Russian cellular annexation in Georgia
07 November, 2013
Russian cellular annexation in Georgia
Russian communication companies continue illegal operations within the disputed regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since 2008 Georgia has regarded Russia’s activity there as economic annexation, and reported it both to the Russian government and responsible international organizations, but to no avail.
Now the new Georgian authorities plan to initiate legal proceedings against MTS, the biggest mobile operator in Russia in terms of subscriber base, as of 2012; its signal has recently been picked up in Georgian territory, just 200
meters from the de-facto border between Georgia and its breakaway republic of South Ossetia. This Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili reported during a meeting with Georgian media on 28 October 2013. According to the Prime Minister, Polish journalists caught the MTS signal “Welcome to Russia” near the de-facto border, and reported it to Georgian authorities promptly.
“This is outrageous and I would take a chance and appeal to Russian authority to refrain from this kind of misunderstanding,” Ivanishvili stated indignantly. “I do not know whether or not this is agreed with by the [Russian] authority but this is a Russian company, we have taken photos and interviews from Polish journalists, will also hold further tests and will have a strong reaction on it by all means. We will demand responsibility for this, I mean from authorities too, that this is not Russian but Georgian territory and those wires are just some sort of misunderstanding.”
MTS denied the allegation, saying the company has no base station in either South Ossetia or Abkhazia, thus implying it cannot perform the illegal service. But as the Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC), a communication regulatory body, informed Georgian Journal, they already had done monitoring near the occupied territory of South Ossetia, and an illegal cell signal was discovered, though the Commission still cannot say whether or not it belongs to MTS. “Therefore we continue working to get undisputable evidence, and will start due administration procedures only afterwards,” GNCC elaborated.
Georgian authorities meanwhile assigned Justice and Foreign ministries to address the illegal operation of Russian companies in Georgian occupied territories and discuss the problem from the point of view of international law. But how effective that will be remains to be seen. The MTS case is just another in a long soap-opera of Russian communication companies operating in Georgian territory without licenses. For more than 8 years there have been multiple breaches: first of all, the Russian companies violate Georgian law prohibiting any kind of economic activity there without special permission of Georgian authority; secondly, they violate Georgian communication as well as competition law banning unlicensed activity.
As a result, they inflict significant financial losses on legally operating cell companies in Georgia that paid tens of millions (USD 20-26 million approximately) for licenses covering the entire territory of Georgia, including the conflict zones where in fact they cannot operate, whereas those who paid nothing to the Georgian state budget make profits within the conflict zones.
In 2008-2010 GNCC took action against Russian cell and TV companies operating illegally in Georgian conflict zones, but without success. For example, in 2008-2009 GNCC imposed five fines on MegaFon that accrued to GEL 1 million ultimately; also GEL 50 thousand and GEL 500 thousand fines were imposed on Russian broadcasting companies including Public Broadcast Company of Russian Federation, Rossia, NTV, NTV+ and TV-Center; and the Commission sent the due paper-work to the Prosecutors’ Office of Georgia, to the Russian communication ministry, as well as the International Telecommunication Union and GSM Association, seeking to curb the illegal activity of Russian companies in Georgia, but all without effect. Most probably, all the violator companies still continue their illegal business in Georgian territory, GNCC presumes, but cannot say for sure until the tests now underway are completed.

Print
Other Stories
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
Georgian designers presented at Fashion World Tokyo 2019
The products of 11 Georgian designers are showcased at Fashion World Tokyo 2019,
Silknet raises $200 million in Eurobond issue
27 March 2019 - JSC Silknet (“Silknet”), one of Georgia’s leading telecommunications operators, has successfully priced a debut $200 million 5-year 11% senior unsecured bonds issue (the “Notes”).
Pistachio trees will be planted in Georgia
Dozens of hectares of Pistachio are planned to be planted in Georgia this year.
Toyota Safety Sense and Hybrid Technology
Toyota Caucasus, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla at Rustavi International Motorpark, several days ago.
Bidzina Ivanishvili “became number one oppressor of businesses in Georgia” - ICC Georgia chairman Fady Asly
Mr. Ivanishvili promised the business community to protect them from harassment and pressure, unfortunately his words died with the sunset of that day
The best brands of Belarus will be exhibited on a large-scale exposition in Tbilisi
"The Belarusians like to come to Georgia to relax near the sea in Batumi as well as to stay in sunny Kakhetia."
Don’t treat business like a hooker! - Georgian businessman Vasil Soprpmadze addresses politicians
Businessman Vasil Sopromadze, founder of the company "Fresco", addresses politicians
RAV4 No Compromise and Corolla Set to Impress – Two New Cars Presented by Toyota
Toyota Caucasus, the company constantly aspiring to greatness, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla.
Mamuka Khazaradze quits TBC bank, does not sell the TBC Bank share
I made a decision to leave TBC bank where I spent 27 years of my life
10 Reasons to buy an apartment in the suburbs
There is a tendency for Tbilisi dwellers to move from central parts of the capital to the suburbs.
Georgian citizens are granted the right to work in France
The French Embassy in Georgia made remarks on granting Georgian citizens the right to work in France
The New York Times: Bitcoin declines but Georgia still bet on it
The New York Times has recently published an article about reasons, challenges and causes of generating Bitcoin in the former Soviet country Georgia.
EU to allocate € 13 billion for Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia
The European Union together with the World Bank plans to allocate investment worth € 13 billion for infrastructure projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Anaklia Port and its importance for Georgia
In 2016, Anaklia Development Consortium was authorized to launch the construction of Anaklia Port.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens electrical network in Abkhazia
In the breakaway region of Akbhazia rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network, reports an article of the news portal EuroNet.
Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani
In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning.
Photos describing life of the poorest in Georgia
Fight with poverty should be among top priorities of every government in every country.
Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia
Even drizzling rain and unpleasant gusts of wind can’t prevent the farmers from coming and participating in the agricultural training.
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off.
Hybrid car imports are going through the roof in Georgia
Thanks to their fuel economy, the popularity of hybrid cars is increasing in Georgia, where fuel affordability is low and prices for fuel are unstable.
The New Year offer from MAQRO Construction - Apartments with unbelievable discounts and the parking spaces for FREE!
Location, green yard, spaces for various needs, experience of the construction company and parking space are the main important criteria for potential buyers of apartments.
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.04.2019
19.04.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6931
2.6939
EUR
1
EUR
3.0456
3.0323
GBP
1
GBP
3.5137
3.5053
RUB
100
RUB
4.2150
4.2087
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6939
EUR
1
EUR
3.0323
GBP
1
GBP
3.5053
RUB
100
RUB
4.2087
April 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30