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After Winning Case at ECHR, Georgia Asks Russia to Pay EUR 70.3m
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Jul.'15 / 15:12


Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights ruled in July, 2014 that collective expulsion of Georgian nationals from Russia in 2006 violated the European Convention of Human Rights.

Georgia has demanded from Russia to pay EUR 70,320,000 in compensation for damages related to deportation of Georgian nationals from Russia in 2006.

In its verdict into interstate complaint filed by Georgia against Russia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on July 3, 2014 that the arrest, detention and collective expulsion of Georgian nationals from Russia in the autumn of 2006 violated the European Convention of Human Rights.

In its application, filed with ECHR in 2007, the Georgian government was asking the Court to award compensation for all the pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage.

Although last July ECHR ruled in favor of Georgia, it also said that the Court was “not ready for decision” on just satisfaction and called on Georgia and Russia to try negotiate on compensation and submit any agreement, if achieved, to the Court within 12 months.

“On September 3, 2014 the Georgian Ministry of Justice requested the Strasbourg-based Court to facilitate negotiations with the Russian Ministry of Justice at the premises of ECHR in Strasbourg. Georgia received a response that engagement of ECHR would have been reasonable only at the later stage after submission by the parties of their proposals to the Court on compensation,” the Georgian Ministry of Justice said in a statement on Friday.

The Georgian MoJ said that it has not received any proposal from the Russian Ministry of Justice.

“Therefore, in line with the ECHR instructions and because it was not possible to hold negotiations with the Russian Ministry of Justice, the Georgian Ministry of Justice has submitted to the Strasbourg-based Court a written opinion about demanding compensation,” the Georgian MoJ said.

It said that compensation in an amount of EUR 70.3 million, which Georgia wants Russia to pay, is “based” on ECHR’s other previous decisions into “similar cases”. 

It was not immediately clear whether the Russian side submitted to ECHR its opinion over compensation upon expiration of 12-month deadline this week.

“The Strasbourg-based court will now consider and decide on further procedures and steps that the parties have to take,” the Georgian Justice Ministry said.

Following the 2006 spy row between Georgia and Russia, over 2,300 Georgians were detained and forcibly expelled by the Russian authorities in late September 2006 and early 2007. Hundreds of them were flown back to Tbilisi on a Russian Emergency Ministry’s cargo planes.

More than 2,000 other Georgians were also expelled from Russia and left the country on their own, according to the Georgian government’s estimations.

Georgia claimed in its complaint, that these measures were reprisals by the Russian authorities in response to the arrest of four Russian officers in Tbilisi in September 2006.

Russia, which was denying any reprisal measures against the Georgian nationals, argued that it was just a continuation of its standard policy against illegal immigration.

Grand Chamber of 17 judges of the Strasbourg-based court ruled by the majority in July, 2014 that there had been a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights in respect of prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens; right to liberty and security; right to judicial review of detention; prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment; right to an effective remedy.

Georgia also has a separate inter-state application against Russia, filed to ECHR in connection to the August, 2008 war. This war-related case has also been referred to the Grand Chamber and the verdict is pending.

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