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A declaration was issued by participants of the meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held in London on December 3-4, 2019.

According the document, Russia"s aggressive actions threaten Euro-Atlantic security.

“We, as an Alliance, are facing distinct threats and challenges emanating from all strategic directions. Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all. State and non-state actors challenge the rules-based international order. Instability beyond our borders is also contributing to irregular migration. We face cyber and hybrid threats.

NATO is a defensive Alliance and poses no threat to any country. We are adapting our military capabilities, strategy, and plans across the Alliance in line with our 360-degree approach to security. We have taken decisions to improve the readiness of our forces to respond to any threat, at any time, from any direction. We stand firm in our commitment to the fight against terrorism and are taking stronger action together to defeat it. We are addressing and will continue to address in a measured and responsible way Russia’s deployment of new intermediate-range missiles, which brought about the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and which pose significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.

We are increasing action to protect our freedoms at sea and in the air. We are further strengthening our ability to deter and defend with an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional, and missile defence capabilities, which we continue to adapt. As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance. We are fully committed to the preservation and strengthening of effective arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation, taking into account the prevailing security environment. Allies are strongly committed to full implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in all its aspects, including nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We remain open for dialogue, and to a constructive relationship with Russia when Russia’s actions make that possible”, - reads the joint resolution.

05-12-2019 17:31 +0400
Foreign Ministers of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova sign joint statement on EU integration

Foreign Ministers of 3 countries of the Eastern Partnership – Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova – signed a joint statement on integration with the European Union in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The statement addressed to the EU High Commissioner Josep Borrell reflects the ambitious agenda of the associated members regarding integration into the EU and is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Eastern Partnership.

Based on the statement, these counties initiate the establishment of “EU+3 Associated Members” dialogue format in direction of transport, energy and other branches. The Associated Trio is asking for full use of four liberties of the EU (free movement of goods, services, capital and labour force).

Foreign Ministers said that the their countries share fundamental values of EU and reiterate their sovereign rights to determine their own future.

The statement says that European integration is the choice of Associated countries’ citizens and this right should be free of pressure from the third country.

The statement also reads that 10 years since the creation of the EU Eastern Partnership format, uniting Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, it is time a long-term strategy be drafted “which will ensure a closer cooperation of the countries with the EU”.

The three countries condemn violation of territorial integrity and call on the EU for becoming actively involved in the resolution of conflicts in the Eastern Partnership region and for the pullout of troops illegally deployed on their territories.

05-12-2019 17:21 +0400
Medvedev called the beginning of the war in Georgia the most difficult and inevitable decision

Dmitry Medvedev called the beginning of the war in Georgia the most difficult and inevitable decision of his presidency.
In such way he answered the question – what was the most difficult decision of his presidency.

“The most difficult decisions are the ones that create very serious problems for a country or people. Once I made a decision about responding to Georgia’s aggression. I was then a young leader. It was only two months since I became president. It was very difficult, but as practice has shown, it was inevitable and the only solution”, - said Russian Prime Minister.

In 2008 Dminty Medvedev was a President of Russia. Now he is the Prime Minister. Medvedev made the announcement at an annual press-conference, which was broadcast live by Russian channels.

05-12-2019 16:54 +0400
We expect that the promise on moving to proportional system will be delivered on - Louisa Vinton

The promise was made and we expect that the promise will be delivered on, - Louisa Vinton, Resident Representative of the UNDP in Georgia said while commenting on the move to a proportional electoral system.

According to her, the proportional system will give all political parties a chance to portray themselves, which is a positive thing.

“I would like to point out that the transition to a proportional system that will allow all parties and political entities to portray themselves in Georgian politics is a very positive direction. It is also very important that the promise was made in this regard and of course we expect that promise to be fulfilled.

I would also like to point out that negotiation has no alternative. Negotiation is the most powerful mechanism for resolving such a situation. We hope that this process will be discussed with each other. I welcome the initiative of the diplomats who facilitated the talks, but it should be noted that the decision is not in the hands of diplomats but Georgian politicians, both the opposition and the government.

There was a promise that a proportional electoral system would be introduced and we expect that the promise will be delivered on. The violence was getting alarming. We observe developments on a daily basis. It is noteworthy that the violence became alarming. We hope that this situation will be settled through negotiations”, - said Louisa Vinton.

05-12-2019 14:48 +0400
US is concerned about rising political tensions in Georgia - Elizabeth Rudd

US Acting Ambassador to Georgia Elizabeth Rudd assesses the ongoing processes in Georgia and says there is a need for dialogue between the parties.

"The United States is concerned about the escalation of political tensions in Georgia. That is why we support the launch of a dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition. For sure, we fully support freedom of expression. Of course, peacefully and within the constitution. Also, we hope that the police will respond equally to all these signs”, - said Elizabeth Rudd.

05-12-2019 13:53 +0400
"If we would have a normal government, according to the law of occupation, it is punishable" - Charkviani about Burjanadze’s visit to Moscow

If we would have a normal government, according to the law of occupation, it is punishable. Such statement made Tako Charkviani while commenting Nino Burjanadze’s visit to Moscow.

“There has to be legitimacy from people when you are going to the occupier to talk. We have a law of occupation. If we would have a normal government, according to the law of occupation, it is punishable. Does democracy mean to be a collaborator with the occupier and to have silent deals? Do we know what they’re talking about?”, - says Tako Charkviani.

05-12-2019 12:39 +0400
Noise near the Batumi City Hall - activists put up stickers with the slogan "Slave" at the entrance of City Hall

There was a noise near the Batumi City Hall, where activists from the NGO Alternative were planning to enter the building and put stickers at the cabinet of Mukhran Vakhtangadze, a majoritarian in Batumi. The security service did not let them to do this.

The rally participants said they had a permit, but they were still unable to enter the building.

According to activists, Vakhtangadze is one of the MPs, who didn’t support the proportional system.

Activists put up stickers “Slave” at the entrance to Batumi City Hall.

05-12-2019 12:34 +0400
Georgia is moving to a completely proportional system. This is already reflected in the Constitution - Cristian Urse

The Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia says that diplomatic corps are now focused on the dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition for the 2020 elections in Georgia as the Georgian constitution allows the transition to a fully proportional electoral system from 2024 and the problems related to election systems will be removed automatically. 
According to Christian Urse, the meeting between the ruling party and the opposition, attended by the diplomatic corps, was a step forward for de-escalating tension over the electoral issues.
“We hope that the dialogue on electoral issues will continueThe Saturday’s meeting was a good step towards alleviating polarization. Georgia is moving to a completely proportional system.

This is already reflected in the Constitution and the recommendations of Council of Europe had the same message. Right now we are focusing on the dialogue on the 2020 elections and the ongoing process”, - said Urse.

05-12-2019 10:54 +0400
Putin revives Soviet days - US congressmen over Russian occupation

Russia has kept Abkhazia and South Ossetia illegally occupied for more than 10 years, Putin violated the international law principles and remains unpunished – Christopher Smith, American Congressman said following adoption of a resolution which disapproves Russia’s participation in future G7 summits.

"For over 10 years Russia has illegally occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which make up 20% of Georgia"s territory. I arrived in Tbilisi one week after Russia’s intrusion into South Ossetia in 2008 and saw the Internally Displaced Persons and killed and wounded civilians when Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he revived the Soviet Union. He violated fundamental principles of international law, rejected the standards of a democratic society, and refused to recognize the territorial integrity of neighboring countries. Putin is unpunished. Russian invasions and occupations have made thousands of internally displaced persons in Georgia and Ukraine. As a result, the human rights of the population of these two countries have been violated”, - said American Congressman.

According to Smith, one of the reasons for this decision is Putin’s violent regime and occupation of Georgian and Ukrainian territories.

05-12-2019 08:54 +0400
A working group will be set up to address the shortcomings in the medical field

After the meeting betweenthe Prime Minister of Georgia and representatives of about 30 clinics, it was revealed that Giorgi Gakharia gave Ekaterine Tikaradze, the Minister of Health a task to create a working group on tariffs. From the side of the clinics the group will include medical business financiers as well as sectoral associations.

The change is meant to equalize the tariff for clinics, which representatives of medical institutions oppose on the grounds of deteriorating health care quality.

According to the decision of the Ministry of Health, the prices were equalized between the clinics. New resolution #520 entered into force on November 21.

