Endless Expectation for Georgian Citizenship
Nino Mshvidobadze, Guria
Vakhtang Tsintsadze has been living in Lanchkhuti district for years and despite hard social problems he cannot receive social aid because he is not citizen of Georgia.
“Dear President of Georgia, Mr. Mikheil Saakashvili! I am former citizen of Russia. After my parents died, I lived at my relative’s house in Lanchkhuti during 13 years. Since marriage I have been living in a lent house with my two underage children (4 years and 9 months). I have only one request to you – help me to get ID. I have applied to all institutions but nobody has resolved my problem. Due to lack of ID, I cannot receive social aid. However, I do not think there is any other person poorer than I am in this district. I am keeping the family with physical work and we are partly hungry. I petition to you to help to get ID. I hope for your generosity, Mr. President, nobody else can assist me. Sincerely yours, Vakhtang Tsintsadze,” Vakhtang wanted to hand this petition to the President of Georgia but it did not reach the addressee.
“Before writing this petition I applied to the Lanchkhuti district passport service where I was told that I had to file application letter to the Russian Embassy in Georgia; the latter had to send my application to Russia and all these procedures would have cost 11 lari. I sent documents; they said the answer will come in two months. I expected the answer on my birthday - August 23, 2008 … But on August 8 Georgian Russian war broke out and employees of the Russian embassy went to Russia… then I went to the Swiss Consulate. There is a company near the embassy office and I had to pay 150 USD to send documents. I paid the money and waited for the reply for the next two months…
-Why did you pay so much money? What service did the private company provide you with?
-They sent my documents to Russia and I was to receive either positive or negative answer from there.
-And what was their answer after such an expensive correspondence?
-They sent all documents back.
-So, you are no longer a Russian citizen, are you?
-No, my registration was annulled there and I am not Russian citizen now; but, I do not hold Georgian citizenship either.
-Did you apply to the government of Georgia with the request of Georgian citizenship?
-I applied to the President’s chancellery. I filed application letter and they gave me a phone number where I had to call and find out whether my case was discussed or not. I could not call them on the phone because of financial problems but a letter was sent to me by post which set requirements to get citizenship.
-And do not you meet any of those requirements?
-Unfortunately, I do not. I cannot get social aid because I do not have an ID… I tried to inform president about it but in vain.
-What are you going to do now?
-I will go to Tbilisi with my wife and children and hold rally in front of the parliament with one request: Give me Georgian Citizenship or restore my Russian citizenship because I do not have any other way out.
We hope, fate of Vakhtang Tsintsadze will be resolved in near future and he will not need to rally in Rustaveli Avenue together with his wife and two underage children.