The Daily Beat: 10 February
Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze arrived in Washington, where he met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin. Georgia has received approval for a risk-based payment schedule, making it easier to request and acquire vital military capabilities, the defense secretary said after a meeting at the Pentagon. Georgia is also due to receive $33 million in security assistance. US side noted Georgia’s significant contribution to global security, pledging further support of its territorial integrity.
Georgia allocated GEL 1 million in humanitarian aid to quake-hit Turkey, where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake claimed thousands of lives, including several Georgian citizens. The amount will be used to purchase and send medicines, food, clothing, medical equipment, and other needs to Turkey. Slightly over a hundred Georgian rescuers are involved in the rescue efforts.
The Parliament approved amendments to the Electoral Code on gender quotas. The amendments extend the validity period of gender quotas in proportional party lists until 2032. They also say that every fourth person on the proportional party list for the 2024 and 2028 elections must be a woman. For the 2032 elections, political parties must include women in every third position on their party lists.
“We have no evidence that [Georgians] … are not complying with the sanctions,” U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan said in an extensive interview with IPN, the wire service. Amb. Degnan made it clear that she understands Georgia’s reserved stance towards Moscow, given the context of the country’s occupation. She emphasized the importance of humanitarian assistance provided by Georgia to Ukraine.
A study by “Transparency International – Georgia”, a watchdog, shows that the government does not have a systematic approach to combating disinformation and often spreads the anti-Western narrative itself, targeting the US, the EU, and local SCOs. According to the study, the main disinformation narrative revolves around the West trying to push Georgia into the Russia-Ukraine war. Another narrative says the West is funding a spy network in Georgia.
Comings and Goings
Prime Minister picked Razhden Kuprashvili as the first head of the anti-corruption bureau for the next six years. Before this headline-grabbing appointment, Kuparashvili, a professional lawyer, headed the government-subordinated legal aid center. In the past years, he has also headed the private law firm Kuprashvili & Lawyers Company and the Black Sea International Arbitration Chamber. The government started looking for the head of the newly formed agency in December 2022. Three candidates were shortlisted out of 38 applications.
Zaal Gogsadze became Georgia’s first-ever Ambassador to Croatia. Prime Minister met with Amb. Gogsadze and congratulated him on the new appointment. Gogsadze is a career diplomat and has served in various positions in the foreign ministry, including ambassadorial postings to Italy, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
Another diplomat, Tamar Liluashvili, took up her new ambassadorial posting to Hungary. The prime minister held a protocol meeting with Amb. Liluashvili and wished her success in a new capacity. Also a career diplomat, Amb. Liluashvili finished her term as Georgia’s ambassador to Bulgaria.