05-12-2019 07:45 +0400
Germany expels two Russian diplomats over assassination of Georgian man in Berlin

Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday as it opened a formal investigation into suspicions the Kremlin was behind the killing of a man in central Berlin.

In the first diplomatic fall-out from what German government sources have described as a “second Skripal case”, Angela Merkel’s government summoned the Russian ambassador on Wednesday morning and ordered two of the embassy staff to leave the country within seven days.
The two diplomats concerned are believed to be Russian intelligence officers, according to local media reports.
The German foreign ministry said they had been declared persona non grata in protest at Russia’s failure to cooperate with investigations into the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national shot dead in a Berlin park in August.
The expulsions come as federal prosecutors responsible for issues of national security announced they were taking over the case on Wednesday.
“There is sufficient factual evidence that the killing was carried out on behalf of state agencies of Russia”, - federal prosecutors said in a statement.

04-12-2019 16:42 +0400
“Would you like some nice ISIS fighters?” - Trump trolls Macron at NATO summit

In a testy exchange on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London, Donald Trump clashed with Emmanuel Macron about Macron’s criticism of the 70-year-old Western alliance

Asked by a reporter whether Macron had committed to allowing the captured French ISIS fighters to return to his country, Trump said he hadn’t asked.
“Would you like some nice ISIS fighters?” Trump said, turning to Macron. “I could give them to you. You could take every one you want”.
Macron did not appear to be amused.
“Let’s be serious”, - Macron replied. - “A very large number of fighters you have on the ground — ISIS fighters coming from Syria, Iraq and the region. It is true you have foreign fighters coming from Europe, but this is a tiny minority of the overall problem we have”.

04-12-2019 16:35 +0400
Dedaena and March 9 parks will be connected through a pedestrian tunnel

Rehabilitation works between “Mshrali” and Saarbrücken bridges are completed.

Dedaena" and "March 9" parks will be connected through a pedestrian tunnel. The first phase of the project will be finished by the end of the year and the traffic will be fully restored.

The cost of rehabilitation works is GEL 7 million.

04-12-2019 16:24 +0400
Opposition to register new model of electoral system in Parliament

The opposition registered a new bill based on the German electoral system model in the Parliament. After registration, the bill will be submitted to the Bureau for the further consideration.

The opposition claims that the draft goes hand in hand with the Georgian Constitution while the ruling party considers this option unconstitutional.

According to them, they will take into account the recommendations of the OSCE / ODIHR. The draft will be sent to the international organization by Public Defender after the bill is officially registered in the Parliament.

As Sergi Kapanadze, a member of the European Parliament, said, this bill is the solution of the existing political crisis.

“This is a project that envisages reform of the electoral system. It incorporates the German principle, which requires that all parties be represented in parliament in such a way as they received proportional votes from the population. It also implies multi-mandate majoritarian constituencies. The author of this document is 30 political forces and their representatives. There is complete consensus on the opposition wing and now the ball is on the pitch of the Georgian Dream. If they want to find a way out of this political crisis, this is the solution”, - said Sergi Kapanadze.

04-12-2019 15:24 +0400
Georgian Dream activists meet protesters with brooms at majoritarian MP’s bureau in Khulo

Clash occurred between the activists of the ruling Georgian Dream party and protesters in Khulo municipality, outside the bureau of the majoritarian MP Anzor Bolkvadze.

Representatives of the opposition UNM and NGO “Alternativa” are rallying and shouting “Slave”.

Georgian Dream activists arrived to the place with brooms in their hands and reminded them the period when the previous government was in power.
According to members of the NGO, Anzor Bolkvadze is one of those who thwarted the issue of proportional system elections.
There was verbal and physical confrontation. Police arrived at the scene about half an hour later.

04-12-2019 15:07 +0400
Will the Strasbourg Court review the ruling on the Rustavi 2 case - it will be clear on December 10

On December 9, a panel of five judges of the European Court of Human Rights will examine three requests to refer the delivered judgments of the European Court to the Grand Chamber. The case is broadcasting company Rustavi-2.

The information was released on the official website of the Strasbourg Court.
Former owners of Rustavi 2 Levan and Giorgi Karamanishvili requested revision of the verdict. Whether the ruling will be reviewed by the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg court will be decided on December 10.

04-12-2019 13:58 +0400
The attempt to keep face before the supporters – Talakvadze about the registration of the so-called German model

The claim of the opposition that the so-called German model is in line with the constitution and it’s possible to make a change at the level of legislation is an attempt of keeping face before the voters. Such statement made the Speaker of the Parliament.

According to Archil Talakvadze, the meeting, which was attended by ambassadors, parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition, as well as the Venice Commission, showed that the so called German model is not compatible with the Constitution.

“The so-called German model is not in line with the Georgian constitution, therefore, the assertion that it’s possible to make any changes at the level of the electoral law and code, in my opinion, is an attempt by this part of the opposition of keeping face before their voters and the people, they brought to the streets. I ask our citizens, the representatives of the opposition, who are interested in continuing the dialogue over this issue, to sit down at the negotiating table”, - said the Head of the Parliament.

04-12-2019 11:53 +0400
Archil Talakvadze calls on the citizens to avoid escalation

According to the Chairman of the Parliament, the task of the authorities is to avoid aggravation of the situation during the protest.

As Archil Talakvadze said, the media sometimes criticize the authorities for mobilizing large numbers of police officers, but sometimes because of scarcity:

“It is a request of our fellow citizens to refrain from escalating. The provocation should be avoided and all protesters should be more careful”, - said Archil Talakvadze.

04-12-2019 11:43 +0400
Specific results of investigation into Russia-Georgia 2008 war are expected to be presented by end of 2020 - Fatou Bensouda

Prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda says the specific results of the investigation into the Russia-Georgia 2008 war are expected to be presented by the end of 2020, before her term in office expires.

According to the Georgian Justice Ministry, Bensouda made such statement during the meeting with Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia.

“At the meeting Tea Tsulukiani talked about the investigation of the Russian-Georgian war and noted that the Georgian citizens, who became the victims of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity, are waiting for concrete results from the investigation for enforcement of justice”, - said the Georgian Justice Ministry.

Tea Tsulukiani met with Fatou Bensouda within the frameworks of the 18th session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court.

04-12-2019 11:14 +0400
Georgia’s supportive statements at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing

Supportive statements were made at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on ‘The Future of U.S. Policy Towards Russia’ on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, convened a full committee hearing on the future of U.S. policy towards Russia, with witness testimony from David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Christopher A. Ford, assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation at the U.S. Department of State.
As James Risch stressed in his speech ‘the world today is more dangerous and less free because of the Russian Federation.’
Of course, we all know about the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine over the years, and about the poisoning of Russian people on other sovereign soil. The world today is more dangerous and less free because of the Russian Federation.
As a result, the U.S. relationship with Russia is at a low point. During the height of the Cold War, our leaders had a lifeline to ensure that neither side made a disastrous miscalculation – the famous red phone.
Today, our engagements with Russia are few, and there is a growing risk of a strategic miscalculation on the seas, the ground, or in the skies.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered opening remarks noting that Kremlin aggression since the invasion of Georgia in 2008 is unacceptable.
First, we must make very clear that so many examples of Kremlin aggression since the invasion of Georgia in 2008 are simply unacceptable and cannot become the norm in international affairs.
The invasion of Ukraine and illegal occupation of Crimea, the attempted assassination of regime opponents with chemical weapons on foreign soil, committing war crimes in Syria, the attack on our 2016 election. These are just some, Menendez said.

David Hale, the department’s undersecretary for political affairs stressed that Russia seeks to dominate, as demonstrated by its ongoing aggression against Ukraine and Georgia.
In its immediate neighborhood, Russia seeks to dominate, as demonstrated by its ongoing aggression against Ukraine and Georgia. In Ukraine, Russia must end its belligerence and implement its Minsk agreement obligations.
We are encouraged by the positive steps Ukrainian President Zelensky has taken to resolve the Russiainstigated conflict in eastern Ukraine; thus far, we are disappointed by Moscow’s response. The December 9 Normandy format summit provides an opportunity to test Russia’s willingness to reverse its harmful behavior.
We condemn Russia’s continued militarization of Crimea and in July 2018, the Secretary of State issued a Crimea declaration stating that the United States will never recognize Russia’s attempted annexation of the peninsula.
The construction of the Nordstream 2 pipeline and Moscow’s unhelpful approach to trilateral gas negotiations with the EU and Ukraine give Russia a new instrument for its strategy of using energy as a political weapon, David Hale stated.

