Russia ready to discuss €10 mln ECHR fine over 2006 deportations of Georgian citizens

  • Russia has refused to abide by the 2019 verdict of the European Court of Human Rights which obliged the country to pay €10 million compensation to the Georgian citizens who were illegally deported from Russia in 2006. Photo: AP., 8 Feb 2021 - 16:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russia is ready to participate in discussions over its obligation of paying €10 million in compensation to Georgian citizens who were illegally deported from Russia back in 2006, Georgian Justice Minister Gocha Lortkipanidze stated earlier today. 

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in January 2019 that Russia must pay out the compensation. However, Russia has refused to do so. 

The Committee of Minister of the Council of Europe has urged Russia several times to abide by the verdict. 

Lortkipanidze says that the January 21, 2021 judgement of the ECHR in the Russia-Georgia war case may have had an influence on Russia’s decision to take part in the discussions with the mediation of the Committee of Minister of the Council of Europe. 

We have a slight improvement and Russia is ready to participate in the discussions. In any case the step by Russia means that Georgia has had the right approach to the issue. Through the active communication with the Committee of Ministers of CoE we have managed to make Russia participate in the discussions,” Lortkipanidze said. 

Justice Minister Gocha Lortkipanidze has made history by becoming the first Georgian judge at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC). Photo: Justice Ministry press office. 

The ECHR 2019 judgement 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 the previous, United National Movement government of Georgia in September 2006.

The Georgian government says that in 2006 more than 4,600 expulsion orders were issued by Russian authorities against Georgian nationals.

More than 2,300 were detained and forcibly expelled and the remaining left the country by their own means.

  • The two key levers the Committee of Ministers has to make the country meet its obligations are the suspension of the country’s membership or its voting rights in the Council of Europe. 
  • Russia regained its voting right to CoE only in June 2019, having lost it in 2014 following its annexation of the Crimea, amid the protest of Georgia, Ukraine and five other countries.
  • Russia, which earlier had declined to pay its membership dues, agreed to pay them, as well as fines, amounting to €75 million before regaining the right.