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At the opening of the port for Batumi Border Police vessels, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, stated: "If a state does not work for strengthening its borders and take care of its border guards, there can be no talk about building a modern state there. We witnessed this as late as three years ago. The previous government was ignoring border guards in general. Over a hundred vessels were sold during this period which I believe is a crime."

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took interest in the accuracy of this statement.

To begin with, it should be pointed out that structural changes took place in the Ministry of Defence of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in 2009; namely, the military-border forces of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia were transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs Police Department and integrated with the Coast Guard Department of the Border Police of Georgia. Hence, the vessels owned by the state of Georgia are on the balance of the aforementioned two structures. We requested information from both the Ministry of Defence of Georgia as well as the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in this regard. According to the information of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, the vessels on its balance were not sold in the period of 2003 to 2009. As already pointed out above, the military-border forces of Georgia were transferred to the Coast Guard Police of Georgia in 2009 which is why we addressed this structure as well.

According to the information of the Administration of the Border Police of Georgia which is subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, none of the vessels on the balance of the Coast Guard Department of the Border Police of Georgia have been sold from 2003 to date.

In order to find out what sources the Prime Minister was using when making his statement, we contacted the Media Service of the Prime Minister’s Administration; however, we have not received any answer to date.

FactCheck

also took interest in the number of vessels owned by the Coast Guard Department. We were unable to obtain this information as, according to the statement of the aforementioned structure, this information is state secret.

However, we know that three vessels on the balance of the Coast Guard Department of the Border Police of Georgia were destroyed during the 2008 Russian-Georgian war (patrol boat Aieti, patrol cutter Orbi and a small speed cutter).

Conclusion The vessels owned by the state were on the balance of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia until 2009. After this they were transferred to the Border Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. Both of these structures in ownership of vessels indicated that no state-owned vessels were sold from 2003 to date. FactCheck

also tried to find out the number of vessels owned by the state; however, according to the response of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, this information is state secret.

In order to find out what sources the Prime Minister was using when making his statement we contacted the Media Service of the Prime Minister’s Administration; however, we did not receive any answer.

FactCheck concludes that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement is a LIE.

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