Christopher A. Ford, assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation at the U.S. Department of State discussed Russia’s troubling diplomatic campaigns noting that formidable challenges in the current security environment are the result of Russian behavior.
Nor have I yet mentioned Russia’s troubling diplomatic campaigns to undermine institutions of transparency and accountability in controlling weapons of mass destruction at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the United Nations.
All of this would add up to a very grim picture even if Russia were not continuing its aggression and territorial seizures against Ukraine and Georgia, undertaking expeditionary warfare on behalf of the murderous regime in Damascus, and working to subvert democratic processes in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.
Since 2014, in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia, the United States has dramatically increased security assistance across the region, which signifies our steadfast
commitment to collective defense under the North Atlantic Treaty and our continued support to European Allies and partners to counter Russian aggression and malign influence, Ford said.

04-12-2019 11:00 +0400
Koda – Manglisi – Tsalka - Ninotsminda road section completely restored with the financial support of the World Bank

Rehabilitation of Pantiani-Manglisi road has been completed. In addition to the 10km section, with the financial support of the World Bank, the 16km Koda-Manglisi-Tsalka-Ninotsminda section was also completely restored. Sidewalks were made, road signs were arranged.

The Minister of Infrastructure visited the completed works. Maia Tskitishvili also checked the construction process of Manglisi Emergency Medical Center, which should be completed by the end of the year.

04-12-2019 08:58 +0400
Attacks on UNM offices – the ruling team accuses opposition of provocations and urges supporters to be careful

Frequent attacks on National Movement regional offices by activists of the Georgian Dream - the ruling party blames the opposition for the confrontation.

Anri Okhanashvili, the Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on legal issues, urges activists to be careful.

"Of course, emotionally it is not easy when young people confront each other in this form. This is not acceptable. We have a greater responsibility to be more cautious about such provocative actions and that is why I call on our supportive youth to be more careful”, - said Anri Okhanashvili.

04-12-2019 08:16 +0400
“This is not your business” – President’s response to the pardon of Giorgi Mamaladze

The President of Georgia has not responded to the Kurieri’s questions about ongoing protests and confrontations in the country. Salome Zourabichvili did not even talk about the pardoning of Giorgi Mamaladze.

“This is not your business” – responded the President briefly to a question of Kurieri journalist on the pardoning.

The crew of Rustavi 2 tried to record Salome Zourabichvili after the evening dedicated to Givi Orjonikidze.

04-12-2019 08:00 +0400
Police officer injured in rally in Zugdidi

One policeman was injured during a rally in front of the UNM office in Zugdidi.
According to the Kurieri journalist, he was hit by a handle that was thrown in the direction of the UNM office by a Georgian Dream supporter.
The rally of supporters of the ruling party in Zugdidi near the office of the National Movement is already over.

03-12-2019 19:39 +0400
Eggs and brooms - noise and confrontation near the UNM’s Zugdidi office

Supporters of the ruling Georgian Dream party are holding a protest rally outside the office of the United National Movement in Zugdidi.

According to them, they will not let the UNM come back. They announce periodical rallies.

There is a verbal confrontation at the rally. The situation is tense currently - supporters of the ruling party are shouting at the opposition, throwing eggs and brooms at the UNM office.

Police are mobilized at the scene.

03-12-2019 19:15 +0400
We can say that there is more NATO in Georgia now than ever - Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the decision made during the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit remains in force and that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of the alliance.

According to him, deadlines have not been set precisely, but NATO’s main task is to help the two countries join the alliance.

“We are focused on helping Georgia and Ukraine in their moving forward on the path of the Euro-Atlantic integration including in carrying out reforms, modernization of security institutions. There is more NATO in Georgia now than ever. We have a training center in the suburbs of Tbilisi. We conducted large-scale training and have close political contacts.
Visits to Georgia and Ukraine confirm that the alliance is working with both countries. The relations were two-sided. Cooperation was fruitful for these two countries and for NATO, too, because Georgia and Ukraine participated in peacekeeping missions and operations of NATO”, - said Jens Stoltenberg.

03-12-2019 16:57 +0400
Nino Burjanadze left for Moscow

Leader of the United Georgia-Democratic Movement Nino Burjanadze has left for Moscow.

As Gigla Baramidze, the secretary general of the United Georgia-Democratic Movement, told Kurieri, Burjanadze left for Moscow on a working visit and will talk about the details after arriving.

According to Baramidze, the United Opposition is also informed about the visit.

03-12-2019 16:25 +0400
The State may terminate contract with Anaklia Consortium - Maya Tskitishvili

The Minister of Infrastructure Maia Tskitishvili said that the State cannot continue cooperating with the Anaklia Development Consortium if they are unable to fulfill its obligations to secure funding for the project in a timely manner.

“The Government has still not been informed of additional investors interested in the Anaklia Development.

The deadline for the Consortium to come up with the needed capital for the project and finalise agreements with potential investors and financial institutions expires on December 16 and by the end of the year a financial closure should be achieved. There is little time left to fulfil these obligations. The deadline is extended to December 31 and after that Georgian Government will carry out actions permissible by the contract”, - concluded Tskitishvili.

03-12-2019 15:57 +0400
“Dream” has a choice, either to enter into dialogue or to deepen the crisis - Sergi Kapanadze

According to the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Sergi Kapanadze, the country is in deep political crisis and the “Georgian Dream” should start negotiations to ease the crisis.

“We are now in a deepening political crisis that is deepening every day and the Dream has a choice, either to enter into dialogue and ease this crisis, or to deepen the crisis with its steps”, - said Sergi Kapanadze.

03-12-2019 15:27 +0400
Clashes occur between opposition and Georgia Dream supporters near Mtskheta City Hall

The opposition leaders and civil activists are holding a rally outside the City Hall building in Mtskheta.

Supporters of the Georgian Dream are also gathered nearby. Clashes occurred between the opposing sides several times during the rally. 

The police cordon is arranged between the demonstrators to ensure safety and public order. 

Initially, a Georgian Dream supporter managed to break the police cordon and move to the side where the opposition and civil activists are holding a rally, after which the activist of the ruling party physically confronted one of the protesters.

In addition, there were several other cases of confrontation.

"Yanukovych had Titushkas and Ivanishvili has Klitushkas. The Government is going to retain power through these Klitushkas, but will eventually become their victim. It is very unfortunate that Ivanishvili has big pink glasses”, - said one of the leaders of European Georgia Gigi Ugulava.

According to Zaal Udumashvili, a member of the National Movement, the authorities are trying to create the illusion of civil strife.

One of the Georgian Dream’s supporters said that he is waiting to Giga Bokeria.
“I am waiting to Bokeria. They had nine years, what did they do? Dimitri Khundadze is in Tbilisi, he is not here. Why are they coming? What do they want from ordinary employees”, - he asked.

03-12-2019 15:13 +0400
All persons who are suspected of violence should be held responsible – Prime Minister

Anyone who dares, calls for or incites a confrontation will be held morally responsible, apart from the law. Such statement made the Prime Minister while commenting the ongoing processes in the country.

According to Giorgi Gakharia, irresponsible people are trying to get young people involved in this political, emotionally strained process.

“Of course, there is no danger of civil confrontation and the state will not allow it. Besides, everybody who are suspected of violence should be punished. This is the obligation of the State.

Most important to me is that there is a highly emotional environment, and there are many causes for it. First of all, the cause is that the political process is ongoing on the streets instead of the Parliament.

Unfortunately, irresponsible people are trying to get young people involved in this political, emotionally strained process, and let"s not forget that these young people may be opposing one another today, but tomorrow these people must build this country. Anyone, who dares or calls for or incites this confrontation, will be held morally responsible, apart from the law”, - concluded the Head of the Government.

03-12-2019 13:36 +0400
From today 56 new buses will serve Tbilisi - Kakha Kaladze

According to Tbilisi mayor Kakha Kaladze, 56 more buses will serve Tbilisi from today.

As he said, their main goal is to regulate public transport.

