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Georgia requests international help to combat wildfire

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 24
The Government of Georgia has asked for help from the EU against the wildfire which broke out several days ago.

The EU mission to Georgia has confirmed that Brussels has already been informed about the request of the Georgian government asking to help Georgia deal with the crisis in Borjomi.

“The EU mission to Georgia confirms that the government of Georgia addressed the EU to allocate a firefighter plane and helicopter within the framework of the EU civil protection mechanism. The countries involved in the civil protection mechanism have already been informed,” the EU statement read.

“The United States of America is ready to help Georgia extinguish the Borjomi wildfire,” U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly stated.

He stressed the situation is very complicated and many firefighters are involved in the process of extinguishing the fire.

“We’ve been in touch with both U.S. military, the European Command in Germany, and with the U.S. Agency for International Development, and I think the key will be to see where we can provide additional assistance,” Ian Kelly stated.

Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia have already provided help against the fire.

Israel has also shown readiness to help Georgia fight the Borjomi Gorge wildfire.

As reported by the Israeli Embassy, Ambassador Shabtai Tsuri has already expressed readiness while speaking with Georgian government representatives.

“Israel, as a friend of Georgia, cannot be indifferent to the developments in Borjomi, and we are ready to provide Georgia with as much assistance as possible…the Embassy, the Foreign Ministry of Israel, as well as special staff, are ready to act in a coordinated way and elaborate an action plan if needed,” the Israeli Embassy stated.

Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, confirmed reports on Russia expressing its own desire to help Georgia fight the Borjomi Gorge wildfire.

As Kvirikashvili told reporters, the Georgian government considered to accept any available help, as the government is responsible for protecting its population from the fire, however, at that stage there was no need for this.

The PM said that fire extinguishing works will continue for 24 hours a day until all pockets of the fire are localized.

The fire started in Borjomi forest on August 20.