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SSSG Head Discusses Malign Foreign Influence, Russian Occupation in Parliament

On June 12, Grigol Liluashvili, the Head of Georgia’s State Security Service, delivered the agency’s annual report to Parliament. Highlighting the events of 2023, Liluashvili claimed the existence of malign foreign influence aimed at destabilizing the country, without naming the countries from which it originated, and emphasized Russia’s ongoing occupation of Georgian territories as the primary threat to national security.

Among other issues, he addressed Russia’s plans to establish a naval base in occupied Ochamchire, the use of the population in the occupied territories to support Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the illegal transfer of the Bichvinta residence complex to Russia, and the so-called agreement regarding the restoration of Sokhumi airport.

Following the presentation of the report, Liluashvili answered the media questions.


According to the Head of the State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG), in 2023, there were attempts by various internal and external factors to destabilize the political situation in Georgia and prepare a potential violent change of government.

Liluashvili also claimed that in 2023, foreign intelligence services were particularly interested in the ratings of political parties in Georgia and their chances of winning the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2024.

He also argued that one of the primary objectives of unnamed foreign intelligence services was to earn influence among the ethnic and religious minorities in Georgia, which could later be used for “destructive” purposes.

Additionally, he noted that the SSSG continued to provide counter-intelligence services to Georgia’s defense forces and law enforcement agencies, as these entities were also of significant interest to foreign intelligence.

Liluashvili highlighted that the SSSG worked to prevent foreign intelligence activities in economic processes. In this context, he mentioned growing interest from foreign groups and forces regarding the prospects of establishing new transport routes amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Russian Occupation

Liluashvili highlighted concerns about Russia’s intentions to construct a naval base in occupied Abkhazia, suggesting that such a facility would provide Russia with additional leverage for military-strategic control over the Black Sea region. However, he noted that deploying and operating large warships in occupied Ochamchire is currently improbable due to limited water area and challenging infrastructure conditions. He underscored that no significant infrastructure developments occurred in the occupied Ochamchire port and in the surrounding area during the reporting period.

In this context, he also mentioned the decision by the Russian occupation regime and the Russian government on the “comprehensive reconstruction” of the Sokhumi airport. According to Liluashvili, Georgia is viewing this decision as part of the annexation policy. He noted that this will be an additional leverage at the hands of the Kremlin to strengthen its economic and political positioning in the region.

Speaking about Russia’s war in Ukraine, he noted that the population of the occupied territories of Georgia were “actively” used in the Russian aggression. “The facts of assistance in various forms from the occupied regions of Georgia to the annexed regions of Ukraine and the visits of the representatives of the occupation regime were recorded,” he said.

Speaking of the illegal transfer of the occupied Bichvinta Dacha to the Russian Federation, which, according to the SSSG Head, was “of principal importance” to the Kremlin, he recalled the local Abkhazian protests against the transfer and noted that “by ending the mentioned process in favor of Russia, Moscow has demonstrated that any protest against its will and interests in the occupied territories is futile.”

In this context, he also mentioned the narrative spread by the occupation regime in occupied Abkhazia that the cancellation of the transfer of Bichvinta would damage relations between the Kremlin and the occupied region and would serve the interests of the Georgian government .

The Head of the SSSG also reacted to the 2023 information that allegedly the-de facto representatives of the occupied Abkhazia were ready to restore the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM). Liluashvili noted that no real steps had been taken by the de facto authorities.

During the address, the SSSG chief also confirmed that the Georgian citizen, Asmat Tavadze, who had been detained in the occupied Abkhazia since 2022, has been released.

Press Point following Parliamentary Address

During his comments to the media following the Parliamentary address, the SSSG Head, among other issues, answered questions about the U.S. sanctions against the Georgian Dream officials and the alleged death threat against the Prime Minister.

Speaking of the U.S. sanctions against the GD officials, he said he has not received the notification about being sanctioned, adding that if he is not allowed in the U.S., it will be “a very bad tone because our partner relations do not envisage such approaches.” Liluashvili noted that at the inter-agency level, the U.S.-Georgia relations are “ideal.”

When asked about Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze’s allegation of death threats from an EU Commissioner and why the SSSG has not launched an investigation, the SSSG Head stated that there was insufficient evidence to do so. He characterized the EU Commissioner’s words as being of a “recommendation character” and “in the form of advice.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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