“We receives new party of buses. 38 of them is 8 meters and 16 - 10 meters. These buses from today will serve the residents of Tbilisi. They will be distributed on different routes. Our main goal is to regulate public transport”, - said Kakha Kaladze.

03-12-2019 13:20 +0400
Dialogue is needed to defuse the situation - Carl Hartzell on Mtskheta confrontation

The Head of the EU representation in Georgia, Carl Hartzell, says that dialogue is needed in order to calm down tensions.

The Ambassador responded to the incident between Dare movement and the supporters of the Georgian Dream in Mtskheta.

“We have invested a lot from the EU side together with others to facilitate the dialogue that took place last weekend. As you know, I was enthusiastic about the exchange of views that took place there. We are now in the process of a dialogue with different participants to see what conclusions we can draw together from this. Dialogue is essential in order to calm down tensions, and of course, every time there is the use of violence, it is always a bad sign, which should be taken seriously and should be followed up appropriately”, - said Carl Hartzell.

03-12-2019 13:15 +0400
Three injured in a confrontation near the Georgian Dream office have already left the hospital

Three injured in a confrontation near the Georgian Dream office have already left the hospital

One of the injured was a minor.

According to Kote Sakhvadze, the deputy director of New Hospital, all of them had only superficial injuries.

Five activists of the Shame movement injured during the clash between the members of the movement and the representatives of the young wing of the Georgian Dream party.

03-12-2019 12:43 +0400
The opposition will register the so-called German model bill in the Parliament

We have developed a Georgian modification of the electoral system based on the German model, which we will forward to the Public Defender and will register the draft law in the Parliament. Such statement made Giorgi Vashadze, the leader of the New Georgia, at a joint news conference of opposition parties.

“The model that we developed is based on the so-called German model, is consistent with the Georgian constitution, expresses public opinion, gives preference to the proportional system and considers Georgian reality.

The novelty of all this is that votes will be proportionally distributed among candidates. The majoritarian system will be maintained, but there will be multi-mandate majoritarian constituencies - 6, 7 or 8-mandate constituencies.

Each voter will have one vote and therefore, no political force will be able to seize power. The interest of each individual will be maximally expressed and, most importantly, the government will serve people and not authoritarians, who were unfortunately developed under the old system.

As responsible opposition parties, we are working day and night to develop an electoral model that is fully in line with state interests. If the ODIHR has any questions or opinions regarding the draft law, we are ready to consider them”, - said Vashadze.

03-12-2019 12:23 +0400
The parties need to understand the importance of exchanging opinions - Carl Hartzell

According to Carl Hartzel, the Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, the ruling team and the opposition must understand the importance of exchanging opinions and come to the right decision.

“During the dialogue we initiated, the talk on the German model was very active, so that each party involved in the dialogue could hear other’s positions. The parties involved must understand the importance of exchanging opinions and come to appropriate conclusions”, - said Carl Hartzell.

The meeting on the German model between the ruling party and the opposition ended without any results.

03-12-2019 12:20 +0400
The Ambassadors also saw our serious arguments about the “German model” - Archil Talakvadze

The ruling party does not change positions on the so-called “German model” of electoral system developed by the opposition.

The Speaker of the Parliament Archil Talakvadze notes that the proposed model is unconstitutional and they presented serious arguments during a meeting with the opposition.

“We are talking to the opposition. As you have seen, the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition, as well as the Speakers of Parliament, our international partners and the Venice Commission, were represented in the previous format. We started to talk. The positions on the “German model” are clear and the Ambassadors saw some serious arguments that it really requires a constitutional amendment”, - said Talakvadze.

03-12-2019 11:58 +0400
Before submitting “German Model” to ODIHR it should be registered in the Parliament - Ombudsman

Before submitting “German Model” to ODIHR it should be registered in the Parliament. Such statement made the Public Defender of Georgia.

According to Nino Lomjaria, the OSCE/ODIHR demands that the bill be officially registered in the parliament.

Ombudsman said that she will address international organizations after the draft law on the electoral system is registered in the parliament.

“I have active consultations with the OSCE/ODIHR on this issue. I have personally met with the OSCE/ODIHR President and I have spoken to the representatives of the relevant departments. The bill has to be officially registered in the parliament and after that, I will appeal to the OSCE/ODIHR to submit its opinion”, - concluded the Public Defender.

03-12-2019 11:14 +0400
Georgia to nominate judge in Hague in 2020

Georgia to nominate judge in Hague in 2020. Such statement was made by the Minister of Justice of Georgia Tea Tsulukiani.

As she said, Georgia will present International Criminal Law Court Judge applicant. The Hague court judge elections will be held in December of 2020.

The candidates for the vacant seats will be selected by representatives from 123 countries. One out of six judges will be elected from Eastern Europe as the time of the Czech judge expires. Georgia will nominate a candidate for his position.

“Georgia has the resources to nominate qualified and experienced candidate that will compete with other Eastern European judges. If successful, Georgia will have the judge in Hague for the first time”, - said Tsulukiani.

In her speech, the Minister publicly asked the representatives of more than hundred states to support Georgia.

Within the framework of the 18th Assembly of the International Criminal Court Tea Tsulukiani will also meet with the prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

03-12-2019 09:36 +0400
Vazha Gaprindashvili’s detention and the situation on the occupied territories – Zalkaliani’s Visit to France

Vazha Gaprindashvili’s detention and the existing situation on the occupied regions of Georgia – these are the main topics of the Davit Zalkaliani’s visit to France.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, they also talked about the Geneva format.

“As you know, France was the initiator of the 2008 ceasefire agreement. Unfortunately 11 years since the Russia-Georgia war, Russia still refuses to fulfill the ceasefire deal and 20 per cent of the Georgian territories remain occupied by the country. We are talking about the murder of Tatunashvili and Otkhozoria, who died because of this illegal occupation.

The occupation regime detained even well-known doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili, whom we are still trying to release.

I provided my counterpart with comprehensive information on the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia, especially about the grave humanitarian situation and Gaprindashvili’s illegal detention.

It is necessary to keep in touch with the French side and provide them with information on the ongoing processes in the occupied territories, because France is of great importance internationally and in the context of their relations with Russia. As the Foreign Minister said, France strongly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which was reaffirmed at the meeting”, - concluded Zalkaliani.

03-12-2019 09:07 +0400
Georgia to nominate candidate for judge in Hague

Six judges will be elected from different regions within the 19th Assembly of the Hague Tribunal in December of 2020. Georgian judge will also fight for this position.

The statement will be made by Tea Tsulukiani, the Minister of Justice of Georgia. Together with the delegation she left for Hague to participate in the Assembly of the International Criminal Court.

The candidates for the vacant seats will be selected by representatives from 123 countries. One out of six judges will be elected from Eastern Europe as the time of the Czech judge expires.

During the visit, Tsulukiani will also meet with officials of the International Criminal Court.

02-12-2019 19:07 +0400
If Nika Melia is suspended of his mandate Badri Basishvili will replace him in the Parliament

If MP Nika Melia, one of the leaders of the UNM, is suspended of his mandate, Badri Basishvili, the member of the party’s political board, will replace him in the Parliament.

The Tbilisi City Court has today found Nika Melia guilty of abusing his power in connection with Cartu Bank case, fined him GEL 25 000 and deprived of the right to hold a public office for 2 years and 3 months.

02-12-2019 17:35 +0400
Paata Gogokhia is expected to replace Akaki Zoidze in the Parliament

According to Mamuka Mdinaradze, the leader of the parliamentary majority, according to the Georgian Dream’s electoral list, Gogokhia should replace Zoidze in the Parliament.

Zoidze decided to leave the parliamentary mandate today. The reason is named the polarized political space.

He entered the Parliament on the proportional list of the Georgian Dream.

02-12-2019 17:00 +0400
Dimitri Khundadze is expected to replace Akaki Zoidze on the post of Health Committee Chairman

Dimitri Khundadze is expected to replace Akaki Zoidze on the post of Health Committee Chairman.

Majority member Lado Kakhadze also was considered for this post.

Akaki Zoidze made the decision to leave the parliamentary mandate today. According to him, he will return to expert work.

02-12-2019 16:35 +0400
Akaki Zoidze resigns as MP

Georgian Dream MP Akaki Zoidze resigns.

According to Zoidze, he cannot see his place in a polarized political space.

A few days ago, Akaki Zoidze initiated a plebiscite or referendum on constitutional amendments. He noted that if the parliamentary majority had not considered his initiative, he would have left the majority.

