European Union will take 'appropriate steps' in response to surveillance on diplomats in Georgia
The European Union will take “appropriate steps” in response to wiretapping of diplomats in Georgia. This was announced to the correspondent of Radio Liberty by the assistant to the head of the EU for foreign policy Peter Stano.
According to him, secret wiretapping of conversations of diplomats, including the EU ambassador to Georgia, is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“We are taking appropriate steps in this context, as we are doing in similar situations, but given the nature of the alleged incident, we cannot say more at this time”, said Peter Stano.
The State Security Service of Georgia is eavesdropping on the conversations of both employees of foreign embassies and the ambassadors themselves. This is the conclusion made by Georgian journalists after studying alleged reports of secret surveillance, which were obtained by the media a few days ago.
German Ambassador to Georgia Hubert Knirsch also commented on the situation. According to him, secret interception of conversations of diplomatic missions, even if it is not directed directly against them, is a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“We value cooperation with the State Security Service of Georgia. The issues of transparency and control were discussed at the annual meetings of Georgia with NATO. I think this will continue in the future as well”, Knirsch said.
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On September 13, the media in Georgia announced receiving secret files, from which it became known that the state security service was listening and watching the members of the Synod, the patriarch, his assistants, bishops, priests, nuns, as well as active supporters of all of the above.
As it turned out, special services control the movement of clergymen, their bank transfers, and personal life. Thousands of files also contain information about the people through whom clergy could have been recruited. The documents contain information about priests who use drugs or are friends with criminals.
The files also say that in the course of operational work, 36 priests of non-traditional sexual orientation, 23 priests (including monks) who had sexual relations with women, and 21 clerics who used drugs were identified.
Later it became known that the State Security Service directly eavesdropped on both the embassy staff and the ambassadors themselves, including the EU ambassador Karl Hartzel and after ambassador of Israel Ran Gidor, as well as the employees of the US Embassy.
Apparently, these conversations were included in the collection of state security files because they concerned the church. The files also contain correspondence from SGB officers for February 2020 with a request to take control of American Contacts.
MEP Maria Kaljurand said that espionage has no place in a democratic country. According to Georgian experts and politicians, the European Union will introduce specific sanctions against Georgia.
The authenticity of the materials has not yet been confirmed.