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The Daily Beat: 19 January

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke about implementing the EU recommendations for candidacy with Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration, in Davos. PM Garibashvili was attending the World Economic Forum and mostly had business-related encounters. From the European leaders, Prime Minister met with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, who is also stumbling awkwardly towards the EU.

Irakli Kobakhidze, the Georgian Dream chairperson, appeared on Imedi TV, the party mouthpiece, to again speak about the “Global War Party,” allegedly conspiring to drag Georgia into conflict with Russia. This time, Kobakhidze has assigned to the said party the New York Times, which published an article about Russia’s cross-border trade with Georgia, and CNN’s star anchor, Christian Amanpour, who referred to the NYT article when interviewing the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. On a related matter, Kobakhidze welcomed the possible resumption of air travel between Russia and Georgia, broached by the Russian FM Lavrov on Wednesday. 

The European Parliament adopted on January 18 two resolutions on security policy, which refer to the Russian occupation of Georgia, speak about the country’s irreversible European future, and the need for growing security assistance. “The impunity which followed the 2008 invasion of Georgia is one of the factors leading to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” says one report.

Nika Melia, UNM’s embattled chair, tried to fend off the leadership challenge by accusing the former interior and defense ministers of using dirty methods to unseat him. Melia said UNM can only unseat the Georgian Dream through “moral politics.” UNM supporters can log into a particular application to cast their votes from January 28 to January 30. Levan Khabeishvili, Nona Mamulashvili, and Giorgi Mumladze challenge Melia. The two shadowy strongmen, Merabishvili and Kezerashvili, are allegedly backing Khabeishvili’s leadership bid.  

In memoriam

Georgia bid a final farewell to Vakhtang Kikabidze, a prominent singer, actor, and screenwriter who died on January 15. Scores of mourners, including the Culture minister of Ukraine, were lined-up at public funerals held in the philharmonic concert hall to pay final respects to a man who once embodied “Georgian” both in Soviet and post-Soviet space. has carried this editorial obituary:


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