02-12-2019 16:15 +0400
Police detained several activists of Dare movement in Mtskheta

Police detained several activists of the Dare movement during the rally outside the office of the majoritarian MP Dimitri Khundadze in Mtskheta.

Representatives of the youth wing of the opposition parties are holding a protest rally in Mtskheta. Moreover, physical confrontation between the office staff and locals took place at the scene.

As protesters said, they brought 41 pieces of silver to Khundadze.

Reportedly, Beka Natelashvili, the son of the Georgian Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili, is among the detainees.

Several activists were injured in the clash.

02-12-2019 15:14 +0400
The de facto authorities of the occupied Tskhinvali allowed locals to cross the so-called border for treatment

Anatoly Bibilov held a meeting of the so-called Security Council. The meeting was held in an expanded format.

They made a decision on permission to travel to Georgia through the “place of the state border crossing Razdaekhaen” to residents of Akhalgori district included in the government decree No. 119, who do not have the so-called South Ossetian and Russian citizenship and need medical emergency or high-tech assistance not provided in the region.

Besides, the so-called Security Council also decided to create conditions for the receipt of pensions by residents of Akhalgori who “do not have South Ossetian and Russian citizenship before their registration in the pension Fund of South Ossetia”.

02-12-2019 15:03 +0400
“The best slave of the year” - civic activists made “shame corridor” to Irakli Kobakhidze

Members of the “Change” and “It is a shame” movements are holding a protest outside the Courtyard by Marriott.

“The best slave of the year” - the participants of the rally have carried banners of different content.

Civic activists made a “shame corridor” to Irakli Kobakhidze.

He is expected to deliver a speech at the Courtyard Marriott conference.

02-12-2019 14:37 +0400
Tbilisi - Moscow flight - Mamuka Khazaradze bought a ticket to Bidzina Ivanishvili

Mamuka Khazaradze, the founder of the public movement Lelo, bought to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the chairman of the Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia, a plane ticket on Tbilisi – Moscow flight.

As Khazaradze said, young people should not have to leave the country for employment.

Khazaradze responded to Ivanishvili’s statements which he made a few days ago.

02-12-2019 12:14 +0400
Tavadze withdraws candidacy for Supreme Court

Head of the Georgian Constitutional Court Zaza Tavadze, who is on the 20 person list presented to the Parliament for a lifetime appointment as a judge on the Georgian Supreme Court, has withdrawn his candidacy, citing controversies related to his higher education.

Tavadze appealed to the Head of the Parliament Archil Talakvadze on November 22 to postpone the presentation of his candidacy before the Parliament’s plenary meeting as questions arose regarding his Master’s degree in law, which is mandatory for a Supreme Court judge.

In the letter Zaza Tavadze said that that he has an education degree equal to a Master’s degree, which was also acknowledged by the High Council of Justice, the independent body which selected candidates for the Supreme Court judge.

However, Tavadze said that he needed time to prove this “as the existence of any questions around my qualification is unacceptable for me.”

In the letter released today Tavadze said that his November 22 letter triggered additional controversies.

“The reputation of the court is of top importance for me. The existence of any question, even an unfounded question [around the qualification of a judge] must be removed, that is why I decided to remove my candidacy.

In order to dispel the question marks around this issue, I refuse to participate in the ongoing competition for the position of Supreme Court Judge.

We would also like to inform you that this letter will also be materially submitted to the Chancellery of the Parliament of Georgia”, - reads the letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament.

02-12-2019 12:07 +0400
The country is on the verge of the civil war, do not oppose people - Gogi Tsulaia to the Government

“It is terrible, the Government is using people to save itself”, - Gogi Tsuliaia, a member of the Free Georgia party, talks about the developments in Kutaisi and in the country.

According to Tsulaia, the country is on the verge of civil war.

“The country is on the verge of a civil war. Do not confront people. It will not bring good results. If you have money for a broom and an egg, give the broom to cleaners and the eggs – to hungry people”, - said Gogi Tsulaia.

02-12-2019 11:34 +0400
If Melia is sentenced to imprisonment, it will further aggravate the fate of Ivanishvili - Giga Bokeria

Giga Bokeria, one of the leaders of European Georgia, said before Nika Melia’s trial, which is underway in the Tbilisi City Court, that imprisonment for Melia will further aggravate the fate of the government in the future.

“If Melia was put in jail in this case, it would be obvious that we were dealing with selective justice. This decision does not change anything. If this catastrophic and scandalous decision is made and Nika Melia is sentenced to imprisonment in order to remove him from the political process, it will further aggravate their fate in the future and we will receive one more political prisoner”, - thinks Bokeria.

Former Prosecutor General of Georgia Zurab Adeishvili has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison in absentia, while MP of the UNM opposition party Nika Melia has been banned from taking public office for two years and three months in the high profile case of Cartu Bank, involving the founder of the ruling Georgian Dream party Bidzina Ivanishvili.

02-12-2019 11:25 +0400
The bureau session to be held in the Parliament

The MPs will discuss mainly technical issues at today’s bureau sitting. Among them - information about the creation of a new faction.

The bureau will also discuss the issue of termination of rights for Sophio Katsarava and replacement of Vano Zardiashvili with Temur Gotsiridze.

Temur Gotsiridze is going to get involved in the parliamentary activity next week. As for the issue of judges, the bureau will discuss it on Thursday.

02-12-2019 10:21 +0400
Cartu Bank’s bankruptcy case - Nika Melia fined GEL 25 000

Tbilisi City Court has announced the decision regarding the Cartu Bank bankruptcy case.

Nika Melia, one of the leaders of the opposition, was slapped with a 25 000 GEL fine for official misconduct. Additionally, he was deprived of the right to hold an official post for two years and three months.
Melia was not present at Tbilisi City Court. Today’s trial was attended by the leaders of the United National Movement.

02-12-2019 10:03 +0400
I’m encouraged by an upcoming meeting of Government and the opposition - James Appathurai

I am watching events in Georgia closely and with concern, - said NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai.

According to him, he is encouraged by reports of an upcoming meeting between the government and the opposition

“NATO (and I) watching events in Georgia closely and with concern. It is important that there is dialogue to move beyond the current impasse. I’m encouraged by reports of an upcoming meeting between the government and the opposition. Georgia has a strong and vibrant democracy, and that should be demonstrated again in finding a consensual way forward”, - wrote Appathurai on the social network.

29-11-2019 19:06 +0400
Lelo, Development Movement, New Rights – new political platform

Lelo, Development Movement and New Rights are creating a new political platform.

The political leaders have already confirmed the consultations and made a corresponding statement recently.

Their main goal is to replace the Georgian Dream government without the return of the United National Movement.

They say they are joining opposition rallies, but rejecting the plan to picket parliament, in that part they are not joining opposition representatives and protesters.

They are also consulting with Ana Dolidze.

29-11-2019 18:08 +0400
About 30 opposition parties present new model for 2020 elections

Opposition parties are offering the Government a new model for the 2020 elections. About 30 parties - including European Georgia, UNM, Lelo, Development Movement, Democratic Movement - United Georgia and etc. - are the authors of the initiative.

According to the document, the Parliament shall consist of 77 members elected under proportional system and 73 members elected under majoritarian system. As a result of the elections held under the proportional system, the seats will be distributed among the political parties and election blocs that receive at least 3% of votes. The rules and terms for participation in elections, as well as the rules for the distribution of seats, shall be determined by the election law.

This model will be sent to the Venice Commission and ODIHR for consideration.

29-11-2019 17:29 +0400
17 million euros to improve public transport - EBRD assistance to Georgia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will allocate €80 million to help Georgia purchase compressed natural gas buses for Tbilisi, of which 65 mln Euro will be used for purchasing buses and 15 mln Euro for building a bus depot. The agreement was signed today.

EBRD will also allocate 17 mln Euro to purchase approximately 175 gas-fired buses for six major cities of Georgia (Rustavi, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Telavi, Gori and Poti) to significantly improve public transport.

“We have already started a replacement program. We have 10- and 8-meter-long new buses in the city, and population can feel it. The subject of today’s contract is the allocation of 80 mln, of which 65 mln will be spent on the introduction of additional 200 new buses. One is the replacement of the existing park and the other is the adding of new buses”, - said Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze.

