Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Remarks at Signing Ceremony for Bakhvi 1 Hydropower Facility

Q-n about the event

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: I am very happy to be here for the signing of the feasibility study about the Bakhvi One Hydropower Plant. It’s a sign not only of Georgia’s leadership in this area of green energy, but also another step in the cooperation between Georgia and the United States and Cerberus Frontier in a very important sector for Georgia’s energy security and independence. So, we are delighted to see this moving forward. There is a great deal of effort to coordinate with local communities and to meet very high regulatory standards, and we are very pleased that hydropower continues to be important source of jobs, as well as energy, in Georgia.

Q-n about Lavrov’s recent statement regarding the resumption of flights between Russia and Georgia and what is the U.S. position on the normalization of Georgia-Russia relations?

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: Obviously, the best way to normalize relations would be for Russia to lift the flight ban and not wait, and not talk about lifting the flight ban, but to lift it, and then I think it would be easier for Georgia to have confidence that Russia is serious about normalizing relations.

Q-n about the pre-election environment in Georgia

Ambassador Kelly Degnan: The elections are coming.  Obviously there is a lot of political rhetoric, a lot of statements being made. I think it’s important to remember that the Georgian people want to move toward a more proportional electoral system, a more representative parliament. That requires parties to cooperate, and any movements now, in the early days, that limit options or make it more difficult to form a coalition government after the elections is premature and, I think, not helpful in terms of reaching the goal that the Georgian people have asked for, which is a more proportional, a more representative parliament.