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The Daily Beat: 24 July

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visited Croatia, inaugurating the Georgian Embassy in Zagreb, demonstrating Georgia’s belated but growing involvement in Southeast Europe. Irakli Garibasvili met his Croatian counterpart, Andrej Plenković, and discussed implementing 12 EU conditions, conveying his anticipation of a positive decision on the EU candidacy by the end of the year. Both Prime Ministers highlighted the opening of the Georgian Embassy as a positive development in activating bilateral relations between the countries. looked into the latest semi-annual reports of the Attorney General to the US Congress on the Administration of the FARA for 2021, revealing that Georgia’s government and the ruling Georgian Dream party also employ US lobbying firms for different purposes. According to the reports, in total, both the government and the party spent USD 1,879,999 on lobbying firms throughout 2021 to shape public perception and media coverage in their favor. Recently, PM Irakli Garibashvili accused Mikheil Saakashvili and the United National Movement of a “shameful campaign against Georgia, fueled by millions of dollars from his family,” based on a report issued as a result of the government’s special request to FARA, documenting the summary payment of USD 33,500 to various US lobbying firms in 2023.

Ioseb Maisuradze, who attacked opposition politician Zura Japaridze, was released by the Gori City Court on bail of GEL2,000. He was arrested following the incident and taken into custody as a preventive measure until 24 July. Zura Japaridze was attacked on June 17 while on his way to a lecture at a Borjomi youth camp called “Academy for Liberal Education,” which was raided by an angry mob the same day.

The US sanctioned the Russian bank and payment system operator “Yunistrim,” widely used for Russian money transfers, including in Georgia. Reportedly, the largest banks of Georgia, such as TBC and Bank of Georgia, almost simultaneously suspended money transfers via “Yunistrim.” According to some Telegram bloggers, all Georgian banks have suspended cooperation with “Yunistrim.”

Imprisoned ex-President, Mikheil Saakashvili, expressed his solidarity with the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, facing a 20-year prison term in a new criminal case. “Alexey, you are a symbol of much greater historical significance than all of your torturers taken together. I am deeply convinced, and my intuition has rarely failed me, the Putin regime is nearing the end with great speed. You need to stay alive and healthy,” twitted Saakashvili.


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