29-11-2019 16:32 +0400
100 investment offers for business and jobs - new project of the Ministry of Economy

Ministry of Economy and the National Agency of State Property offered local and international businesses 100 buildings for privatization.
According to the Minister of Economy Natia Turnava, such a case is unprecedented, with all 100 buildings going on offer for privatization at once in the form of parallel auctions.
“The total initial price for these buildings is 150 mln GEL. Businesses can access all the information about the buildings on the website of the National Agency of State Property and will be able to be involved in the process of privatization. We are offering facilities for privatization on which all agreements have already been signed, the objects have been pre-assessed and our recommendations on what kind of business can be developed locally have also been attached. This project, with its result, is unprecedented. Along with other benefits, it is the prospect of creating 2 500 new jobs”, - said Natia Turnava. 

The Prime Minister also commented on new project. As Giorgi Gakharia said, a strong business that employs people is a priority at this stage.

“5.1% over ten months is certainly not enough and our economy needs more growth. That"s why we took this step. All assets, especially those that are state-owned and not fully engaged in economic turnover, we need to revitalize as soon as possible, to enable businesses to operate more strongly”, - said the Head of the Government.

The auction will last for the next 12 months.

29-11-2019 16:08 +0400
The diplomatic corps is trying to convince the Government to make concessions

Bachuki Kardava, the leader of the National Democratic Party, says that the upcoming meeting with the ruling party to be held at the initiative of the diplomatic corps is another attempt of Georgia’s partner states to hold fair and equitable elections in the country:

“International organizations and the diplomatic corps are trying their best to convince the Government that it should make concessions and adopt a model that will allow elections to be held in a fair and equitable manner”, - said Bachuki Kardava.

29-11-2019 15:56 +0400
Karasin urged Abashidze use chairmanship of the Council of Europe to promote constructive interaction with Russia

Georgia’s military cooperation with NATO and the United States remained a major irritant in bilateral relations. This reads in the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which was published on the official website and refers to the results of the Abashidze - Karasin meeting.

According to the statement, Karasin urged Abashidze to use Georgia’s upcoming chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to promote constructive interaction with Russia.

In is also mentioned that Zurab Abashidze raised the issue of Vazha Gaprindashvili’s release.

29-11-2019 15:47 +0400
We trust the diplomatic corps in the process - Giorgi Vashadze about the meeting with ruling team

According to Giorgi Vashadze, leader of the New Georgia, the German model will be discussed at a meeting with the ruling party and diplomatic corps tomorrow. According to Vashadze, he has not got detailed information about the planned meeting, but he trusts the diplomatic corps:

"The diplomatic corps was demanding the discussion of the bill that we are now submitting. They want the parties to discuss it, because none of the arguments the ruling party said would be true. Even the diplomatic corps knows that the bill we have prepared is fully constitutional. It seems that we will talk about this. I don’t really know the details. We trust the diplomatic corps in this process”, - said Giorgi Vashadze.

29-11-2019 15:36 +0400
We are very much engaged in trying to find a solution - Carl Hartzell about Vazha Gaphrindashvili

Ambassador of the EU to Georgia Carl Hartzell commented on the detention of Georgian doctor Vazha Gaphrindashvili in Tskhinvali.

According to him, EU, like many others, very much engaged in trying to find a solution.

“We’re still working on that through the different means. As I said, many are engaged in trying to make sure that this illegal detention is rectified. We are soon moving to the next round of the Geneva talks where the US Special Representative will be present.

I think this will be an opportunity to look at the overall situation and the problems that we have seen around the ABL, including the humanitarian problems, including the temporary closure of the crossing point”, - said the Ambassador.

29-11-2019 15:25 +0400
Looking forward to this dialogue - Carl Hartzell about tomorrow"s majority and opposition meeting

According to the EU Ambassador, the meeting between the ruling party and the opposition is extremely necessary and urgent. According to Carl Hartzell, tomorrow’s meeting will be attended by the representatives of the international community as well:
“From the side of the European Union, we have been looking for a dialogue to happen, because we believe it is high time that the different sides speak less about each other and more to each other. So I am very happy to see what seems to be going in the direction of a dialogue to take place tomorrow. We believe it is urgent and we support this format. We still have to look at the details, but as it has been already announced, the German model and other issues of the election system will be on the agenda. But I am also looking forward to have a broader discussion about the current political situation.

We fully support the demonstrators’ right to express their views, their freedom of speech, but we also think that the expression of an opinion should be done within the constitution and this remains our principled position”, - concluded the Ambassador

29-11-2019 14:54 +0400
Six people detained near the National Library

Police detained six people during the rally outside the National Library. The Ministry of Internal Affairs already confirmed this information to Kurieri.

They were taken to the main police station in Dighomi. Lasha Chkhartishvili, a member of the Labor Party is among detained.
According to MIA, all of them were arrested for violating Article 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (disobedience of law enforcement officers) and Article 166 (petty hooliganism).

29-11-2019 14:21 +0400
Tsulukiani left National Library amid whistles and shouts

Tea Tsulukiani, the Vice – premier, Minister of Justice left the National Library building amid whistles and shouts.

The law enforcers helped her out through a special cordon.

Protesters were gathered near the National Library building for two hours and waited for the Deputy Prime minister. 

29-11-2019 13:42 +0400
There was no need to erect barricades for peaceful action - Eka Gigauri

Eka Gigauri, the head of Transparency International Georgia, considers it illegal to erect barricades during a rally in front of the Parliament.

According to Eka Gigauri, there was no need to erect barricades.

“We see that this is not a violent rally. Consequently, such actions by the police and barricades were not required at all. I understand that it is a problem for lawmakers to hear that it is a shame to throw down important reform for the country”, - said Eka Gigauri.

29-11-2019 13:29 +0400
EU ambassador comes to the Parliament - Carl Hartzel calls for dialogue

EU ambassador to Georgia has arrived to the Parliament.

According to Carl Hartzell, he is meeting with the new chairman of the European Integration Committee, David Songulashvili.

The EU representative also responded to the ongoing protests and called for dialogue. He said there was a lack of dialogue between the ruling team and opponents of the Government.

29-11-2019 13:13 +0400
Representatives of ruling party and opposition to hold meeting

Representatives of Georgian Dream and opposition will hold a meeting on November 30 – Irakli Kobakhidze, a member of the parliamentary majority said.
The so-called German Model of elections will be the main topic for discussions and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps will attend the meeting.
As Kobakhidze said, the meeting and discussions will take place at the recommendation of Diplomatic Corps accredited in Georgia and international organizations.

29-11-2019 12:53 +0400
The Center for Russian Language and Culture to open in Tbilisi - Grigory Karasin

Russian Language and Culture Center to be opened in Tbilisi - Grigory Karasin made such a statement taking to Russian media after the meeting with Zurab Abashidze.

According to Karsin, the center is planned to open in Tbilisi in the middle of December.

The politician hoped that the event, attended by Russian citizens, would be held without incidents.

29-11-2019 12:49 +0400
We should think about legal steps - Giorgi Kandelaki

Giorgi Kandelaki from European Georgia, who was removed from the National Library building by police, returned to the rally.

As he told to journalists, he was unlawfully deprived of his liberty, there was no incident before his arrest.

“I was standing in the corner of Purtseladze Street, when I was arrested. They took me to Avlabari. They said they removed me from the rally. Do they think that removal is legal? It is illegal, as nothing was happening at that moment.

I was just standing, not doing anything at all, and I was deprived of my liberty. Unfortunately, our 3 friends, 3 activists, are still detained. They were taken to Kakheti Highway. This is agony, the agony of Bidzina Ivanishvili"s regime, which reminds me of Aslan Abashidze"s late period.

I am ashamed of the police officers and I know that they are ashamed too. I know that there is a great deal of resentment among police officers against their politically motivated bosses”, - said Kandelaki.

29-11-2019 12:21 +0400
I was detained, kicked out, released and I am coming back on taxi - Ugulava returns to action

According to the leader of “European Georgia”, he was detained by the police during the protest, but released and now he returns to the action:

“I’m in the taxi, I’m coming back”, - wrote Ugulava on his Facebook-page.

As it seems on photos, Ugulava’s clothes were damaged during the detention.

