US senators Jim Risch, Jeanne Shaheen send letter to Georgia’s PM
30 January, 2020
US senators Jim Risch, Jeanne Shaheen send letter to Georgia’s PM
Two U.S. senators have expressed concerns in a letter to Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia over recent events that indicate “a backsliding” on the Caucasus country’s commitment to build the institutions of democracy. The letter, signed by Senator Jim Risch, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jeanne Shaheen, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, was released on January 29.

“We write to express our deep concern with recent developments in Georgia. In
the 29 years since Georgia's independence from the Soviet Union, we have watched democracy take root, the economy grow, civil society flourish, and governance improve dramatically. Georgia's commitment to a peaceful transition of power and consensus-based politics has been an impressive example in your region. We both observed the 2012 parliamentary elections and were impressed with how Georgia had embraced these core tenets of democracy. For decades now, the United States has been eager to support Georgia as it developed.

However, we are increasingly concerned by recent events that indicate a weakening of Georgian democracy and governance. Two of the most pressing matters are Parliament's failure to uphold its commitment to electoral reform and the government's violent suppression of peaceful protests. We understand that the promised electoral reform was expected to give proportional representation to Georgian voters to ensure the system did not unduly favor any one political party. Your government's decision to prevent that change indicates a backsliding from commitments to build the institutions of Georgia's democracy. Furthermore, the massive yet peaceful protests that followed are a visible sign that there is dissatisfaction with this failure. The government's violent suppression of these protests is a violation of Georgians' democratic rights and of the government's duty to protect its citizens.

In addition, the recent political targeting of opposition leaders through both formal and informal methods is further evidence of Georgia's democratic backsliding. Reports that opposition leaders have been physically assaulted or harassed by individuals linked to the ruling party are disconcerting. So too is the reopening of criminal cases against opposition figures that have been closed for years. Politicians must be permitted to exercise their right to speak freely, and Georgia's judicial system should not be used as a tool to limit this freedom.

Finally, we are particularly concerned that the independence of Georgia's judicial system is being undermined by the appointment of 14 new Supreme Court justices for lifetime tenures before their qualifications were fully evaluated, as noted in the January 2020 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe monitoring report. Installing political allies into the highest court, instead of impartial judges with robust credentials, undermines the very democratic institutions that have made Georgia the envy of the region. Mr. Ivanishvili's recent statement that many more protestors will have to go to prison is a further troubling development. We hope it is not an indication that the Georgian government is willing to misuse the courts and police for political gain.

We have been strong advocates of the U.S. partnership with Georgia for years and still believe you have a strong democratic foundation. However, these events give us pause and raise questions about Georgia's commitment to our shared values. Further, we fear that a lack of progress on reforms and increased tensions within Georgia will only open the door for increased Russian meddling in the country and throughout the region. The longer these actions continue, the more Georgia's security will be jeopardized, and we may be forced to reevaluate our partnership.

An independent, democratic Georgia has many international supporters, and we are eager to continue to assist your country. However, we are motivated to support Georgia's economic and political development only as long as we can rely on Georgia to be a stable, trustworthy, and democratic partner in this effort. We sincerely hope that you will work quickly to reverse this decline and fulfill the promises made to the Georgian people,” the letter reads.

This letter is yet another in a series of letter published by the US congressmen in recent weeks.

Related stories:



Print
Other Stories
Georgia as an example for larger countries to fight COVID-19
The Telegraph is yet another that publishes article about Georgia, its fight against the Coronavirus and reasons of relative success.
Georgia named among the most resistant countries to COVID-19
“In the face of the pandemic, we are not all equal” – says Jean-Paul Oury in an article for europeanscientist.com.
FOX News explains why Georgia does not have COVID-19 deaths
FOX News channel is the latest which paid attention to Georgia and the government’s merit in fight against the Coronavirus.
Georgia singled out as a success story in fight against COVID-19
When whole world is obsessed with pandemic and governments are implementing strong measures to safeguard their citizens lives, some start to look for “success stories” against fight of the COVID-19.
NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs agree on new measures to support Georgia and Ukraine in the context of Black Sea security
NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs have made a decision on new measures to support Georgia and Ukraine in the context of Black Sea security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reports.
Georgian Government Allocates GEL 2 Billion To Support Economy
1 million 200 thousand families will benefit from electricity subsidies and 671 thousand families from natural gas subsidies
EU Funds Georgia With €90 mln To Faight Against COVID-19
The EU will allocate € 90 million to Georgia to fight against COVID-19.
Coronavirus Geopolitics and Fighting Against Its Consequences – Why Georgia Is Successful Story
"Why Georgia became such “successful story” compared with the same situation in Italy, France, the UK, and other European states?"
Georgian President Salome Zourabicvili Visits Marneuli Checkpoint
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili got acquainted with the existing situation at the checkpoint established at the entrance to the Marneuli Municipality
The US is providing $1.1 mln in health funding to Georgia
The United States is providing $1.1 million in health funding to Georgia
 EU Ambassador on Covid-19 in Georgia
EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell congratulated Georgia on its effective covid-19 response and urged everyone to take care of each other.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger Praises Georgia For Fight Against COVID-19
Republican Congressman from Illinois Adam Kinzinger Praises Georgia For Fight Against COVID-19. He posted is statement of Twitter.
Georgia is Ready To Declare Emergency Situation Any Time
The government is technically ready for a state of emergency today, we can announce it tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, but of course, it is not a goal itself ”Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said
Mikheil Saakashvili answers Vladimir Putin’s comments
Former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili answered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment about himself.
Germany welcomes agreement between parties in Georgia
A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (10 March) on the agreement reached between the political parties in Georgia on crucial electoral law amendments.
US Embassy releases text of Memorandum of Understanding between Georgian political parties on electoral system
The US Embassy to Georgia has released the text of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the opposition and the government today.
Ambassador Degnan speaks about Preventing Violence against Women in Politics and Elections
Today Ambassador Kelly C. Degnan delivered remarks during the Meeting on Preventing Violence against Women in Politics and Elections
Annual Address by H.E. Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia, to the Parliament of Georgia
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili delivered an annual report to the parliament today. Georgian Journal provides the president’s full speech, as it was said:
Gakharia gave Pashinyan a Kazbegi shepherd
Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia gifted the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan a Kazbegi Shephard
Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan visits Georgia
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan will visit Georgia on March 3-4.
How Has Ivanishvili's Fortune Changed Since Last Week
The combined fortunes of the world’s 500 richest people fell by $444 billion as the coronavirus continued to spread
"The Country is protected"-The President of Georgia, Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili met with the Minister of Refugees, Labor, Health and Social Affairs Ekaterine Tikaradze and Head of the National Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze
Former President Saakashvili about Coronavirus Spread in Georgia
Georgia's former president Mikheil Saakashvili makes an official statement on his Facebook page
Meeting of CoE Committee of Ministers to be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi
The meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi
Russian FM Calls Georgian Journalists "SICK"
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, called the Georgian Journalists in Geneva "Sick"
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
05.04.2020
06.04.2020
USD
1
USD
3.1576
3.1576
EUR
1
EUR
3.4134
3.4134
GBP
1
GBP
3.8782
3.8782
RUB
100
RUB
4.1072
4.1072
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.1576
EUR
1
EUR
3.4134
GBP
1
GBP
3.8782
RUB
100
RUB
4.1072
April 2020
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