The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) has expressed its ‘profound concern’ that Russia, which is obliged to pay a €10 million fine to Georgian citizens illegally deported in 2006, has made no payment yet.
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.
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’.
At their recent meeting the deputies stressed the important that the Russian and the Georgian authorities 'move forward quickly to finalise and sign the Memoranda of Understanding to enable such payment to take place without any further delay through a Council of Europe bank account held in escrow'.
The consideration of this case will be resumed at the June 2021 meeting at the latest 'on the basis of information to be submitted by the Russian authorities on the concrete progress’ made by April 15.