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The Daily Beat: 2 June

Renowned Russian journalist, writer, and satirist Viktor Shenderovich wrote on his Facebook page that he was denied entry to Georgia. Shenderovich, known for his outspoken criticism of the Kremlin and opposition to the Russia-Ukraine war, was traveling to Tbilisi from Tel Aviv with an Israeli passport when he has unexpectedly denied entry without any explanation. “The anonymous group of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia postponed the holiday. They protected Georgia from me. By all means,” Shenderovich said, adding, “Under Ivanishvili’s conditions, I can’t risk calling Georgia Putin’s province, but work is being done in that direction, isn’t it?”

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili summarized his visit to Moldova, where he attended the 2nd European Political Community (EPC) Summit, saying that he had “very successful” and “very meaningful” discussions. According to Irakli Garibashvili, he assured the European leaders that Georgia is fully ready for EU candidacy status, and pledged to fulfill all the 12 EU conditions by the end of the year. “I told them that in this tough geopolitical situation, the only right political decision in Europe is to grant Georgia status, as it was done in the case of Moldova and Ukraine,” PM Garibashvili said, adding that European leaders agreed with him.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, who is visiting Tbilisi to boost already flourishing bilateral ties between the two countries. According to the Prime Minister’s press office, the sides discussed ways of deepening the cooperation, especially in the areas of trade and economy. Irakli Garibashvili thanked the Hungarian gust for steadfastly supporting Georgia’s EU candidacy cause. The vice prime minister, Tea Tsulukiani, and the head of the government’s administration, Revaz Javelidze, attended the meeting.

PM Garibashvili met with Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov, agreeing to further economic, energy, and transport cooperation. Prime Minister’s press office reported that the meeting also focused on increasing transit function, creating a logistics hub, and constructing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. During the meeting, PM Garibashvili invited the Azerbaijani delegation to participate in the Silk Road Forum scheduled in Tbilisi this fall.

Tbilisi Pride, the main local LGBTQ rights group, announced that this year’s Pride Week will include only indoor political, cultural, and academic events, including an international LGBTQI conference and the Pride Festival.  In an announcement, Tbilisi Pride said it will celebrate “the month of dignity and pride” by holding Pride Week in Tbilisi on July 1-8. According to the organization, “Pride Week is a special occasion for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities to unite, express themselves freely, and stand up for their rights.”

Arrests of the Day

Late Friday evening, police arrested civic activists and lawyers – Eduard Marikashvili, Saba Brachveli, Levan Nishnianidze, Lasha Janjgava and Nika Romanadze for unfurling the banner at a peaceful demonstration in front of the parliament building. Arrested civic activists were attending a small, peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Lazare Grigoriadis, who was detained and jailed following the March protests for allegedly throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at police. Journalists, opposition politicians, and civic activists started to gather, protesting “Russian-style illegal arrests” and demanding the immediate release of civic activists.  


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