PM says media freedom is of highest importance for him

Georgia’s Prime Minister answered journalists’ questions in the United States. Photo by the Prime Minister’s webpage., 29 Apr 2016 - 12:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who is holding high-level meetings in the United States (US), has answered journalists questions about his  trip and about one of the most influential private broadcasters in Georgia - Rustavi 2. 

In his response about the TV channel that has become a subject of dispute between its current and former owners, the PM said "the freedom of media and inviolability of the editorial policy were of huge importance for the Government of Georgia". 

In his comment yesterday the PM stressed the Rustavi 2 case had two dimensions; one part was about private property and the other was about freedom of expression and independence of editorial policy.

Of course I don't have any right to interfere with the litigation process but I want to say that despite what Rustavi 2 is like - harsh, distant from the truth, not objective and in some cases even heartbreaking because of the way they cover very important news stories, at the end of their news shows, and so on - I would in no case wish to see changes to the editorial policy that Rustavi 2 currently has, especially before the elections, so none of our opponents have reason to speculate. 
We do not need this, because we can tell the truth to our people; we do not need this, so nobody can use this for their personal political gain," said Kvirikashvili.

He reiterated that it was not in the Government's interests to speculate about the ongoing issues facing Rustavi 2 or creating a stir about the situation.

When commenting on this topic previously you might remember my initiative about creating a certain board. I don't know what type this board should be or how it should operate but once again I would not want anyone to speculate about this issue and would hope that Rustavi 2 continues to implement its editorial policy as they see fit,” the PM said. 

Moving on to his US trip Kvirikashvili said Georgia had received "very clear messages" that America wished to deeper bilateral cooperation and partnership. 

It concerns all type of relations - in security, military, economic fields and other. We are happy the US interest in Georgia is very high we also see huge interest from America’s business representatives,” the PM said.

Kvirikashvili  noted the current Government of Georgia worked hard to ensure stability in the country, as this was essential for attracting foreign investments.