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The Daily Beat: 11 June

Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze attended the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) 2024, held in Berlin on June 11-12. “Of course, we will reiterate our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we will once again express our readiness to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine to the extent possible for our country,” PM Kobakhidze told the media in Berlin.

On June 10, Defense Minister Irakli Chikovani visited Azerbaijan and met with his counterpart, Col. Gen. Zakir Hasanov. According to the Georgian Defense Ministry, the ministers discussed regional security issues, Georgia’s proposed peaceful neighborhood initiative, and the “intensive” bilateral cooperation in defense. “The sides expressed confidence that defense cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia will contribute to ensuring peace and stability in the region,” the Azerbaijani MoD reported.

On June 11, the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) adoptedstatement “On the Crisis of Democracy in Georgia” condemning the Georgian government’s decision to adopt the Foreign Agents Law and move away from the European path. The statement says that until the law is repealed, Estonia will block accession to the EU, impose sanctions on the Georgian authorities, and push for further sanctions from the EU, including suspending the visa-free regime.

“The United States condemns and will not recognize sham parliamentary elections in Russia-occupied South Ossetia being conducted without Georgia’s consent. We fully support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders,” the US Assistant Secretary of State, Jim O’Brien posted on social platform X.

In yet another episode of the targeted campaign of repression against government critics, on June 11 another activist, Zuka Berdzenishvili, a former member of the “Shame” movement and son of Davit Berdzenishvili, one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Party, was severely beaten by three men near his home. The incident occurred about an hour after Speaker Shalva Papuashvili published a Facebook post, accusing Zuka Berdzenishvili, among others, of making threatening and offensive phone calls to MPs.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Inter-agency Coordination Council announced their decision to leave the platform and the Open Government Forum of Georgia permanent working group over the adoption of the Foreign Agents Law, which OGP says discriminates, stigmatizes and restricts the freedom of expression and association of civil society, media, and vulnerable groups.

Citing its sources, the opposition-leaning Mtavari Arkhi TV claims that Georgian and Russian authorities are actively working on restoring diplomatic relations, further saying that the selection process of the Embassy staff is already underway.  

The Russian airline Azimut will begin operating flights between Moscow and Kutaisi starting in July, flights will be operated twice a week, reported the Russian state-controlled media outlet TASS, citing the company’s Telegram channel message. “Azimuth Airlines is further developing an international route network and announces the opening of air ticket sales on new flights – Moscow – Kutaisi – Moscow,” reads Azimut Airlines’ Telegram notification.  

The National Bank of Georgia sold USD 60 million at a foreign exchange auction in yet another attempt to stabilize the GEL currency, which slowly but surely continues to depreciate against the USD and EUR. According to the NBG, as of June 11, the value of one USD is 2.86 GEL, and one EUR is 3.07 GEL.


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