29-11-2019 12:02 +0400
Abesadze detained, Ratiani evicted - what is happening near the National Library

According to European Georgia member Sergo Ratiani, his co-member Irakli Abesadze was detained by police during a protest rally outside the National Library.

“They punched and kicked him in the car”, - said Ratiani.

As for Ratiani, he was evicted from the territory by police

29-11-2019 11:52 +0400
Gigi Ugulava was detained

According to Kurieri, police detained at the rally one of the leaders of “European Georgia” Gigi Ugulava.

Vazha Siradze, head of the patrol police, did not comment on the incident.

29-11-2019 11:39 +0400
Protesters of rally are outside the Parliament – police is protecting the building without metal constructions

Protesters marched from Chitadze Street to the Parliament. The first point of picketing is the rear entrance of the building.

The entrances to the Parliament, which was blocked with iron constructions by police yesterday, are open today.

Police are deployed at all entrances, but there is no special mobilization.

29-11-2019 10:34 +0400
Majority meeting in the Parliament - MPs to discuss the ongoing political processes

A majority meeting is being held in the Parliament this morning. Lawmakers gathered at the legislature until 9am and are discussing the ongoing political process.

MPs from the ruling party have been meeting at the Parliament’s cinema hall for more than an hour. The media had no information about the meeting.

After the meeting is over, lawmakers will move to the session hall.

29-11-2019 10:34 +0400
Freedom for Doctor Vazha – protest near the Russian Embassy in Rome

The protest was held in Rome at the Russian Embassy in Italy in demand of the release of Doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili.

Georgian citizens living in Italy arrived at the Russian Embassy with Georgian flags and posters and performed the Georgian national anthem.

“At the Russian Embassy we are protesting the detention of Vazha Gaprindashvili on the occupied territory of Tskhinvali. We share his view that the occupied territories of Georgia do not belong to Russia and we condemn the Russian occupation”, - said one of the protesters.

Father Ioane was also involved in organizing the rally in Rome.

Vazha Gaprindashvili who was illegally detained by Russian occupation forces near the occupation line with Akhalgori Municipality, was sent to two-month pretrial detention, on November 15.

29-11-2019 09:16 +0400
The President’s administration denies reports about Zelensky’s visit to Georgia

The Administration of the President of Georgia responds to the information about the visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to Georgia.

The administration says the Ukrainian president’s visit to Georgia was not planned.

A visit to Kiev by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili was planned in November, but due to ongoing developments in Ukraine, the visit was postponed by 2020.

28-11-2019 20:43 +0400
I think in the coming days he will be at home - Karasin about Vazha Gaprindashvili

The Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze has met with Russian diplomat Gregory Karasin in Prague.

One of the main topics was the issue of doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili detention.

According to Karasin, he thinks that the case will be resolved in the immediate future .

“We have focused on difficulties and emerging issues. In the very beginning, Zurab Abashidze raised the issue of Doctor Gaprindashvili. We certainly have been kept posted, and we have kept in touch with both Georgian and Ossetian parties. We do hope that this issue will be resolved in the immediate future. Additionally, we emphasized that steps must be taken within Geneva Discussions and different existing tools. We should force different tools and hotlines to work. Visits paid by Chairpersons of Geneva Discussions in Tbilisi, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali must be used more consistently. In the event that these instruments work, similar dramatic incidents will not take place again. Different agencies should contact each other. For example, Zurab and I talk, discuss. The Foreign Ministries work together, but that"s not enough. Such a case should not be repeated, and I think Gaprindashvili’s problem will be resolved in the near future. I think he will be at home in the coming days, but since Gaprindashvili is in South Ossetia, you have to ask those who make decisions there. I hope, however, that such a decision will be made and Gaprindashvili will soon return to his family. We use all of our contacts for this. Let’s wait”, - said Karasin.

28-11-2019 18:42 +0400
Parliament elects Kakha Kuchava as Parlaiment’s Vice-speaker

Kakha Kuchava, the member of the parliamentary majority, has been elected as the parliament’s vice-speaker with 83 votes in favor of his appointment to this vacant position.

By the same vote, Kuchava’s term as the chairman of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources was terminated.

28-11-2019 16:53 +0400
Independent MPs form a faction

Independent MPs are going to form a faction.

According to existing information, Mariam Jashi, Levan Gogichaishvili, Zviad Kvachantiradze, Gedevan Popkhadze, Levan Koberidze and Koba Narchemashvili plan to form a parliamentary faction.

The faction will be named “Independent MP” and will be chaired by Mariam Jashi.

28-11-2019 16:38 +0400
Our European path is the choice of our country, our people, and we will never sway from it - Giorgi Gakharia

“The presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, undoubtedly, is an immense responsibility and yet a big opportunity as well”, - said the Prime Minister during today’s Cabinet meeting.

According to Giorgi Gakharia, 20 years ago, Georgia joined the Council of Europe, which meant that the country assumed certain responsibilities and proved its consistent commitment to the country"s democratization and empowerment of democratic institutions.

“It is the first time that Georgia heads such an international organization. Georgia became a member of the Council of Europe 20 years ago. Today, we have an opportunity to take full part in formulating the agenda and, together with our European colleagues, raise issue as part of the agenda which, in our opinion, are relevant to our country, this way reiterating the role of democratization processes in our country.

The European path is the choice of our country, our citizens, and Georgia will never sway from it. Although it is no easy path, and despite the fact that our country will have to implement full-fledged in various directions, such as social, political, or economic reform, we will never sway from this path, because it is the choice of the citizens of our country, which we reaffirm even today in terms of the ongoing political processes”, - concluded the Head of the Government.

28-11-2019 16:34 +0400
Abashidze - Karasin meeting is being held in Prague

After 5 months Zurab Abashidze, the Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia for relations with Russia, is meeting with Grigory Karasin.

23rd meeting is being held in Prague.

Before the meeting Abashidze said that the main topic will be the release of Vazha Gaprindashvili.

“Our priority now is the issue of Vazha Gaprindashvili. Our approach is using international contacts and engaging international organizations as much as possible. This person should be released. Let"s see what the answer is going to be. This is a part of the bigger problem, it is the situation in the occupied territories”, - said Abashidze.

28-11-2019 16:17 +0400
Today all pro-Russians and pro-Americans are asking you to leave the Government - Natelashvili to Ivanishvili

Leader of the Labor Party Shalva Natelashvili responded to the statements of Bidzina Ivanishvili with the special briefing.

According to Natelashvili, Ivanishvili is inadequate and the days of the Government are numbered.

"Nothing can help this Government. They need to go. But before they can do only one thing - proportional elections. Everybody today – Labor party, UNM, Europeans, Asians, Conservatives, Traditionalists, Pro-Russian and Pro-American - are asking for your to leave”, - said Shalva Natelashvili.

28-11-2019 15:38 +0400
The country may fall under the influence of its revanchist northern neighbor - Foreign Policy about Georgia

A Flickering Beacon of Democracy in Russia’s Backyard - an article with such titled appeared in Foreign Policy. As the author writes, Georgia has made progress over the last 15 years.

“But many in the former Soviet republic now fear that these hard-won reforms may be at risk as the ruling party and its billionaire leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, slowly tighten their grip on power as they take aim at big business, opposition media, and political rivals. This whittling away of Georgia’s democratic gains risks leaving the country further exposed to its revanchist northern neighbor: Russia”, - writes the author.

The article also notes that large-scale rallies were held in Georgia in the summer, when the ruling party pledged to reform the electoral system, but this condition is not fulfilled now.

The author also points out that people on the street demanded Giorgi Gakharia"s resignation, but he was elected prime minister.

28-11-2019 15:02 +0400
Restrictions on the Enguri Bridge have been lifted

According to existing information, restrictions on the Enguri Bridge have been lifted.

As Rezo Kobalia, a spokesman for the Abkhaz government in Samegrelo, told Kurieri, people of all ages and genders can move to the rest of Georgia from the occupied territory this morning.

The de facto government imposed restrictions on the bridge a few days ago after the murder in Sokhumi.

28-11-2019 14:33 +0400
Law enforcers are removing metal barriers on Chitadze Street

Law enforcers are removing metal barriers on Chitadze Street near the Parliament.

The decision was made by law enforcers after organizers of the rally announced the picketing of the Parliament entrances to be completed today.

The police blocked the Chitadze Street with metal constructions because of the announced picketing of the Parliament entrances.

