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Arms Sold:

Companies:

Defensive Shield

Cyclone

Israeli Military Industries (IMI)

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Georgia

Introduction:

 

Israel supplied arms to Georgia, including missiles and drones as well as training Georgian troops, until 2008 when the Ministry of Defense stopped issuing permits to trade arms with Georgia. This was apparently to avoid antagonising Russia as tensions between Russia and Georgia increased culminating in the South Ossetia war in 2008. Since then Georgia has sought to restart sales but apparently without success.

Israel – Georgia Relations:

 

Georgia established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 shortly after gaining independence.

The non-governmental Israel-Georgia Chamber of Commerce was established in 1996 to support the growth of bilateral commercial, tourism and cultural relations.[1]

In 2010, Israel and Georgia signed bilateral agreements in the sphere of tourism and air traffic.[2] In October 2010, Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Vera Kobalia visited Israel.[3]

Military Relations:

 

Israel has engaged in extensive military cooperation with Georgia. Israel sold Georgia armored vehicles and small arms, and Israeli special forces and private contractors have trained Georgian troops. Israel sold Georgia its fleet of UAVs, LAR-160 rocket launchers, anti-tank mines, and cluster bombs

In 2008 Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs[4] showed rhetorical support for Georgia’s claims over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the South Ossetian War against Russia, stating it “recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia”.[5] In spite of this statement, Israel simultaneously suspended arms sales to Georgia in fear of angering Russia.[6] Jewish Georgian minister Temur Yakobashvili expressed feelings of betrayal[7] and popular demonstrations in Tel Aviv called on Israel to increase arms sales to Georgia. In 2012 there were popular demonstrations in Tbilisi in support of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Individuals like former minister Roni Milo and his brother Shlomo facilitated business between Georgia and Israeli companies like Elbit. Milo tried to incorporate IAI into such business but was refused on account of sensitivity to antagonising Russia.[8]

In 2008 Israeli Defense Ministry stopped authorizing permits to private Israeli arms companies for trade with Georgia. This has been interpreted as an attempt not to provoke Russia into increasing its arms sales to Israel’s enemies like Syria and Iran in retaliation for arming Georgia.[9]

In 2010 Elbit sued Georgia for failure to pay the full amount for arms delivered in 2007, and successfully had the items returned as well as a $35m settlement.[10]

In June 2013, a large delegation from Georgia arrived in Israel, including PM Bidzina Ivanishvili and defense minister Irakli Alasania, with the intention of renewing arms deals with Israel and acquiring defensive weapons such as drones and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Apparently, that deal did not come to fruition.[11]

 

Joint Ventures

2018: Elbit subsidiary Cyclone set up a factory in Tbilisi for making airplane parts, predominantly for US models like Boeing aircrafts.

Training

Private Israeli company Defensive Shield was training Georgian special operations and urban warfare troops prior to 2008. (Defensive Shield)[12][13]

Usage of Israeli Arms:

 

In 2008 a series of Georgian Hermes-450 spy drones were shot down by Russia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia allegedly flying in Abkhazian airspace.[14][15] 

SPYDER SAM system possibly used in the war.[16][17]

Human Rights Violations:

 

In 2019 police used excessive force including tear gas and rubber bullets in Tbilisi to disperse protests over electoral reform.[18] About 240 people were injured, including up to 40 journalists, and over 100 were detained.[19] There have been calls for judicial reform as well on account of suspicion over

Break away regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are run by de facto local authorities and Russian forces who have prevented international independent monitors to enter, including unarmed civilian monitoring mission of the European Union (EUMM). They have also restricted freedom of movement with physical barriers and checkpoints denying some residents access to medical care and family visits.

There have been cases of impunity for state actors, for example the investigation into the killing of 18-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili in 2017 by the State Security Service forces was not completed, nor the investigation into the 2017 abduction of Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, allegedly by Georgian officers.[20]

With regards to media freedom, there have been reports of politically motivated prosecution of government critics, for example against businessman Mamuka Khazaradze in 2018, and political commentator Nika Gvaramia in 2019.

Georgia prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals but fails to protect them. In 2019 police refused to give protection to the Pride parade despite threats of counter protests and violence against the community.

Sales Records Table:

Download as XLS or PDF or view the Google-Doc

Product
Company
Year
Deal Size
Comments
Source
2 Aerostar UAVs
Aeronautics Defence Systems
2004 (2005)
SIPRI
4 LAR-160 self-propelled MRLs
IMI
2006 (2007)
SIPRI
5 Hermes-450 UAVs
Elbit
2007
SIPRI
1 SPYDER-SR SAM system
2007 (2008)
SIPRI
75 Python-5 BVRAAMs.
Rafael
2007 (2008)
For SPYDER-SR SAM system
SIPRI
13 Wolf APCs
Rafael; Carmor
2008 (2009)
SIPRI

1. ^ http://ig-chamber.org/about-us

2. ^ http://www.jpost.com/Travel/TravelNews/Article.aspx?id=192386

3. ^ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3971971,00.html

4. ^ https://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/pressroom/2008/pages/mfa%20statement%20on%20the%20situation%20in%20georgia%2010-aug-2008.aspx

5. ^ https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/georgia-relations-israel-us/

