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The Daily Beat: 26 January

Georgia is holding its annual strategic dialogue with the United Kingdom, and Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili is visiting Londod to speak with the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley. He also met the chair of the British Inter-Party Parliamentary Group on Georgia, MP Jonathan Djanogly. The Foreign Office said the sides discussed hybrid threats from Russia, strengthening support for Ukraine and supporting Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The UK reiterated its commitment to the security and stability of Georgia as the country faces increasing Russian aggression. Foreign Secretary Cleverly said “few understand the reality of Russian aggression better than the people of Georgia.” As part of the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue, the United Kingdom and Georgia signed agreements on readmission and air traffic.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is heartbroken over Georgia’s stance on Ukraine and the jailing of Mikheil Saakashvili. Yushchenko said he was disappointed not to see Georgia among staunch supporters of Ukraine, Kyiv did its utmost during the Russo-Georgian war in 2008.

The Court of Appeals upheld the guilty verdict in the case of money laundering against the founders of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze, as well as businessman Avtandil Tsereteli. In 2019, the founders of TBC Bank were charged with money laundering for a $17 million loan write-off that took place during 2008- 2012. A year ago, the Tbilisi City Court found the three guilty of fraud but released them from 7 years prison sentence due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Khazaradze and Japaridze maintain the case was politically motivated. They foudned the opposition “Lelo” party after the charges were levelled against them.

Former rector of Tbilisi State University, Giorgi Sharvashidze got posted as Georgia’s new ambassador to Armenia. Before assuming his duties, Sharvashidze met the Prime Minister, who tasked him with deepening cooperation with neighboring Armenia

Kakha Bekauri, was re-elected as chairman of the Communications Commission, the main telecoms regulatory body. The Parliament elected Bekauri to the commission in 2014 and put him in charge since 2017, even though it came to light that he did not meet the formal requirements. He stood for re-election without opposition. And that has become a trend: the newspapers list several recent cases when ruling party backed candidates ran unopposed: from the members of the High Council of Justice, to President of the Georgian Football Federation, to the head of Tbilisi State University…


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