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The Daily Beat: 23 January

On the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, Germany and France released a joint declaration, pledging to strengthen the EU and support the European integration of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. Condemning Russia’s war of aggression, the two countries expressed commitment to defending European values and interests. They referred to the eastern flank of NATO and the EU as the area of their special attention and increased engagement.

Finance Minister, Lasha Khutsishvili, made a rare public appearance at the press conference, rebuffing the claims on Georgia’s alleged involvement in violating the international sanctions regime against Russia and affirming commitment to Georgia’s obligations. Finance Minister assured the public that Georgia remains strictly in compliance with the international sanctions regime, with its central bank closely monitoring finance and trade sectors.

Party leaders such as Helen Khoshtaria, Zurab Japaridze, and Giorgi Vashadze, among others, formed a new movement, pledging an end to “collaboration” and “state capture.” They plan a rally for January 24, an anniversary of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine.

Don’t miss a beat!

Moscow-backed authorities in Sokhumi charged Abkhaz TikToker, Ruslan Gamisonia, who fled to Tbilisi-controlled territory in June 2022, for sedition. They say Gamisonia “illegally crossed into Georgia” and made a “call to violate the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Republic of Abkhazia.” Sokhumi also says Gamisonia is suspected of rape and murder.

Former Prime Minister and once an ally of Bidzina Ivanishvili, Giorgi Gakharia, called on the West to unite in support of Georgian democracy, saying Ivanishvili’s “anti-Western propaganda” gathers momentum in Georgia. He named the ruling party broadside against CNN celebrity anchor Christiane Amanpour as an example of the ruling party’s somber turn. Gakharia has been getting increasingly critical of his former boss, Ivanishvili.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, only 1,839 out of 3,205 applicants for vacant school principal posts took part in today’s competency tests. Successful candidates will be interviewed for the open positions. Since 2020, only 9 of the country’s 2,086 public schools have a principal, while the rest are headed by acting principals.

Data of the week

The latest data from GeoStat, the official statistics office, show deepening economic cooperation between Georgia and Russia. Russia is ranked as Georgia’s second-largest trading partner, with the highest growth in trade turnover of 52%, amounting to USD 2.5 billion in 2022. Wine, ferroalloys, and re-exported vehicles are among the top five export commodities, while oil products, natural gas, and wheat flour are the principal imports.


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