28-11-2019 13:52 +0400
Parliament"s picketing is over today – decision of the rally organizers

Parliament’s picketing is over for today.

According to the rally organizers, they will do the same every time, when lawmakers decide to convene in the Parliament.
At this time, the action near the Parliament building continues in the usual way, with tents.

Citizens will stay there and spend the night in the tents. No more speeches are planned today.

28-11-2019 13:25 +0400
If society wants proportional elections, they will show it in 2020 – Vano Matchavariani

If the demand for proportional elections was the demand of a large part of society, then this society will come to the ballot box and show it in 2020. Such statement made the Finance Minister of Georgia Ivane Matchavariani.

“It is a lie that for the future of the country, a proportional system with zero barrier is better. It was a step towards political compromise and not a better model of governance. That was a promise, however, it does not mean that the current model is illegal, unconstitutional or unfit.

You might have already watched yesterday’s interview with Bidzina Ivanishvili, where he emphasizes that if the demand for proportional elections was the demand of a large part of the public and if they think this is the right model, then they will come to the ballot box and show it. And if it is only vital for the small group holding rallies in the street, then it will remain vital only for them. Any kind of protest, if it is time-consuming or large-scale, has a negative effect on economic processes”, - said Machavariani.

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Natia Turnava also made a statement about the current actions. She said unless protest goes beyond the law, it is an acceptable democratic process.

According to Minister, any radicalization, any destabilization attempt will have a negative impact on the economy.

28-11-2019 13:13 +0400
The threat comes from a radical, extremist opposition force - Irakli Garibashvili

In addition to the occupation, economic hardship and unemployment challenges, the another serious challenge facing our country, which gets in the way of long-term, stable development and peace, is coming from a radical, extremist opposition force, in particular from the UNM. Such statement made Defense Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili after the cabinet meeting.

According to him, any destructive action is inadmissible and unacceptable.

“Another challenge comes from a radical, extremist opposition force, in particular from the "National Movement”, which is absolutely inadmissible.

The anti-Western action that has been voiced by radical opposition is absolutely unacceptable. The solution is that all people, representatives of all opposition parties should wait for elections”, - said the Minister.

He also spoke about the proportional electoral system. According to Gharibashvili, the ruling party made the decision to move to the system in 2017, but by 2024.

“Any of their destructive actions are inadmissible and unacceptable. Today our state is strong, stronger than they can imagine. The state is at capable of dealing with any challenge posed by this radical force”, - concluded Garibashvili.

28-11-2019 13:05 +0400
Georgian Parliament can’t be blocked by 200 representatives of UNM - Irakli Kobakhidze

Georgia’s Parliament can’t be blocked by 200 representatives of UNM. Such statement made the former speaker of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze.

According to him, law enforcement agencies are acting based on the principle of proportionality.

“The state must show the face of the state, the Government must show the face of the government. Georgia’s Parliament can’t be blocked by 200 representatives of UNM.

Consequently, law enforcement agencies are taking measures based on the basis of proportionality. Preventive measures have been taken to avoid the need of more serious measures. I will not go into this in depth, it is up to the law enforcement agencies. They are doing everything these days to ensure that the work of the Parliament. We remember the practice until 2012, when the brutal crackdown on the rallies took place. This practice has been suppressed in Georgia and the police are acting in accordance with the principle of proportionality”, - said Kobakhidze.

28-11-2019 12:27 +0400
The “Berlin wall” has been built in the middle of the street - Saakashvili

The former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili wrote a social network post regarding the recent developments outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi.

“Tear it down! Ivanishvili has already introduced a German model – the “Berlin wall” has been built in the middle of the street”, - wrote Saakashvili.

28-11-2019 12:07 +0400
Three people were detained near the Parliament

Several people were arrested near the Parliament.

According to the existing information, 3 people have been arrested.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has not commented this fact yet.

28-11-2019 11:06 +0400
The European way is the choice of our country and we will not turn out from this way – Giorgi Gakharia

The Prime Minister of Georgia said that the country’s chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is both a big responsibility and a big opportunity.

“Now we have the opportunity to take part in making an agenda and raise issues with our European colleagues we believe are crucial for our country

20 years ago, when Georgia became a member of the Council of Europe, the country took on the responsibility to move towards democracy and the rule of law. 

We have confirmed our commitment to making a democratic state and strengthening democratic institutions.

Georgia stands firm on its European choice, which is the choice of the Georgian people.

Even though this path is not easy and we have to be in a reform regime for many years, we will not step aside from the path as it is the choice of our people. We confirm the irreversibility of the choice on a daily basis, even now, during the current developments in the country when the state government fully ensures the freedom of expression [of demonstrators in Tbilisi]”, - said Giorgi Gakharia. 

28-11-2019 10:38 +0400
Destructive actions of irresponsible politicians aim to block the whole state – Gakharia

“All these destructive actions of irresponsible politicians in recent days are aimed at blocking not separate institutions, but the entire state”, - said the Prime Minister of Georgia before the cabinet meeting.

Giorgi Gakharia called on the ministers to double their attention and concentration in order to ensure the effective work of state institutions.
“Although some irresponsible politicians consider freedom of expression means to assault police officers, to invade into the Parliament or picketing it, we, the government, fully realize the importance of the country’s democratic values and our response to similar steps will be fully lawful, dictated by the responsibility that we have before our citizens”, - said the Prime Minister.

28-11-2019 10:05 +0400
Georgian people have lost confidence in Parliament and Georgian democracy - the European Parliament

The European Parliament held a discussion about the ongoing developments of Georgia in the format of the plenary session.

According to Andrius Kubilius, a Lithuanian politician and a Member of the European Parliament, they deeply concerned about the future of democracy in Georgia.

“MEP, Europe was making efforts for the European integration of Georgia, but nobody could be a stronger fighter on this path but the Government. If there is no democracy, there is no European integration. The head of Georgia’s ruling party has decided not to keep the promise given to Georgian citizens and the opposition regarding transformation onto the proportional system of elections. He gave the promise to participants of the protest wave in summer.

A trust of the Georgian people toward the parliament and Georgian democracy was lost, and the decision of the ruling party prompted that it feared about its defeat in the forthcoming elections and intended to use old administrative mechanisms to win the polls. These debates serve as a good possibility to call on the heads of the Georgian ruling party and Government to return to a real and trust-based dialogue with the opposition. We also call on the Georgian ruling party and opposition to reach an agreement over the election system reform since people do not trust the old system. The so-called German Model of elections could serve as the ground for the agreement”, - said Kubilius.

28-11-2019 09:49 +0400
Another tent was erected at the rally outside the Parliament

Another tent was set up on Rustaveli Avenue. Non-governmental organization European Students for Freedom is joining the rally outside the Parliament.

Their goal is to create an educational space for protesters.

Students plan to hold public discussions at the tent.

28-11-2019 08:04 +0400
Bidzina Ivanishvili held a meeting with acting US Ambassador

Bidzina Ivanishvili, Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia Party held a meeting with Elisabeth Rood, Acting US Ambassador to Georgia.
According to the Press Service of the Georgian Dream, they discussed the latest political developments in Georgia.

27-11-2019 21:00 +0400
Amnesty International: The use of water cannons was neither proportionate nor necessary

Amnesty International released a statement on 18 and 26 November rallies.

According to the organization, the use of water cannons was neither proportionate nor necessary.

As Amnesty International said, reports emerged that some of the protesters sustained injuries as a result of the use of water cannons. One person is reported to have sustained an eye injury, with several head bones fractured.

“The use of water cannons was neither proportionate nor necessary. They may only be used in those situations in which it is strictly necessary to contain or disperse individuals or a group participating in a public assembly and when the level of violence has reached such a degree that law enforcement officials cannot contain the threat by directly focusing on violent persons only.

Any decision to use them must also take into account contextual factors, such as extremely cold weather, which may exacerbate the harm they may cause”, reads the statement.

27-11-2019 19:59 +0400
The President will not be able to grant a pardon without prior consultation – Volski

According to Gia Volski, the first Deputy - speaker of the Parliament, the President will not receive pardon decision without prior consultations.

Volski also hopes that the investigation into the President’s pardon will be effective.

“The president will not make a decision without consulting in advance. Including with those agencies and civil society who have a competent opinion on this issue”, - said the first Vice - speaker.

27-11-2019 16:07 +0400