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The Daily Beat: 20 July

Today the leader of “Strategy Agmashenebeli Giorgi Vashadze, announced that he is joining forces with Mikheil Saakashvili’s “United National Movement,” creating a joint political platform to challenge Bidzina Ivanishvili’s “Georgian Dream.”  “Today, we are launching the movement for victory, changes, and liberation from Ivanishvili’s Russian regime. We are creating a platform for victory, which Georgian citizens have been waiting for years,” said Giorgi Vashadze, standing next to the UNM leader Levan Khabeishvili. This political merging casts doubt on Levan Khabeishvili’s leadership of the UNM, sparking speculations that Vashadze will overshadow or even succeed him, reported the opposition media.

In a media interaction, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili claimed that some countries, including Ukraine, were interested in preventing Georgia from obtaining EU candidate status. “I know that last year Ukraine was one of those interested in us not getting candidate status; unfortunately, this is a reality; many of our European leaders have confirmed this to me,” said PM Garibashvili. He also blamed Ukraine for lobbying the “second front,” linking it with the attempts to release ex-President Saakashvili.

Opposition politicians slammed Prime Minister’s remarks on Ukraine, saying he is acting contrary to Georgia’s interests, simply trying to please Russia. prepared a compilation of reactions by the opposition politicians to PM Garibashvili’s statements on Ukraine.  

Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili visited Brussels, holding meetings with EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Oliver Varhelyi and Director General of Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Directorate Gert Jan Koopman. According to the Foreign Ministry, during the Brussels meetings, parties discussed current EU-Georgia cooperation, including transit projects, implementing 12 EU conditions, and determining the future steps in Georgia’s EU accession process.

The Health Ministry claimed that pharmacy networks are creating an artificial shortage of drugs. The ministry referred to the Pharmaceutical Activities Regulation Agency’s finding, saying it revealed the facts of the alleged artificial shortage of medicines for treating epilepsy. “Following the inspection of pharmaceutical companies, the regulatory agency concluded that the companies, notwithstanding having “Depakine Chrono” (300 mg, 500 mg) in stock, probably aiming to create an artificial shortage, were not selling it in pharmacy stores,” reads the statement of the Regulation Agency.


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