03.Oct .2020 15:32

Was the communications law amended by the pressure from Russia? - Question of a British MP

Was the communications law amended by the pressure from Russia? - Question of a British MP
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Baroness Elisabeth Sugg, a member of the Conservative Party, answered the question from Lord Harris, about the situation in the Georgian communications sector. As Baroness Elisabeth Sugg responded, the United Kingdom was closely monitoring the developments in the field of communications in Georgia. According to the MP, the British Embassy in Tbilisi is closely monitoring the effects of these legislative changes, including their impact on international investors. Along with possible Russian pressure, Lord Harris' question about the law affected the activities of international investors.

“To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of
(1) changes to the law in Georgia which discriminate against foreign investors in that country's digital telecommunications network,
(2) reports that such changes were due to pressure from the government of Russia, and
(3) the impact of any such changes on Georgia's membership of international bodies,”- Reads Lord Harris' questions.

On September 28, a member of the ruling Conservative Party, Baroness Elizabeth Sugg, responded to the MP. Her response states that the British government is aware of the concerns raised by companies operating in the Georgian telecommunications sector during the adoption of this legislation.

“We are aware of the concerns raised by some local telecoms companies and civil society organisations regarding the Georgian Parliament's recent amendment to the electronic communications law, giving more authority to the communications regulator, on Georgia's media and telecommunications sector. Through our Embassy in Tbilisi we are carrying out a full assessment of the amendment, including its implications for foreign investors. The UK and other international partners work to promote continued democratic and economic reforms in Georgia that support strong governance, media freedom and an open business environment.

As we are still assessing the amendment, it would not be appropriate for us to comment on reports speculating about its origins. Similarly on Georgia's membership of international bodies, it would be for the relevant organisations to review these developments in line with their membership rules,”- is said in response from Baroness Elizabeth Sugg.