How West Assists Georgia and What Messages Pro-Kremlin Media Outlets Spread

1 April, 2020

Amid the spread of the novel coronavirus in Georgia, the pro-Kremlin actors in the country are promoting the opinion that the West has abandoned Georgia during the pandemic and only China assists the country in tackling the virus. 

In fact, the pro-Kremlin actors are referring to 1,000 diagnostic tests handed over by the Chinese government. The Georgian government was carrying out negotiations with the Chinese company Bioeasy Biotechnology on the supply of additional 200,000 diagnostic tests, but the contract was terminated after it emerged that Spain returned faulty test kits to China. It is also worth noting that a great part of rapid diagnostic tests ordered by the Czech Republic from China did not work property, while the Netherlands recalled 600,000 defective face masks imported from China.

Concerning the assistance provided by the Western countries to Georgia, in terms of both responding to COVID-19 and preventing biothreats, the data obtained by the Myth Detector through open sources look as follows:  

How Western partners assist Georgia 

  • The Central Public Health Reference Laboratory (CPHRL), named after U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, which plays a crucial role in diagnostic testing of coronavirus, was  built with a USD 350 million American assistance. 
  • The United States will provide  USD 1.1 million in health funding to Georgia to help prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication, and more. 
  • The European Commission announced on March 30 that it will allocate  €20million to Georgia in new emergency allocations in addition to redirection of over €70million of ongoing programmes for crisis response and access to multiple regional funds. 
  • In partnership with the U.S. Center for Disease Control, 200 medical professionals across Georgia will be  trained in proper identification and surveillance of COVID-19 cases. 
  • The American-made trucks used in Georgian cities and villages for disinfection purposes were provided to the Georgian government by USAID in 2019. The trucks were originally provided by the American people to support Georgia’s efforts to combat the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)  infestation.

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Who spreads anti-Western messages about COVID-19? 

The messages as if the West has abandoned Georgia in its struggle against coronavirus and now the country pins its hopes only on China are being spread by the following groups: 

  • Pro-Kremlin online editions – News Front, Georgia and World
  • Obieqtivi TV affiliated with anti-Western Alliance of Patriots party
  • Pro-Russian NGO Eurasian Institute

The West does not assist us

Only China assists us 

 

News Front: “Amid the state of emergency, Georgia has not derived any benefit from the European Union and the Association Agreement. The United States is only preoccupied with its egoistical actions.”  

 

 

News Front: “Meanwhile, China has offered us a helping hand; a precious gift sent from China will arrive tomorrow.” 

 

 

Georgia and World: “Where is now Georgia for our international “partners and friends”? How do they assist us?” 

 

 

Valeri Kvaratskhelia, host of Obieqtivi TV: “So, China has assisted us; test kits will be supplied by China and other countries, but not those we pinned our hopes on.” 

 

Beso Barbakadze, journalist, Georgia and World: “Neither Europe, nor America will offer Georgia any alternative, because they made it clear that they have no time even for each other, to say nothing about Georgia, and they do not intend to distribute their reserves among “strategic partners.”

 

Gulbaat Rtskhiladze, Eurasian Institute: “It appears today that the Chinese are the most reliable partners for Georgia in tackling the coronavirus (like for the most affected country, Italy). The Lugar Lab and the entire Georgia mainly pin their hopes just on them.” 

 


Prepared by Mariam Dangadze 
Myth Detector Lab