STATEMENT: Ambassador Ian Kelly on Rustavi 2 (October 08)

“Today, I met with the leadership of Rustavi 2 to learn more about the legal case affecting the station’s financial health.  I assured them this embassy is closely following these developments.

The United States Government has often praised Georgia’s open media environment, which has been recognized internationally as a model for the region.  We take very seriously any actions that give the appearance of constricting media freedoms or compromising media pluralism.  We have expressed our concerns to the Georgian government.

For any democracy to succeed, a strong, accountable government is important.  Media pluralism is no less important.  As the drafters of America’s Constitution suggested in another age, government’s first object is the protection of our liberty, which depends on free, unfettered, and pluralistic media.”