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Border Guards

The Georgian Armed Forces are responsible for defending the nation's borders against attack, but on a daily bases monitoring and controlling the borders is the responsibility of the State Department of the State Border Guards. At this moment it is an independent governmental structure. Consisting of 5500 personnel, the Border Guards now control all of Georgia's land borders and its seacoast.

The Government of Georgia recognizes the importance of maintaining control over its borders, not least because of the growing role the Georgia aspires to play as a vital link in the transportation and communication corridor between Europe and Asia. Key objectives of the Border Guards are to:

  • Prevent the illegal smuggling of drugs, weapons, or sensitive materials (such as nuclear fissile material across Georgia's borders
  • Prevent the illegal movement of migrant populations or terrorists into or through Georgia
  • Protect Georgia's economic well being by enforcing customs regulations. Training advisory assistance and equipment from Western countries have been extremely helpful in enhancing the capabilities of Georgian Border Guards.
After regaining its Independence in 1991, Georgia started the formation of its border service. On August 8, 1992 Decree of the Georgian State Council on "Defence of State Borders of Georgia" was issued; In 1992 Georgian Border Service was formed as a unit within the Ministry of Defence; In July of 1994 the Border Defence Main Office separated from MOD as an Independent Department and in March of 1996 received the status of the State Border Defence Department of Georgia; In 1998 law on "The State Border of Georgia" was adopted; In 1998 the Coast Guard Service as a part of the Border Agency was formed and in 1999 - the Border Aviation; The last Border Unit of the Russian Federation left Georgia in October of 1999.

On 20 July 2000, the Council adopted Joint Action 2000/456/CFSP regarding a contribution of the European Union towards reinforcing the capacity of the Georgian authorities to support and protect the OSCE Observer Mission on the border of Georgia with the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, which expired on 31 December 2000. The Stockholm European Council reiterated its strong concerns over the situation in Chechnya and stressed the need for a political solution of the conflict as a matter of urgency.

From 28 May to 1 June 2001, General Sir Garry Johnson, as EU Expert, carried out an up-to-date assessment mission on the spot, as a result of which he concluded that there is a need for further EU support to permit the Georgian Border Guards to perform their duties effectively, in particular the protection of the OSCE Observer Mission.

On 26 July 2001, the Council adopted Joint Action 2001/568/CFSP with a view to ensuring the continued support of the European Union towards to stability in the Caucasus region; this JA also concerned exclusively the Chechen section of the border. On 13 December 2001, the OSCE decided to expand the mandate of the OSCE Mission to Georgia to observe and report on movement across the border between Georgia and the Ingush Republic of the Russsian Federation.

On February 11, 2004 the State Border Defence Department became part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia; On June 28, 2006, the MIA State Border Defence Department was transformed into a law-enforcement agency the Border Police of Georgia; On December 29, 2006 the Parliament of Georgia adopted the Law on Border Police of Georgia, defining main tasks and responsibilities of the Border Police of Georgia.

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Page last modified: 30-09-2012 18:06:45 ZULU