Issue 3, 2017. June-July

   

U.S. BANS AID TO COUNTRIES RECOGNIZING GEORGIA'S SEPARATISTS

U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2017 in May, including a new clause that bans the U.S. government from sending funds to any country that recognizes Georgia's two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian officials have praised a new U.S. ban on government support to countries that recognize Georgia's separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

This is the first time the U.S. government has officially added a passage concerning Georgia's breakaway regions in a spending bill, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted in a statement published on May 6.

Georgia is mentioned in the section on Russian aggression, in the passage "Occupation of the Georgian Territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia." The document instructs that no government that has recognized the independence of, or has established diplomatic relations with, the Russian-occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia may receive U.S. financial aid.

Act of Solidarity

"The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which includes a passage supporting Georgia entitled 'Occupation of the Georgian Territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia,' is an act of solidarity with Georgia and demonstrates the U.S. Government's unwavering commitment to its territorial sovereignty and independence. The legislation sends a clear message to any state that may be inclined to recognize the independence of, or establish diplomatic relations with, the Russian-occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia that this will have consequences in their relations with the United States," said U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly.

Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said the act will be instrumental in restoring Georgia's territorial integrity.

"The U.S. Congress has actively supported us with our problem. This has been clearly seen in this decision. Although this legislative act still has to be adopted [editor's note: the bill was signed into law on May 5, 2017], certainly after [its] adoption, this will be a key instrument for facilitating [the restoration of] our territorial integrity, sovereignty and [ensuring the implementation of] the policy of non-recognition [of the breakaway regions internationally]," Janelidze told journalists on May 4.
Opposition MP Davit Bakradze told Imedi TV that the U.S. ban "directly provides Georgia with a better future and will make it a more safe and secure country in the future. "Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said the document is "confirmation of U.S. support for Georgia's territorial integrity."

"By making this decision, both chambers of the U.S. Congress, the executive authorities and President Trump himself further strengthened the strategic partnership between Georgia and the U.S.A," Margvelashvili said in a statement posted on president.gov.ge.

Georgian PM Meets U.S. Vice President, President

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also thanked U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for their continued support during his May trip to Washington.


"We received strong assurances of positive partnership from the U.S. in every direction. It was a very positive meeting. We discussed every field of our relations, including cooperation in the areas of defense, security, culture, development of democratic institutions, and deeper economic ties," Kvirikashvili said. "It was an important conversation that led to a meeting with the President of the United States, who also provided us with strong messages of support for Georgia. Overall, we believe these meetings to be of paramount importance for Georgia's development and stability. The U.S., as Georgia's major strategic partner, will continue supporting Georgia and these relations will only grow stronger," the Prime Minister stressed.