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The News in Brief

Thursday, January 23
By Liza Mchedlidze

Gov’t releases U.S congressmen's letter to Giorgi Gakharia

The Georgian government released the letter from 4 US congressmen- Adam Kizinger, Eliot Engel, Gerry Connoly and Michael McCaul, to Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia. In the letter, the congressmen address the issues and express concern about Anaklia Port Consortium, ‘increasingly unfavorable business environment’ for American companies, launching and renewal of old investigations against opposition leaders, the failure of promised democratic proportional election system, Georgian government's sponsoring of anti-western social media propaganda and violence against peaceful protesters.

“As some of us expressed to you in our letter from December 13, 2019, we are concerned over the decision to forego promised democratic reforms and the associated violence against peaceful protesters.”

According to the letter, after the congressmen's first address, Gakharia promised that elections would be held in the highest standards, but they are aware of the hundreds of accounts sponsored by the ruling team, blocked by Facebook. The congressmen find it unacceptable that fake identity accounts were distributing anti-western propaganda.

US congressmen express their concern over American and European companies being subject to ‘unfavorable business environment’ in Georgia and state that it could negatively impact the country's image and potential investments in Georgia from the United States. Regarding the Anaklia Port Consortium, congressmen find it unacceptable that the project was highly politicized and said that the political targeting of the US-backed Anaklia Consortium created obstacles for US investment.

“These developments seem to reflect an increasingly unfavorable business environment and could deter future U.S investment in Georgia. Decreased foreign investment not only hurts the Georgian people and their hopes for deeper integration with western institutions, but it also strengthens Vladimir Putin’s hand in the region.”

Congressmen also mention launched and renewed old investigation processes against opposition leaders and say that some of the cases are perceived as political targeting of leading politicians, media owners, international corporations and members of civil society.

At the end of the letter, Congressmen say that they hope that the Georgian government will continue to work with the US Congress, new Ambassador Kelly Degnan, the European Union, and non-governmental organizations to strengthen democratic institutions and boost the economy for the Georgian people. The letter says they are waiting for a response letter from Giorgi Gakharia.