EU Warns Georgia It May Suspend Release of Aid

BRUSSELS (Armenpress)–Georgia has received a harsh warning from the European Union (EU) that it may suspend the release of financial assistance to the former Soviet republic if it did not take measures to stop a spate of kidnappings of Europeans.

"The EU finds it of utmost importance to find a solution to stop the kidnapping of EU citizens," Danish European Affairs Minister Bertel Haarder told France Press

The case of a 59-year-old British banker–Peter Shaw–who was kidnapped in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on June 17 from under the noses of police patrol–dominated the talks. "It was the main point on the agenda–on the European side," he said.

"This extremely sad sequence of events will or could have an effect on the future of EU assistance [to Georgia]," he warned.

Shaw’s kidnapping followed the abduction in Georgia of two Spanish businessmen–who were freed after more than a year in captivity last December.

The Briton was the director of Georgia’s Agrobusinessbank–which the EU helped to finance.

The EU is slated to give the former Soviet republic 40 million euros (dollars) in aid this fiscal year. It has given a total of 343 million euros since Georgia won independence in 1992.

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