MEPs prepare amendments to EP resolution on EU AA with Georgia
MEPs prepare amendments to EP resolution on EU AA with Georgia

Several MEPs prepared amendments to the annual implementing report on the EU Association Agreement (AA) with Georgia. The text covers several issues.

The amendments include a call to the European Commission to adopt the release of the former president as a precondition for granting the Candidate Status. Also, it calls on the Georgian authorities to release Mikheil Saakashvili from prison on humanitarian grounds in order to allow him to undergo proper medical treatment abroad.

The document indicates that the media environment has deteriorated in Georgia in recent years, noting “unprecedented high number of violent physical attacks against journalists have occurred in Georgia; whereas, in 2022, Georgia fell in the World Press Freedom Index from 60th to 89th place out of 180”.

The draft revisions also touch on Nika Gvaramia’s case and reiterate the call for his release.

“Regrets the sentencing of Nika Gvaramia, the director of a critical media Mtavari Arkhi, persecution of founders and directors of other critical media outlets, namely David Kezerashvili of Formula TV and Vakhtang Tsereteli of Pirveli TV, as well as the practice of suing critical media for libel, as putting political pressure on independent media; calls on the Georgian authorities to ensure media freedom and safety of journalists,” it reads.

The document further refers to concerns about “reports that Russian people and entities are allegedly using Georgia to bypass Western sanctions” calling on the EU institutions to further examine these allegations”.

“In particular, various reports, including one by Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention, about Bidzina Ivanishvili’s ties to Russia; should these allegations be confirmed, calls for personal sanctions to be introduced against him and his closest associates,” the text states.

Also, the amendment calls on the European Council and democratic partners “to impose personal sanctions on Ivanishvili for his role in the deterioration of the political process in Georgia”.

The text stresses the importance for Georgia to align with the EU sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its unprovoked and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. It notes the influx of Russian citizens to Georgia since the start of the war and “urges the Georgian authorities to take precautionary measures to ensure that these entities are not able to circumvent the sanctions and support the criminal Putin regime”.