18 Травня 2018

Ukraine and Georgia to strengthen their capacity to counteract Russia in non-military sphere

MTOT and the Office of the State Minster of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Tbilisi.

MTOT Minister Vadym Chernysh and the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality (SMRCE) Ketevan Tsikhelashvili signed the MoU to share and exchange experience of the two countries regarding peacebuilding, reintegration of occupied territories, and conflict resolution. Under the MoU terms, the signatories intend to implement joint projects, take part in workshops, lectures, bilateral or multilateral events, and academic collaboration.
“Georgia’s experience is very important to us. In the State policy of Ukraine, we will be able to implement best practices of the Georgian Government, Georgia’s positive experience in providing assistance to the conflict-affected civilian population as well as regarding peacebuilding and reintegration of occupied territories. Thanks to the experience and assistance of Georgia, we get a better understanding of Russian Federation’s actions in Ukraine. This is of vital significance for us in order to bring an end to the conflict”, Minister Chernysh said in his speech.
In her turn, SMRCE Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili emphasized that this cooperation will also be very useful for Georgia, since today Ukraine has a unique experience of counteracting the aggressor in the military and humanitarian fields.
Representatives of the SMRCE Office informed theМТОТ delegation about the Government’s peace initiative “A step towards a better future” that seeks to protect conflict-affected individuals. This policy is based on three factors: trade across the contact line, access to education for residents of occupied areas, and access to services offered by Georgia. The current Georgian way of cooperating with the people living under occupation focusses on developing attractive programs and on meeting the needs of the population, with no political coloring of these activities.
“It would be very difficult and simply unreasonable to reject such initiatives of the Georgian government”, the SMRCE officials explained. “We have already successfully implemented the program of providing medical assistance to people living under occupation. In the last five years, about 10,000 such residents have turned to Georgian doctors for healthcare services- These are 10% of the population in Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia.”
On May 17, the MTOT delegation also visited the administrative contact line with Southern Ossetia in the village of Khurvaleti (Gori Municipality), accompanied by officials of the State Security Service of Georgia and of the Georgian police.
“Russia applies the same methods here as in Ukraine: people in occupied areas have no rights, no protection, and are practically behind barbed wire. I hope it will take us less time to change the situation and to protect our citizens”, Minister Chernysh said.
Additional information: the MTOT delegation visited Georgia in the framework of the project “Technical assistance to the Government of Ukraine using the experience of Georgia” being implemented by the Danish Refugee Council offices in Ukraine and Georgia and funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.