Visa liberalisation has raised the terrorism threat and forces Georgians to leave their country

Summary

About 35,000 people left Georgia. We are not arguing about numbers, as some mention 30,000. Double that number of Iraqis and Syrians arrived from the Asian countries, where the terrorism threat is high. These people establish themselves in our country, in our motherland, where a Georgian could not find happiness. Georgians could not find happiness in Adjara, where Turks have been given everything… Then, Georgians could not find happiness in Kakheti, too, where Iranians are dominant instead of Georgians, who can also develop business, process land and create production. Georgians, thus, leave their homes and it directly relates with visa liberalization and all this process, because people are leaving our country.

Disproof

No evidence given, recurring disinformation about the visa liberalisation with the EU euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=visa+liberalisation&disinfo_issue=&date=, . Since the enactment of visa liberalization (March 28, 2017) until October 20, 2017, in total, 160,000 citizens of Georgia benefitted from visa-free travel. After the expiration of the 90-day term, up to 10,000 citizens did not return to Georgia. This number does not encompass merely those citizens who chose to stay illegally. It also includes those, who:

  1. Own a residence permit in one of the EU countries or a double nationality;
  2. Received the right of a prolonged stay in one of the EU countries after benefitting from the visa free travel (i.e. students, asylum-seekers);
  3. Travelled from the EU countries to third countries (i.e. Ukraine, Belarus) and did not return to Georgia from the latter.

Moreover, the visa liberalization topic is often connected to a false claim that it will empty the country and lead it into a demographic catastrophe. Discussing the visa-free travel in Schengen zone countries from the demographic perspective is manipulative, as visa liberalization for Georgia only concerns short-term visits to European countries, not free movement of workers. No links to increased risk of terrorism is being proven. Further debunking by Myth Detector mythdetector.ge/en/myth/two-lies-irma-inashvili-about-visa-liberalization-and-georgian-farmers, .

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 100
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/02/2018
  • Language/target audience: Georgian
  • Country: Europe, Georgia
  • Keywords: Visa liberalisation, Terrorism, Migration crisis
  • Outlet: TV Imedi’s program “Head to Head”
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Disproof

Crimea is part of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and state that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

There are no "psychiatric sanctions".

Helsinki supports Ukraine in its anti-Russian propaganda

Helsinki supports Ukraine in its anti-Russian propaganda.
Finland and Ukraine agreed that Helsinki will provide financial assistance to Ukrainian schools in the amount of about 6 million euros over four years. With the funds provided, Ukrainian teachers will be able to upgrade their skills in teaching “modern children”.
After the coup in Kiev in 2013-2014, many Western countries supported the illegal Ukrainian government. Then, following the annexation of the Crimea to Russia, the West introduced a whole package of anti-Russian sanctions and actually declared Russia an “occupying country”.

Playing into the hands of Kiev, the Western “partners” turn a blind eye to the flagrant violations of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine and do not really influence the calling of the Ukrainian authorities to account.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77369&date=,

In fact, the money referred to is to support Ukraine's education. Finland's development cooperation allocated to Ukraine will be EUR 15 million in 2018–2021. The support will be channelled to projects in the education and energy sectors. formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=372554&contentlan=2&culture=en-US, .