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The Daily Beat: 14 November

Responding to the question of Rustavi 2 TV journalist, before meeting with the EU defense ministers for an informal breakfast, the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, denounced Russia’s plan to establish a naval base in occupied Abkhazia, reiterating support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The NATO Secretary General said that Russians “have been pushed on the defensive because Ukrainians have been successful in attacking naval facilities in Crimea,” adding that “therefore, Russia is looking into alternatives.”  

In an exclusive interview with Radio Liberty, the EU Ambassador Paweł Herczyński shared his views on the EC’s positive recommendation to grant Georgia candidate status, stressing the significance of joining forces, continuing with reforms, and focusing on nine priorities set out in the Commission’s report. “On this one particular issue [European integration], what would be extremely helpful for Georgia to advance is to have everyone joining forces and working together, and I know that when Georgians are united, great things happen,” said Ambassador Herczyński.

British advisor of the United National Movement, Ben Mallet, was denied entry into Georgia without any clear explanation. Already in Georgia a week ago, Mallet was due to return to do political consultancy work for the UNM but was turned away at the border, said UNM representatives, further accusing the Georgian Dream government of sparking “diplomatic scandal.” Ben Mallet is the Director of International Campaigns at the Messina Group. He has servedas an advisor to British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron, and the Foreign Office Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith.

President Salome Zurarabishvili‘s interview remarks with the French media LCI were discussed at the meeting between the head of the President’s administration, Natia Sulava, and the Chinese Ambassador, Zhou Qian. According to the statement released by the President’s office, Natia Sulava assured the Chinese Ambassador that during the President’s interview with French media, there was no reference made to Sino-Georgian relations or, specifically, to the President of China, Xi Jinping, further clarifying that “the entire interview was devoted to EU-Georgia relations, Georgia and Russia.”  

The European People’s Party (EPP) adopted an emergency resolution entitled “Supporting Political Prisoners in Europe of Increasing Autocracy,” expressing its deep concern over the growing number of political prisoners in Russia, Belarus, Georgia, and Armenia. Among other issues, the resolution calls for protecting former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s health and his immediate release.

At the EU diplomats’ initiative, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Graibashvili held a business lunch with the Ambassadors of the EU and its member states following the EC decision to recommend Georgia’s EU candidacy to the European Council. At lunch, PM Garibashvili pledged to continue “a constant dialogue and close coordination with European colleagues,” expressing hope that Georgia will be granted the EU candidacy in December. According to the official press release, the prime minister also expressed readiness to push forward the reform process.  

The Russian Defense Ministry released a video on its Telegram channel, allegedly featuring a Georgian fighter named Giorgi Goglidze, reportedly captured by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Russian MOD claims that a Georgian citizen was recruited by the Kyiv regime in Germany and trained by the US, German, French, and Polish military instructors. Russian forces have also reportedly captured another Georgian fighter identified as Giorgi Chubitidze. The foreign ministry has not yet commented on the capture of two Georgian citizens in Ukraine.


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