About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
U.S. State Department on Rustavi 2 TV
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Oct.'15 / 12:03

The U.S. is “concerned about any steps that might lead to the closure” of Rustavi 2 TV, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said and also added that in general the U.S. is “encouraged by Georgia’s open environment for media and civil society.”

Asked at a daily press briefing on October 22 about “a lot of pressure by the government” on Rustavi 2 TV, which is in a court battle over ownership dispute, Toner responded: “Of course, we wouldn’t comment on the legal merits of the case against Rustavi 2. We’ll let the legal process play itself out.”

“However, I would just say that the closure or potential closure of a major TV station would shrink the media space in Georgia significantly, and that’s a cause for concern. We take seriously any actions that would give the appearance of compromising media pluralism,” Toner said.

He said that the U.S. ambassador in Tbilisi, Ian Kelly, has discussed the issue with the Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

“And we actually commend… [President] Margvelashvili’s call for a calm debate regarding this issue,” Toner said, apparently referring to President’s statement made on October 22 in which he criticized remarks by PM Garibashvili for adding tension to already difficult situation.

“We, the U.S. government, have frequently praised Georgia’s open media environment. It’s been recognized internationally as a model for the region, and we believe that one of a democratic government’s priorities should be the protection of citizens’ liberty, which depends on access to free and unfettered media,” he said.
“So in general, I mean, we’re encouraged by Georgia’s open environment for media and civil society. The government has also enacted many reforms, particularly those that increase checks and balances. And we’re also encouraged by recent legislation regarding the independence and accountability for the prosecutor’s office as well. But as I said, we’re concerned about any steps that might lead to the closure of one of the primary media outlets in – broadcast media outlets in Georgia,” the State Department’s deputy spokesperson said.

U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, also reiterated on October 22 that the U.S. supports media pluralism in Georgia and “our big concern is:  we don’t want to see any restriction of the media space here.”

Asked about statements made by PM Garibashvili and then by President Margvelashvili, the U.S. ambassador told journalists: “I have seen some good comments today, too, calling for a dialogue and calling for calm. We have seen that from President Margvelashvili, we have seen that from other Georgian officials as well, such as the Speaker of Parliament – I think a very good call for a dialogue.”

“In general I think what our friends here in Georgia need is to have a dialogue,” Ambassador Kelly said in Batumi, where he attended a reception on the U.S. warship, USS Porter, which made a port visit to Georgia’s Black Sea port on October 20-23.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2021, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.