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The Daily Beat: 7 July

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian arrived in Georgia to discuss politics, economy, culture, and regional security challenges with the Georgian counterpart, Irakli Garibashvili. According to the government’s press release, PM Garibashvili pledged to promote regional peace during the meeting with the Armenian delegation and reiterated his commitment to the Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative. Both Prime Ministers agreed to bring the economic cooperation between the two countries to a new level, emphasizing the role of the intergovernmental economic commission.

The former head of the Co-Investment Fund, Giorgi Bachiashvili, is accused of embezzling USD 39 million worth of bitcoin from Bidzina Ivanishvili in 2017. Prosecutors filed charges against him, arguing that he used misappropriated assets, including transferring, converting, purchasing, and acquiring properties, to launder cryptocurrency and money. Bachiashvili, who has dual Russia-Georgia citizenship, denied the allegations, saying the charges are politically motivated. The Tbilisi City Court granted him bail of GEL 2.5 million, but he is not allowed to leave the country.

Russian occupation forces illegally arrested six Georgian citizens near the South Ossetia occupation line, said the deputy head of state security service, Aleksi Batiasvili, while presenting the 2022 activity report to the joint session of parliamentary committees. According to the standard procedure, a hotline was activated, and international partners were immediately informed about the incident.

State Security Service published its annual 2022 activity report, outlining the country’s main challenges and threats. The report states that Russia’s ongoing military occupation of Georgian regions remains a top threat, while the war in Ukraine has affected Georgia’s stability.

Tbilisi Pride, an NGO supporting the LGBTQ+ community, urged the citizens ”to denounce the violent threats made by radical groups against the Pride Festival” and not believe the disinformation they spread. In its statement, the NGO stressed that “there are no marches planned for tomorrow’s event and that the event will be held indoors for pre-registered guests only,” calling on the public to “stand in support of democracy, human rights, and love.”

The “Coalition for Equalitycalled on law enforcement agencies to prioritize the safety of upcoming events organized by “Tbilisi Pride” during “Pride Week” and take all possible measures to ensure the security of the events announced within the framework of the “Week.” The “Coalition” raised concerns due to threats from the Kremlin-linked far-right extremist group Alt Info.

Also noteworthy that representatives of different religions in Georgia issued a joint statement condemning Pride Week. According to them, the purpose of the week is to “promote perverted lifestyles, including propaganda among the youth, registration of same-sex couples as families, adoption of children, and changing the cultural code in general.”

Comings and Goings

Former Health Minister and close associate of Bidzina Ivanishvili, Ekaterina Tikaradze, returned to the post of director of the Sachkhere Medical Center (Sachkhere is a hometown of Bidzina Ivanishvili where he reportedly spends most of his time). An online media outlet Netgazeti says that the Sachkheri Medical Center confirmed this information.

Tikaradze served as the Health Minister from 2019-2021. Before her appointment to the senior government position in 2015-2019, she served as the general director of the Sachkhere District Hospital Polyclinic Association.


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