The sitting of the Foreign Relations Committee

11 Feb 2019
The sitting of the Foreign Relations Committee

The Thematic Inquiry Group is to be set up pursuant to the Article 155 of the Rules of Procedure to inquire the challenges of disinformation and propaganda”, - the Chair of the Committee, Sophio Katsarava stated.

For 2 years, we actively lobby this issue. Countering disinformation is one of the parts of the strategic communication the working group is being set-up for. I believe that the findings of the group will facilitate in the process we have commenced 2 years ago. We also started to develop the legislative initiative covering not only disinformation but is the larger picture – strategic communication. We shall better inform our citizens. One of the ways of addressing disinformation is enhancement of our national narrative. I hope that the process we facilitate and lobby for years will result in positive outcomes”.

The First Deputy Chair, Nino Goguadze introduced the initiative on set-up of the thematic group. “The Committee attaches particular attention to this issue defined under the Committee strategy and action plan. The Chair is in person engaged in ensuring strategic communication mechanism as one of the tools for countering disinformation and propaganda in the respective agencies”.

And proper coordination between the state agencies in this process is crucial: “The main challenges related to it shall be approached on the basis of the intensive communication and certain strategy”, - S. Katsarava noted.

The Committee and the Parliament shall play the special role in this direction. The Group will be composed not only Committee members but every MP concerned, as well as the organizations and experts with respective experience.

It is important to engage respective organizations to the Group and to share the problems they assess and analyze. Within the Group, we will communicate with the state agencies responsible for these spheres. The joint process of the Parliament, executive authority and the civil society will allow the Parliament reconciling the recommendations, which will serve yet another step to due performance of the state agencies in this direction”, - N. Goguadze noted.

The Committee approved the initiative.

The Deputy Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze introduced the documents for ratification. The Exemption Agreement of the Financial Agreement (Georgian Agricultural Production/Recycling/Realization Chain) between Georgia and European Investment Bank annuls the loan allocated under the Financial Agreement of December 9, 2016.

The Change Agreement N2 to the Loan Agreement between Georgia and European Reconstruction and Development Bank of February 18, 2010 was signed on November 9, 2018. It envisages extension of the loan term to December 31, 2022.

According to the Loan Agreement of February 18, 2010, EBRD allocated 3 ml EURO for landfill construction in Adjara and respective equipment. The initially designated territory has been later replaced as construction contradicted the socio-economic strategic of development of the region. Change of the territory entailed extension of the term of construction of the landfill and the sum will be consumed till December 31, 2020”, - the reporter noted.

According to the Loan Agreement (Tbilisi Solid Waste Project) between Georgia and EBRD envisages allocation of 15 ml EURO for solid waste management in Tbilisi.

Hereof funds will be consumed on acquisition of the new vehicles and mechanical cleaners, rehabilitation of the dripping water system etc. The accomplishment date is 2021. The loan duration is 15 years, 3 of which are preferential and the interest rate varies according to EURIBOR”, - G. Kakauridze noted.

He also introduced 3 agreements with the Asia Development Bank. ADB, in view of urban transport investment program, signed the frame agreement in 2010 on allocation of 300 ml USD. 5 sub-contracts have been signed within the frame on the projects: Tbilisi new Subway Station, Mestia road rehabilitation, water system rehabilitation in Mestia, Tbilisi-Rustavi highway etc.

Last year, yet another project was added: Tbilisi Subway e-network and ventilation rehabilitation. Cables cost 12 ml USD as initially calculated but the tender constituted 10.6 ml USD. It entailed lack of sums for ventilation and 5 ml USD saved within the frame will be directed to ventilation system replacement”.

The document annuls the sum purposed for Anaklia coast protection works. “At this stage, the only change is that Anaklia works are annulled to fund ventilation system replacement in Tbilisi subway”, - the reporter noted.

The Deputy Economic Minister, Akaki Sagirashvili introduced the document on denunciation of Athens Convention 1974 relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, and the Protocol of 1976 thereto. “Athens Convention 1974 is outdated, so we want to denounce it and access to Convention of 2002”.

It establishes the mandatory insurance and vehicle loss component. “Namely, in case of the passenger it constitutes 21000 EURO of pre-deposition, and in case of health damage or decease, it constitutes 400 000 conditional unit, which is defined with 1.39 USD. 200 000 out of 400 000 is applied to the vessels under the Georgian Flag and for the vessels entering Georgian ports”.

The Deputy Head of State Security Service Administration, Nana Beridze introduced the Agreements on: Exchange and Double Protection of Classified Information between Georgia and Albania; Exchange and Double Protection of Classified Information between Georgia and Italy; Exchange and Double Protection of Classified Information between Georgia and Moldova. These agreements aim at protection of classified information exchanged between the countries.

The Agreements define the main principles of exchange of classified information and constitute the solid basis of classified information between Georgia and hereof countries”, - she noted.

These agreements are similar and comprise the provisions: definition of terms; competent agencies; admission to the classified information etc. “These agreements aim at creation of solid legal mechanisms for exchange of information with the partner states in view of adequate response to the modern challenges. The Agreements may be applied other respective agencies of Georgia to exchange classified information concerning defense, security, intelligence, economy, foreign relations, public order etc”.

The Deputy Defense Minister, Nukri Gelashvili introduced the Agreement on Accession to the Agreement on Coordination Committee within the South-East European Defense Ministerial Process. The Agreement was signed on October 21, 2009 and became effective in 2017. “The Agreement of October 9, 2000 was valid before this date”.

Now, Georgia accesses to this new Agreement. “Accession aims at provision of peace and security in the region. Accession of Georgia will facilitate our EU and NATO integration and will allow us being full-fledged member and participating in the processes at South-East European Defense Ministerial”, - the reporter stated.

The parties of this Committee are: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, BiH, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, USA and Moldova. The reporter also introduced the Agreement on Military Cooperation between Georgian Defense Ministry and German Defense Ministry.

This is the frame agreement allowing the parties developing the respective plans for cooperation. Georgia and Germany agree to cooperate in: security and military policy, integration of armed forces to free and democratic society; Constitutional provisions relating to the armed forces and military laws; internal structural organization of armed forces etc”.

The Agreement is signed with undefined term. “If the party wills to leave the Agreement, it shall serve the 6-month notice”.