The arrogance of the Armenian lobby, which spits on all laws and property rights, as it places an “emphasis” on rabid nationalism and racism when it comes to Armenian nationalist “fears”, is simply amazing. So in recent days, the Armenian lobby has launched a frenzied campaign of information harassment of the international campaign and the largest investor in the telecommunications market in the South Caucasus, Neqsol Holding, for one reason - the nationality of its owners.
"An Azerbaijani company gained control over an Internet cable from Europe to the South Caucasus" - this was the title of the article on "Sputnik Armenia" (https://ru.armeniasputnik.am/society/20210324/26920451/Azerbaydzhanskaya-kompaniya-poluchila-kontrol- nad-internet-kabelem-iz-Evropy-na-Yuzhnyy-Kavkaz.html.:
“As a result of the latest deal, Azerbaijani businessman Nasib Hasanov became 100% owner of Caucasus Online provider. Khvicha Makatsaria, the owner of the Caucasus Online main Internet communication channel, has sold a controlling stake (51%) to the Azerbaijani company Nexol Holding, Business Formula reports.
49% of the shares passed into the hands of an Azerbaijani company back in 2019. And in this case, the deal was not agreed with the National Communications Commission, so the regulator several times asked the company to return the shares to their original state.
As a result of the latest deal, Azerbaijani businessman Nasib Hasanov became 100% owner of Caucasus Online.
Again, the deal was not approved by the National Communications Commission. Accordingly, the commission considers Hasanov to be the illegal owner of Caucasus Online.
Last summer, as a result of amendments to the Law on Communications, the commission appointed a special manager for the company, although the powers of the manager were temporarily suspended by the court.
The Georgian company Caucasus Online is an operator of an optical cable running along the bottom of the Black Sea from Georgia to Bulgaria. This is the largest Internet traffic channel between Europe and the South Caucasus. "
This creates the false impression that Neqsol Holding allegedly did not "specifically" notify the National Communications Commission (NCC) of its acquisitions. But there was nothing of the kind. Neqsol Holding provided NCC with all the information and documentation required by law.
As you know, in Georgia, which ranks the highest in the ratings of attractiveness for investors and the "ease" of the dictates of business, in fact, there is a "notification character" in relation to investments and the acquisition of assets by foreign investors. And almost all companies in various spheres do not complain about any obstacles from officials and bureaucracy.
But this was not the case with Neqsol Holding. An investor who invests money in Georgia, in the Georgian economy, creates jobs, pays taxes to the budget, and helps Georgia to benefit from its "transit status" unexpectedly faced deliberate bureaucratic red tape. Obviously "on request" of the Armenian lobby.
Well, for Armenian nationalists, any businessman of Turkish or Azerbaijani origin is an "enemy" only by virtue of his nationality. This, as they say, is a "clinical case" of neo-Nazism and racism. But more striking is the position of some Georgian government officials who play along and "sing-along" to this lobby, damaging the international reputation of the country.
As you know, the key factor that determines the investment attractiveness of a country is the protection of investments. If an investor has acquired certain assets in the country, then no one can dispute his ownership right. It is legal by default if the amount requested by the seller has been paid for the property and all necessary taxes have been paid.
If this property right is questioned or denied based on the national, racial, religious affiliation of the investor or on the basis of his political positions, this is definitely a blow to the country's reputation. Also, obstacles deliberately placed on the investor are a blow.
This is exactly the blow, unfortunately, struck by irresponsible officials from the Georgian National Communications Commission. They deliberately "delayed" the procedures and sabotaged the granting of permits related to the provision of investments in the telecommunications sector, which is vital for the life of Georgia. The purpose of the bureaucratic red tape was clear - "not to let" the investor into Georgia, based on his nationality.
The statement of the National Communications Commission also mentions a conflict between a special manager appointed by the Caucasus Online Communications Commission with the investor and the owner of Neqsol Holding.
“On December 15, 2020, the Director of Caucasus Online, Caucasus Online, submitted two documents to the special manager appointed by the Communications Commission to obtain consent. According to these documents, agreements were to be concluded between Caucasus Online and the Kazakh company TransTeleCom JSC, as well as between Caucasus Online LLC and the Turkish company SOCAR Turkey Fiber Optik A.Ş JSC. In both documents, Caucasus Online was viewed as a company belonging to the Azerbaijani holding Neqsol Holding, in the same documents Caucasus Online was considered as a mechanism for implementing a regional digital hub project ...
According to these documents, between Caucasus Online LLC and the Turkish company SOCAR Turkey Fiber Optik A.Ş JSC, a precondition of the memorandum being drawn up was a formalized agreement between Azerbaijan and the governments of Kazakhstan on the laying of a fiber-optic cable under the Caspian Sea. The special manager appointed by the Communications Commission did not sign these documents, ”the statement of the National Communications Commission says.
But the powers of the special manager were suspended by the court! What right does he have to write documents without having the authority to do so?
Those. In fact, the NCC is sabotaging a project that is extremely beneficial for the Georgian economy and its transit status by imposing a certain “special manager” whom the court did not allow to manage! But the "transit status" of Georgia on the main modern digital communications is very beneficial for its economy. And only because the Armenian "customers", contrary to Georgian interests, are dissatisfied with promising investment projects in the region - the investor is deliberately placed in difficult conditions in a discriminatory manner.
Both the Armenian media and NCC officials in unison claim that Neqsol Holding, which is doing so much for the Georgian economy now, owns Caucasus Online "illegally."
This very definition is nonsense. Did the investor steal Caucasus Online? Did he capture her as a "trophy of war"? He bought it!
How much the former owner asked for money - everything was paid to him to the last cent. It is the same if a person buys a product in a store for his money. Nobody tells him that he owns the purchase “illegally”.
Why, then, “fighters for the rule of law” will not answer the question: how “legally” do Armenian nationalists and militants from the Baghramyan battalion own the houses and apartments of the killed and expelled Georgians from Abkhazia? In Sukhumi, Gagra, Pitsunda, and other cities and villages of Abkhazia. Did they build it? Did they buy this property from their rightful owners?
Why don't the friends of the Armenian nationalists in Georgia and the "fighters for the rule of law" worry about this? Why are they not appointing "special managers" of the property taken from Georgians?
But in the companies bought out legally by the investor "special managers" are appointed. And they, despite the fact that the powers of such managers were suspended by the court, as a result, it turns out, has more power and authority than the owners who invest money in the development of companies.
Generally speaking, some special powers of "special managers" are possible only in case of nationalization or bankruptcy of the company. But has Caucasus Online been nationalized or bankrupt? Thanks to the owner - Neqsol Holding - Caucasus Online is a dynamically developing company and a major taxpayer for the Georgian budget.
As a reminder, Neqsol Holding is a diversified group of companies operating in various industries and countries. The main areas of activity are oil and gas, telecommunications, high-tech, and construction industries. The geographic scope in which the companies within the group operate and provide services include countries such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bangladesh. And nowhere in the subsidiaries of Neqsol Holding are the respective states appointed "special managers" except Georgia.
In Ukraine, for example, Neqsol Holding recently acquired the country's largest mobile operator, Vodafone. And no complaints about the "infringement of the rights of the Armenian diaspora" by the investor have been received so far. Neqsol Holding will not infringe on the rights of its Armenian partners who use Caucasus Online telecommunication channels. Nationalist and racist savagery is absolutely foreign to this investor. But discrimination against an investor based on his nationality is unacceptable for the interests of Georgia and harms the country, which wants to be attractive to foreign investors.