On December 4, Georgian tabloid Alia released an interview with former Georgian Security Minister Valeri Khaburdzania, who claims that during his tenure, neither the United States, nor Europe provided any financial assistance to Georgia. He also noted that Europe’s support to Georgia in foreign issues equals to zero.
Valeri Khaburdzania, former Security Minister: “I have not seen anything financed by the Americans, especially as I worked at the Security Ministry and they were always financing us strangely. Europe has not financed us ever. Nobody has brought me anything… America’s interest towards Georgia has decreased and this meeting makes it clear that they are negatively disposed. As for Europe, their foreign support is equal to zero, even below zero.”
Valeri Khaburdzania’s statement as if under his tenure Georgia received no assistance from the United States is a lie, because just under Khaburdzania’s service on the Security Minister’s post in 2002-2004, the United States allocated USD 172,476,663 to Georgia only for defense and national security purposes and the European Union allocated a total of EUR 418 million in 1992-2004. Moreover, it is not true that Europe does not support Georgia in foreign issues, because the support of European countries for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remains unchanged for years.
U.S, EU financial support
According to the data of Security Assistance Monitor, a program of the Center for International Policy, in 2002-2004 the U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security allocated a total of USD 172,476,663 on Georgia’s defense and security.
2002 – $102,409,721
2003 – $31,122, 266
2004 – $ 38,944, 676
In May 2020, the U.S.-funded Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) was launched in Georgia to combat terrorism. USD 64 million allocated by the United States in frames of the program was spent on equipping Georgian troops with light weapons, transportation and communication means. According to the Georgian Defense Ministry, the program provided Georgia’s security services with assistance in securing internal terrorism threats from rebels in the lawless, mountainous border region of the Pankisi Gorge.
Georgia receives the EU financial assistance since the nineties. Only in 1992-2004, the European Union allocated a total of EUR 418 million to assist Georgia, including:
- EUR 4 million was allocated in the framework of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) aiming to strengthen the rule of law and to tackle corruption.
- EUR 98 million – in the framework of the EU humanitarian aid program ECHO, which assisted Georgia in eradicating the consequences of the civil war and disintegration of the Soviet Union.
- EUR 7.5 should have been spent on rehabilitation of the infrastructure in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
EU support in foreign issues
The European countries have been supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity for years in the most important and persisting issues for the country – they recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Georgian territories and does not recognize the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
“10 years after the Russian military aggression in Georgia of August 2008, the Russian Federation still continues its illegal occupation of these Georgian territories… Russia continues to be in breach of its international obligations and refuses to fully implement the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008,” the European Parliament’s resolution 2018/2741 reads.
In addition, since its deployment in 2008, the European Union Monitoring Mission to Georgia has been patrolling day and night, particularly in the areas adjacent to the ABLs with Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
Pro-Kremlin actors have been long spreading a narrative as if the West and particularly, the United States have not provided financial assistance to Georgia. Valeri Khaburdzania claimed the same in respect of the European Union in 2015 as well, noting that free trade with the European Union has zero effect for Georgia.
Below are other publications prepared by the Myth Detector on the same topic:
- U.S. Security and Defense Assistance to Georgia
- The statement that the west helped us only with “water and diapers” during the 2008 Russian-Georgian war is wrong
About Valeri Khaburdzania
Valeri Khaburdzania served as Georgian Security Minister since 2001; in February 2004, he was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor General, where he worked till June 2004. Meeting with journalists in 2013, Khaburdzania said that he planned to set up a pro-Russian party, because “Georgian political system is facing problems without pro-Russian orientation.”
Prepared by Gvantsa Devidze
Regional Network of Myth Detector Lab