CoE ‘strongly urges’ Russia to pay €10 mln compensation to Georgia over 2006 deportations by September

  • The mass deportation was preceded by the arrest of four Russian officers on charges of espionage by the previous government of Georgia in September 2006. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 10 Jun 2021 - 22:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) has again ‘strongly urged’ the Russian authorities to pay €10 million in compensation to Georgian citizens illegally deported in 2006 by September 6, 2021.

Russia should either directly pay the just satisfaction, together with the default interest accrued, to the applicant government or sign the Memoranda of Understanding to enable the payment of those sums to be made.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgement of January 2019 concerns the arrest, detention and collective expulsion of Georgian nationals from Russia in the autumn of 2006 shortly after the arrest of four Russian officers on charges of espionage by Georgia's previous government.

More than 4,600 expulsion orders were issued by Russian authorities against Georgian nationals back in 2006. Photo: VOA

Based on the ECHR ruling, the respondent state had to pay the applicant government €10 million ‘in respect of non-pecuniary damage suffered by a group of at least 1,500 Georgian nationals’ within three months.

Although the deadline for the payment expired in April 2019, the Russian authorities have finally confirmed that they ‘would be in principle willing to use the CoE as an intermediary for the payment of the just satisfaction together with the default interest accrued’ after numerous refusals.

On its part, the applicant government ‘is to set up an effective mechanism for the distribution of the just satisfaction sums to the individual victims of the violations found in the principal judgment’.

More than 2,300 were detained and forcibly expelled and the remaining left Russia by their own means. Photo: RFERL

At their recent meeting the deputies ‘deeply regret’ the delay in the Russian authorities’ consideration of the draft Memoranda of Understanding prepared by the Secretariat. 

They however noted Russia’s recent confirmation of readiness ‘to continue dialogue’ to enable payment to take place through a CoE bank account ‘held in escrow as soon as possible’.

Stressing ‘the urgent need to reach concrete results which are in line with the indications given in the judgment’, the deputies reiterated the importance that both - the Russian and Georgian authorities - ‘move forward rapidly to finalise the consultations’ to enable the signing of the MoU and the full payment of the ‘just satisfaction to take place without any further delay’. 

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