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The Daily Beat: 27 February

On Monday’s parliamentary session, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán refused to stand up and commemorate Alexei Navalny, citing his chauvinism and anti-Georgian statement during the 2008 Russo-Georgia war. “The chauvinists are not entitled to respect in the Hungarian parliament, and we do not stand up to honor those who called the Georgians rats during the Russia-Georgia war,” Orban said, adding, “Otherwise, may he rest in peace.”

Russian National Research Institute of Communication Development published a list of the friendliness of communication regimes of post-Soviet countries, naming Georgia as a “relatively friendly” state to Russia. According to the same list, the occupied Georgian regions of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia are ranked first and third, respectively, in the least of the friendly countries to Russia. Georgia is the only country in the “relatively friendly” category. In the years following the 2008 Russo-Georgia War, Georgia was perceived as one of the least friendly states to Russia.

De-facto leader of occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, and the Kremlin’s man in charge of Abkhazia’s “foreign relations,” Inal Ardzinba, reported that Moscow insists on moving the Geneva International Discussions to another location, mentioning Minsk and Baku as alternative venues. Presenting the report on the activities of the de-facto foreign ministry, Ardzinba noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry considers Geneva to no longer provide “equal conditions for the participants of the negotiation process.”

Social Justice Center (SJC), a local watchdog, issued a statement, saying that the damage done to the World Heritage site of Gelati Monastery during the reconstruction and conservation works shows signs of possible malfeasance in office. In a statement, SJC noted that the Culture Ministry is responsible for the cultural heritage policy and reconstruction works on cultural sites, calling on the prosecutor’s office to investigate the alleged abuse of office.

Transparency International-Georgia (TI-Georgia), a local corruption watchdog, issued a statement saying that the draft amendments to the Law on the Fight against Corruption “do not take into account critically important recommendations of the European Commission and the Venice Commission, in a number of ways worsen the existing regulations and raise questions about compliance with the Constitution.”

The coalition of twelve civil society organizations presented a detailed vision for implementing the nine steps defined by the European Commission for Georgia to move to the next stage of EU integration and start accession negotiations. Each step includes concrete measures to be taken, including in the executive and legislative direction.

On the occasion of World NGO Day, the EU Ambassador to Georgia, Paweł Herczyński, issuedstatement underlining the role of NGOs in safeguarding the values shared by the EU and Georgia, stressing their necessity for any democracy and in particular in the context of Georgia’s European integration. The statement emphasized the role of civil society organizations in political life as a link between citizens and political leaders, reaffirming the EU’s support for the work of NGOs in Georgia and around the world.


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