The Dispatch

The Daily Dispatch – July 23

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SYMBOLIC WEIGHT The United States, speaking through the Secretary of State pledged to never recognize Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia provinces of Georgia. A symbolic gesture of support on the anniversary of the 80th anniversary Welles Declaration, through which the US pledged to never recognize the Soviet occupation of the three Baltic States in 1939.

LOOK WHO’s BACK? Frontera Resources, a U.S. oil exploration firm, will be welcomed back to Georgia. This marks a notable U-turn in the current administration’s policy, which fought to kick Frontera out and, reportedly, even won an international arbitration against it. Apparently, the pressure that the Texas company brought to bear through its links in Washington D.C. proved too hard to counter.

OPAQUE TRANSPARENCY President Salome Zurabishvili appointed the new non-judge member of the High Council of Justice – the body that oversees court appointments. Her choice fell on Tamar Gvamichava, who teaches administrative law at Tbilisi State University. President’s administration was noted, that the competition was duly held, 14 applications were received and 9 applicants who satisfied the formal criteria were interviewed in “the most transparent manner”. Another non-judge member argues that “elementary standards of transparency” were not met, since the names of the applicants were no made public, and neither is it clear, how the selected candidate surpassed her opponents. In any case, the President is well within her rights.

JUMPING SHIP Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Adjara Autonomous Republic, Jambul Khozrevanidze, who filed for resignation yesterday, showed up as the newly minted member of LELO political grouping today. He called his former colleagues from the ruling Georgian Dream “feudal [lords] who are putting breaks on development” and pledged to redress things with his new political family. A rare case of an official with high-ish profile switching teams so early in the parliamentary race. We won’t read much into this yet, but let’s keep tabs on LELO – a brainchild of embattled banker Mamuka Khazaradze – to see whether we see any signs of latent Dreamer exodus under LELO’s politically indecisive yellow banners.

CHEERING FOR IRELAND We were touched and surprised to learn that apparently a Georgian coach – one Zaur Antia – has been one of the brains behind the Irish Olympic boxing success. Starting his career without a word of English in him, Antia apparently became one of the three-coach team that got Ireland seven medals in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. And his friends and colleagues seem to appreciate him deeply. Good too know, and cheers for the good sport!

That’s full lid for today!


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