Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/georgia : Georgia Donors' Conference without Russia

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/georgia : Georgia Donors' Conference without Russia

Article excerpt

The European Commission - the co-host along with the World Bank as well as the French and the Czech EU presidencies of the international donors' conference on Georgia - hopes for over $900 million to be pledged at the event scheduled for 22 October, a top EU diplomat said on 17 October. He confirmed that Russia will not attend the conference. On the request of Tbilisi and due to disagreement between the EU and Russia on the issue of Georgia's territorial integrity, Moscow was not invited to take part in the conference, said the EU official. "We are doing something for Georgia's territorial integrity - an issue on which we differ with Russia. We also have to respect Georgia's wish," the official said. He confirmed that the invitation has been already accepted by, among others, the US and Japan.

The $900 million will, according to another EU expert familiar with the issue, cover Georgia's immediate needs up to March 2009. "We will encourage participants of the conference to reach at least this precise figure," he said, stressing that any additional pledges over and above this target would be highly appreciated.

A World Bank-led needs assessment mission estimated that following the August five-day war with Russia, Georgia will need in total $3.2 bn (2.38 bn) over next three years to cover budget support, social sector support and infrastructure development of the country. The European Commission has already said that it will provide Georgia with 500 million over the next three years. …

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