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The Daily Beat: 13 November

Speaker Shalva Papuashvili claims that Georgia does not intend to join the international sanctions against Russia as it contradicts the will and interests of the Georgian people. “If we had imposed sanctions on Russia last year, it would have meant a -10% drop for the Georgian economy – and, accordingly, increased prices and economic hardship for our citizens […] It would also have been a high risk of a military confrontation with Russia,” Papuashvili told journalists.

“The European Union does not hide its plans to deter and oust Russia from Central Asia and the Caucasus, but it will not succeed in doing this,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a Kremlin propaganda TV program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin.” According to Russia’s Foreign Minister, western partners are well aware that the Russian historical presence in these regions won’t disappear anywhere.

Meanwhile, Tbilisi City Mayor and Secretary-General of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Kakha Kaladze, believes that the opposition is the true enemy of the Georgian state, not Russia. “What kind of hostility towards Russia are we talking about when the Georgian politicians ran to Brussels and did everything to prevent the country from obtaining the EU candidacy? Today, Georgia has its biggest enemy in the ranks of radical opposition. Which Russia are you talking about?” commented Kakha Kaladze in response to Sergei Lavrov’s statement.

At the meeting with the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Qian, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed regrets over the President’s remarks voiced in an interview with French TV channel LCI, describing them as “unacceptable and alarming.” According to PM Garibashvili, the President’s rhetoric on China contradicts the spirit of strategic partnership, harming the bilateral relations between the two countries. In response to the LCI question – “Do you believe that Putin and Xi Jinping will ever be brought to justice?” President Zurabishvili said – “In my belief, I think that history would judge that, putting certain things in their place. But If you ask me whether it is realistic or not? No.”

A Local LGBTQ+ movement, Tbilisi Pride, issued a statement entitled “Selective National Human Rights Action Plan,” claiming that LGBTQ community members are excluded from the National Action Plan for the Protection of Human Rights (2024-2026), drafted by the government. “Following the discriminatory National Strategy of Human Rights of Georgia (2023-2030) approved in the spring and the increasingly hostile rhetoric and actions from the government, it came as no surprise that LGBTQ individuals were removed from the National Human Rights Action Plan (2024-2026),” – the statement reads.

The foreign ministry confirmed the death of another Georgian fighter, Irakli Kurtsikidze, in Ukraine. According to the head of the Georgian group in the Ukrainian Special Operation Forces, Vano Nadiradze, a Georgian fighter, Irakli Kurtsikadze, was killed on November 10. The latest casualty brings to 41 the unofficial death toll of Georgian citizens killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022.

Tamaz Ginturi, a Georgian citizen killed during an attempted illegal detention by the Russian occupation forces in the occupied Tskhinvali region, was buried with military honors in the village of Kirbali, a few hundred meters away from the spot where he was shot dead on November 6. Ginturi’s relatives, friends, fellow villagers, politicians, and civic and human rights activists also came to pay their respects and bid him farewell. Tamaz Ginturi, 58, a resident of Kirbali, was a veteran of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war and a former member of the Karaleti Special Forces.

According to the government’s decision, the Agency of Youth Affairs will be transferred from the Culture Ministry to the Ministry of Education and Science. The government will submit the relevant draft law approving the structural changes to the parliament shortly. Education Minister Giorgi Amilakhvari claimed that his ministry will be titled the Ministry of Education, Science, and Youth Affairs starting next year.

Data of the Day

Express Data released by the National Statistics Office (Geostat) indicate the increase in the external merchandise trade by 16.2% in January-October 2023 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, amounting to USD 17.786 billion. According to Geostat, Georgia’s external merchandise trade saw exports rise by 12.5%, reaching USD 5. 102 billion, while imports increased by 17.8%, totaling USD 12.683 billion. The trade deficit amounted to USD 7.580 billion, representing 42.6% of the overall trade turnover.


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