Statement of the Ministry of Defence
24 January 2021

TV Pirveli continues to spread false information, the purpose of which is to overshadow the measures taken in the Ministry of Defence, by the initiative of Minister Irakli Garibashvili, in order to provide the best nutrition for the military. Allegations of a bad-quality food supply for the military personnel or suspicious deals with suppliers are completely absurd and deliberately fabricated to discredit the Ministry. It is unfortunate that TV Pirveli considers the rapid and effective detection of deficiencies in procurement as a weakness, which actually excludes the supply of bad-quality products to the Defence Forces and prevents the recurrence of similar facts in the future.

We would like to clarify that the contract with the cheese supplier “Alpuri” was terminated in December 2020, due to the detected violations of terms, which were discovered as a result of the existing effective system of control and inspection and the respective products were immediately removed from the army ration. Alongside food diversity and provision of local Georgian meat and other products, quality control is one of the top priorities for the Minister and the most important steps have been taken to improve it. Quality control is conducted, including with the involvement of the National Food Agency.

In accordance with Irakli Garibashvili’s decision, in order to ensure the high quality of food products, the Ministry has established the Standardization and Quality Control Department, which ensures high quality of food, kitchen inventory, supplies, infrastructure, sets NATO standards and conducts quality monitoring. Other quality control mechanisms have also been strengthened. Consequently, all deficiencies are rapidly eliminated and the high nutritional standards for the military personnel are fully provided.

As for the contract with “Vani Rocks”, it was decided to sign the contract with the company due to urgency before the completion of the consolidated tender, since the company was announced as the winner in the tender by the State Procurement Agency on December 22, 2020 for the procurement of cheese. Consequently, this company was already the winner of the open and transparent tender and obviously, it would be a suspicious circumstance to contract another company.

As for making connection of Irakli Garibashvili, appointed as the Minister in September 2019, or his team with a former employee who left the Ministry many years ago - it goes beyond any common sense and logic, is a disinformation and a deliberate and immoral attempt to discredit the Minister of Defence. It is unfortunate that TV Pirveli continues spreading lies and attempts to discredit the Defence Forces.