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The Daily Beat: 15 September

At a government meeting, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced new social initiatives, including wavering student loans for 30,000 students, a 10% salary increase for ambulance workers, and a one-time financial assistance of GEL 20,000 for the families affected by the Shovi landslide tragedy and the recent floods in the Guria region. Speaking at a cabinet meeting, PM Garibashvili once again praised the government’s economic policy and subsequent economic growth, saying that GEL 500 million will be additionally allocated to the state budget in 2024, enabling further pay rises for civil servants, police officers, and soldiers.

The State Security Service briefly reacted to sanctioning former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze by the US State Department, claiming it had launched a probe into the US statement on Partskhaladze. Yesterday, the US State Department sanctioned former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze for exerting Russian influence in Georgia in coordination with an FSB officer.  

Later in the day, Otar Partskhaladze himself submitted a written statement to Rustavi 2 TV, claiming that the decision on his sanctioning is based on pure assumptions rather than facts. According to Partskhaladze, the United National Movement is behind a “dirty campaign” aiming to discredit him, and the imposition of sanctions is the result of this decade-old discreditation campaign. In his written statement, Partskhaladze also noted that he left the civil service ten years ago and has no connections with state institutions since then.

In the meantime, the US-sanctioned former Prosecutor General Partskhaladze received prompt backing from Moscow.  The chair of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots, Leonid Kalashnikov, told TV Formula that Otar Fartskhaladze was involved in resuming direct flights with Russia and canceling the visa regime for the Georgian citizens. According to Kalashnikov, Otar Partskhaladze is actively working on humanitarian, economic, and other aspects of Russia-Georgia relations, acting in the interests of Georgia and for the benefit of the Georgian people.

A group of civil society organizations led by the Open Society Georgia Foundation issued a report on the implementation status of Georgia’s 12 EU conditions. According to the report, as of now, only one priority is fully fulfilled (proactive consideration of ECHR judgments), two priorities are mostly fulfilled (independent ombudsman and institution independence of the PD office and gender equality and violence against women), seven are partially fulfilled (electoral and institutional reforms, independent judiciary, anti-corruption measures, media environment, protection of human rights of vulnerable groups, involvement of CSOs in the decision-making process, and fight against organized crime) and two priorities (de-oligarchization and political de-polarization) are yet to be fulfilled.

The State Security Service reported the illegal detention of a Georgian citizen by the Russian occupation forces in the occupied Tskhinvali region territory near the village of Odzisi. The EUMM hotline was immediately activated, and international partners and the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions were duly informed about the incident. According to the Security Service, all available mechanisms are put in place to ensure prompt release of a Georgia citizen.


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