for creation of a transatlantic quantum community, welcomes Denmark’s leadership
In a visit to Copenhagen on Friday (29 September 2023), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for the development of a transatlantic quantum community, harnessing the power of this critical technology for our security. In a joint statement with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the two leaders underscored the importance of closer collaboration among public, private and academic sectors, and the acceleration of responsible innovation. Speaking alongside Prime Minister Frederiksen at the Copenhagen Quantum Conference 2023, Mr Stoltenberg said: "NATO has always adapted to and adopted new technologies to keep our people safe”. He added: “with the rapid spread of disruptive technologies, we must adapt further and faster than ever before, including in the field of quantum…. We need to make sure these technologies work for us – not against us.” He further praised Denmark for being “a driving force behind NATO’s innovation agenda, and a leader in the field on quantum technologies in Europe. The Secretary General confirmed that NATO will have developed a quantum strategy by the end of this year, to ensure the Alliance is “quantum-ready” and “able to integrate the right technologies into our capabilities and protect against adversarial use.” Later in the day, the Secretary General opened the new NATO accelerator site “Deep Tech Lab – Quantum” together with the Danish Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen; the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Morten Bødskov; and the Minister of Higher Education and Science, Christina Egelund. The Lab will help start-ups from across the Alliance commercialise quantum-enabled solutions, as part of NATO’s new Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). DIANA consists of a network of test centers and accelerator sites across NATO countries, where innovators develop new technologies to solve pressing security challenges. The Deep Tech Lab – Quantum in Copenhagen is one of five pilot accelerator sites launched in 2023.
On September 12, a boarding team consisting of 12 officers from the Law Enforcement Tactical Group within the Coast Guard Department of the Georgian Border Police departed for Greece to join the NATO Maritime Security Operation (MSO) known as “Sea Guardian.” Following a successful four-level assessment by NATO, which took several years, the tactical units of the Coast Guard under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia were designated as operational partners for the “Sea Guardian” operation in the Mediterranean Sea in 2022. Georgia is the first non-NATO country to achieve this status. According to the Ministry of Interior press release, the inclusion of Georgian boarding team in the NATO operation underscores Georgia’s contribution to Euro-Atlantic security and enhances the Georgian alignment with NATO’s maritime components. Participation in this operation, conducted under the alliance’s auspices, marks a “significant milestone” in the deepening practical cooperation between NATO’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and the Coast Guard of the Border Police. The Ministry also emphasizes that this participation represents an “excellent” opportunity to “display the Georgian flag and deepen relations with NATO units”. Notably, NATO’s “Sea Guardian” operation stands as the sole mission focused on combating terrorism, facilitating unrestricted maritime navigation, bolstering maritime security capabilities, preventing illicit economic activities, and fostering awareness of the maritime environment within its operational zone. As outlined in the release, upon the arrival of Coast Guard personnel in Greece, a preparatory exercise will precede the commencement of the operation. Subsequently, following the training, the Georgian contingent will be deployed to a NATO naval unit, where they will participate in the NATO operation in the Mediterranean Sea. Source: civil.ge
The Argus Fertilizers 2023 Conference for Caspian, Black Sea, and Eastern European Markets was held in Istanbul with the financial support of Wondernet Express Investment Group
The Argus Fertilizers 2023 Conference for Caspian, Black Sea, and Eastern European Markets was held in Istanbul on September 14-15, with the financial support of Wondernet Express Investment Group. As part of the conference, Mamuka Murjikneli, the General Director & CEO of the company, participated in a panel discussion addressing changes in fertilizer trade flows in the regional markets and bulk cargo transshipment through Georgia. The annual Argus conference attracted up to 500 delegates from the fields of fertilizer production, logistics, and trade.
Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Zhou Qian emphasized China’s interest in the infrastructure projects of the “Middle Corridor”, in particular, the country’s readiness to participate in the Anaklia deep sea port project. He spoke about China-Georgia relations and the importance of the “Belt and Road Initiative” and the “Middle Corridor” region while talking to journalists after the conference in Tbilisi organized on September 6 by the Chinese Embassy and think-tanks GSAC and Geocase. “Generally speaking, we, Chinese companies and Chinese enterprises have interests in all infrastructure projects, the “Belt and Road” and “the Middle Corridor”. If conditions are good, Chinese companies have no problem to participate in the construction of Anaklia Port or other projects,” – Zhou Qian stated. Responding to concerns that Georgia’s close ties with China could pose a threat to its EU aspirations, Ambassador Zhou Qian emphasized the independence of both China and Georgia in choosing their strategic partners. He also pointed out that the EU and China have their own strategic partnership and noted that without their cooperation the Middle Corridor project will not succeed: “I have information that the EU is very active in the Middle Corridor, and I think this is another important platform for China-EU cooperation. This is not a problem for Georgia, maybe on the contrary,” – he noted. Regarding the significance of diversifying logistics opportunities between China and Europe, the Ambassador stated that the Middle Corridor assumes a critical role in China-Europe logistics. The Ambassador Qian also noted that the Middle Corridor encompasses more than just logistics: “The Middle Corridor is not only about logistics, we also want to benefit from tourism. As we say in China, if you want to get rich, build roads first. That is why the Middle Corridor is important for Georgia’s future prosperity.” In addition, the Ambassador was asked about why the China-Georgia strategic partnership document didn’t mention the occupied territories of Georgia, to which the Ambassador stressed China’s principled stance on supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, underlining its significance in Chinese policy. “I think this is a deliberately wrong approach to the document. We support the territorial integrity of Georgia, and this has been reaffirmed in many documents between the two governments before.” – Zhou Qian stated. Source: civil.ge
Wagner chief Prigozhin listed as passenger on plane that crashed with no survivors, Russian authorities say
(Reuters) Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was listed as a passenger on a private jet which crashed on Wednesday evening north of Moscow with no survivors, the Russian authorities said. There was no confirmation that Prigozhin was physically on board and Reuters could not immediately confirm that he was on the aircraft, which crashed north of Moscow. "An investigation has been launched into an Embraer plane crash that occurred tonight in the Tver region. According to the passenger list, the name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin is among them," Rosaviatsia, Russia's aviation agency, was cited as saying by the state TASS news agency. Russia's emergency situations ministry said in a statement that a private Embraer Legacy aircraft travelling from Moscow to St. Petersburg had crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver Region. It said that 10 people had been on board, including three crew members. According to preliminary information, everyone on board had been killed, it said. Prigozhin, 62, spearheaded a mutiny against Russia's top army brass on June 23-24 which President Vladimir Putin said could have tipped Russia into civil war. The mutiny was ended by negotiations and an apparent Kremlin deal which saw Prigozhin agree to relocate to neighbouring Belarus. But he had appeared to move freely inside Russia after the deal nonetheless. Prigozhin, who had sought to topple Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff, on Monday posted a video address which he suggested was shot in Africa.
State Department: It’s important the Georgian government to ensure the Anaklia port project will be transparent and adhere to the rule of law
The State Department answered the questions by Europetime regarding the priorities of the Black Sea strategy. Europetime asked where the Anaklia port project fits within this plan. According to a spokesperson, the United States has been a strong supporter of the Anaklia deep water port for years, as it is projected to be a very important contribution to Georgia's economy and the development of the Trans-Caspian transportation corridor. The State Department has submitted a report to Congress describing its strategy for the Black Sea region „On the Anaklia project, The United States has been a strong supporter of the Anaklia deep water port for years as it is projected to be a very important contribution to Georgia's economy and the development of the Trans Caspian transportation corridor. It’s important the Georgian government ensure the project will be transparent, adhere to the rule of law, and take into consideration the long-term security and prosperity of Georgia’s citizens. On the Black Sea Strategy: The Black Sea Strategy is a vision for a Black Sea that is secure, prosperous, interconnected, and free from threats to territorial integrity, economic coercion, and malign influence. It encourages agencies across the United States Government to work with partners bilaterally and multilaterally to ensure regional security, boost regional economic cooperation, provide clean and secure energy, strengthen rule of law, promote respect for human rights, combat corruption, and counter disinformation. Through this Strategy, the United States will strengthen our partnerships to promote peace and prosperity for all. The Strategy also outlines our approach to addressing the immediate and long-term repercussions brought upon the region by Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine,“ a State Department spokesperson told Europetime.
The State Department comments on the establishment of a strategic partnership between Georgia and China
The State Department comments on the establishment of a strategic partnership between Georgia and China. „We have no objection to investments or engagements by any other country, including from the PRC. The concerns we have had are making sure these activities are done transparently and according to the rule of law, with sustainable financing, and with respect for the autonomy of aid recipients so there are not any political strings attached. Ultimately, countries will make their sovereign decisions about with whom they want to do business or invest. The PRC often makes many promises in exchange for diplomatic recognition that ultimately remain unfulfilled. We will continue to monitor next steps closely“ a spokesperson at the State Department told Europetime. The Administration of the Georgian Government published a joint statement on the establishment of a strategic partnership between Georgia and China.
The Romanian Ambassador to Georgia welcomes a new ferry service between Romania and Georgia: It strengthens the connection between our countries and the two shores of the Black Sea
The Romanian Ambassador to Georgia, Razvan Rotundu, welcomes a new ferry service between Romania and Georgia. „It strengthens the connection between these countries and the two shores of the Black Sea“, ambassador Rotundu told Europetime. „We are really happy with the launch of the ferry line between Constanta and Poti. It strengthens the connection between our countries and the two shores of the Black Sea. The potential of this corridor is high, as it may connect the wider regions the EU as well as the South Caucasus and Central Asia.Constanta port offers a direct connection with the Danube, allowing the cargo to be transported to Central and Western Europe. We are also satisfied that the ferry offers service for both cargo and passengers", - ambassador Razvan Rotundu told Europetime. Some background There is now a brand-new ferry service running between Georgia and Romania. On June 27, 2023, the first voyage was place, leaving from the port of Constanta and arriving at the port of Poti after two nights at sea. The ferry service, which transports both people and goods, is run by the Georgian business E60 Shipping. A document establishing the Black Sea-Caspian Sea Freight Transport Corridor was signed in March 2019 by Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, creating new opportunities for connectivity and regional development in the area. They stated that this new corridor will be the shortest, most profitable way to connect Central Asia to Europe through the two seas. Read more: State Department: We recognize the opportunities for Georgia to play an important role in connecting Central Asia to Europe through the middle corridor