6. ^ https://www.wired.com/2008/08/did-israel-trai/

7. ^ https://www.haaretz.com/1.5015190

8. ^ https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3580136,00.html

9. ^ http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1834785,00.html

10. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/elbit-georgia/elbit-gets-35-mln-in-settlement-with-georgia-idUSL6E7NT2XN20111229

11. ^ https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/georgia-relations-israel-us/

12. ^ https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-gal-hirschs-security-company-trained-armies-around-the-world-1.5392350

13. ^ https://www.wired.com/2008/08/did-israel-trai/

14. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/08/AR2008050801307_pf.html

15. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7358761.stm

16. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090711165314/http://mdb.cast.ru/mdb/3-2008/item3/article3/

17. ^ https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/the-august-war-ten-years-on-a-retrospective-on-the-russo-georgian-war/

18. ^ https://www.hrw.org/europe/central-asia/georgia

19. ^ https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/georgia/report-georgia/

20. ^ https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/georgia/report-georgia/

Georgia

Israel supplied arms to Georgia, including missiles and drones as well as training Georgian troops, until 2008 when the Ministry of Defense stopped issuing permits to trade arms with Georgia. This was apparently to avoid antagonising Russia as tensions between Russia and Georgia increased culminating in the South Ossetia war in 2008. Since then Georgia has sought to restart sales but apparently without success.

Georgia established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 shortly after gaining independence.

The non-governmental Israel-Georgia Chamber of Commerce was established in 1996 to support the growth of bilateral commercial, tourism and cultural relations.[1]

In 2010, Israel and Georgia signed bilateral agreements in the sphere of tourism and air traffic.[2] In October 2010, Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Vera Kobalia visited Israel.[3]

Israel has engaged in extensive military cooperation with Georgia. Israel sold Georgia armored vehicles and small arms, and Israeli special forces and private contractors have trained Georgian troops. Israel sold Georgia its fleet of UAVs, LAR-160 rocket launchers, anti-tank mines, and cluster bombs

In 2008 Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs[4] showed rhetorical support for Georgia’s claims over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the South Ossetian War against Russia, stating it “recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia”.[5] In spite of this statement, Israel simultaneously suspended arms sales to Georgia in fear of angering Russia.[6] Jewish Georgian minister Temur Yakobashvili expressed feelings of betrayal[7] and popular demonstrations in Tel Aviv called on Israel to increase arms sales to Georgia. In 2012 there were popular demonstrations in Tbilisi in support of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Individuals like former minister Roni Milo and his brother Shlomo facilitated business between Georgia and Israeli companies like Elbit. Milo tried to incorporate IAI into such business but was refused on account of sensitivity to antagonising Russia.[8]

In 2008 Israeli Defense Ministry stopped authorizing permits to private Israeli arms companies for trade with Georgia. This has been interpreted as an attempt not to provoke Russia into increasing its arms sales to Israel’s enemies like Syria and Iran in retaliation for arming Georgia.[9]

In 2010 Elbit sued Georgia for failure to pay the full amount for arms delivered in 2007, and successfully had the items returned as well as a $35m settlement.[10]

In June 2013, a large delegation from Georgia arrived in Israel, including PM Bidzina Ivanishvili and defense minister Irakli Alasania, with the intention of renewing arms deals with Israel and acquiring defensive weapons such as drones and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Apparently, that deal did not come to fruition.[11]

Joint Ventures

2018: Elbit subsidiary Cyclone set up a factory in Tbilisi for making airplane parts, predominantly for US models like Boeing aircrafts.

 

Training

Private Israeli company Defensive Shield was training Georgian special operations and urban warfare troops prior to 2008. (Defensive Shield)[12][13]

In 2008 a series of Georgian Hermes-450 spy drones were shot down by Russia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia allegedly flying in Abkhazian airspace.[14][15] SPYDER SAM system possibly used in the war.[16][17]

In 2019 police used excessive force including tear gas and rubber bullets in Tbilisi to disperse protests over electoral reform.[18] About 240 people were injured, including up to 40 journalists, and over 100 were detained.[19] There have been calls for judicial reform as well on account of suspicion over

Break away regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are run by de facto local authorities and Russian forces who have prevented international independent monitors to enter, including unarmed civilian monitoring mission of the European Union (EUMM). They have also restricted freedom of movement with physical barriers and checkpoints denying some residents access to medical care and family visits.

There have been cases of impunity for state actors, for example the investigation into the killing of 18-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili in 2017 by the State Security Service forces was not completed, nor the investigation into the 2017 abduction of Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, allegedly by Georgian officers.[20]

With regards to media freedom, there have been reports of politically motivated prosecution of government critics, for example against businessman Mamuka Khazaradze in 2018, and political commentator Nika Gvaramia in 2019.

Georgia prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals but fails to protect them. In 2019 police refused to give protection to the Pride parade despite threats of counter protests and violence against the community.

Download as XLS or PDF or view the Google-Doc

Product
Company
Year
Deal Size
Comments
Source
2 Aerostar UAVs
Aeronautics Defence Systems
2004 (2005)
SIPRI
4 LAR-160 self-propelled MRLs
IMI
2006 (2007)
SIPRI
5 Hermes-450 UAVs
Elbit
2007
SIPRI
1 SPYDER-SR SAM system
Rafael
2007 (2008)
SIPRI
75 Python-5 BVRAAMs.
Rafael
2007 (2008)
For SPYDER-SR SAM system
SIPRI
13 Wolf APCs
Rafael; Carmor
2008 (2009)
SIPRI