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Helsinki Commission Holds Hearing on Russia’s Occupation of Georgia

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the United States Helsinki Commission, held a hearing on July 17 to assess the state of affairs ten years after the Russo-Georgian war and to explore the steps U.S. policymakers can take to address its consequences. The Commission Chairman, Senator …

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Georgian Dream Party Expels Rebellious MP

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party has expelled from its ranks MP Davit Chichinadze, following his public criticism of Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze. In a brief statement on July 18, the ruling party said Davit Chichinadze “has multiple times grossly violated the party discipline and the universally recognized moral and …

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Georgia’s Foreign Trade in Jan-June 2018

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2018 increased by 24.3% year-on-year, reaching USD 6 billion, according to the preliminary figures released by the state statistics office today. Exports from Georgia increased by 28.5 % year-on-year to USD 1.6 billion, and imports were up by 22.9% y/y to …

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Court of Appeals Upholds Guilty Verdict against Saakashvili

The Court of Appeals upheld on July 18 a guilty verdict delivered by the first instance court against ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was sentenced in absentia on charges of abusing power in pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials, convicted in the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani. In a statement …

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NATO SG: Russia Cannot Decide on Georgia’s Behalf

“Russia has no right to decide on behalf of its neighbors,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at his press conference with Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze in Brussels on July 18, stressing that Georgia has “the right to decide its own path, including what kind of security arrangements it …

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Prosecutors Summon Former Economy, Infrastructure Ministers

Former economy and infrastructure ministers, Dimitri Kumsishvili and Zurab Alavidze, respectively, were summoned for questioning by the Prosecutor’s Office. The two ministers were reportedly questioned few weeks ago, but the news was reported only this week. The Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the reports on July 17; it said the prosecutors have …

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UNM-led Coalition Picks Presidential Candidate

Grigol Vashadze, Georgia’s Foreign Minister in 2008-2012, will enter the presidential race in October on behalf of the Strength in Unity movement, a newly-established political platform of ten opposition political parties led by the United National Movement. Vashadze’s candidacy was presented at an outdoor event in front of the medieval Bagrati …

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President Nominates New Head of Adjara’s Local Government

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has nominated today Tornike Rizhvadze, the CEO of the state-owned Georgian Energy Development Fund, as the new Head of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. The position became vacant after Zurab Pataradze stepped down, triggering the resignation of the region’s entire cabinet. Rizhvadze’s candidacy was backed …

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PM Bakhtadze Appoints Deputies, Advisors

Minister of Interior Affairs Giorgi Gakharia and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maia Tskhitishvili were appointed as Vice Prime Ministers in Mamuka Bakhtadze’s new cabinet, the Georgian Government’s press office reported on July 17. Two officials from Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s cabinet – the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the …

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Italian President Visits Tbilisi, Hails Cooperation with Georgia

President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, who is on his first official visit to Georgia on July 16-17, met with his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Margvelashvili yesterday, hailing the Italian-Georgian bilateral relations and the two countries’ cooperation in multilateral formats. The Italian President reaffirmed his country’s support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and praised …

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President, Parliament Speaker at odds over Adjara Govt Head Appointment

President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze are at odds over the appointment procedures of the Head of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. The dispute follows the resignation of Zurab Pataradze on July 4, which forced the region’s entire cabinet to step down and triggered the government …

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Parliament Confirms New Chief Prosecutor

Shalva Tadumadze has been confirmed by the Parliament as new Chief Prosecutor of Georgia for a six-year term. Tadumadze, who served as the Head of the Government’s Administration, was approved with 101 votes to 2 on July 16. The vote today was preceded by the legal affairs committee hearing, where Tadumadze spoke of his reform priorities and …

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Four Killed, Six Injured in Mining Accident in Tkibuli

Four miners were killed and six others were injured in a mining accident at the Mindeli coal mine in Tkibuli, western Georgia. The Interior Ministry said the accident occurred in one of the mine tunnels, presumably due to a methane gas exposition, which triggered a roof collapse. Investigation into the …

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Parliament Confirms Bakhtadze’s New Cabinet

The Parliament of Georgia confirmed on July 14 Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze’s new cabinet composition with 101 votes in favor to 12 against. The new government had to face the parliamentary confidence vote following the recent structural changes in the cabinet, which reduced the number of ministries from fourteen to eleven. The following …

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EU, Georgia to Strengthen Ties in Disaster Risk Management

The European Union is enhancing ties with Georgia in civil protection and disaster risk management to bring the country closer to the Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU instrument that enables coordinated assistance from its participating states. The respective arrangement was signed in Tbilisi today by the European Commissioner on Humanitarian Aid …

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PM Bakhtadze Nominates Three New Ministers

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze presented his new cabinet composition on July 12, including three new ministerial candidates. Bakhtadze’s eleven-member cabinet will face the parliamentary vote of confidence on July 14, following the ministers’ meetings with parliamentary committees and political groups. The cabinet newcomers are: Minister of Education, Science, Culture and …

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Trump on Georgia’s NATO Membership: ‘Not Right Now’

United States President Donald Trump, who took part in the NATO Summit in Brussels, spoke on Georgia at a press conference on July 12, saying the country has a chance to join the Alliance, but “not right now.” “At a certain point they have a chance, not right now,” Trump said. He also …

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Prosecution Details Circumstances of Smith Family Murder

Mtskheta District Court sent to pretrial detention Malkhaz Kobauri, born 1998, on suspicion of murdering an American couple and their four-year-old son in Georgia’s north-eastern Dusheti Municipality. Davit Kazarashvili, the case prosecutor, said after the court hearing yesterday that Kobauri, who is said to be a shepherd, agreed to help …

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NATO, Georgia Agree to Enhance Partnership

Leaders of 29 NATO member nations and Georgian officials met at NATO-Georgia Commission meeting in Brussels today to discuss security, defense reform and cooperation. Upon conclusion of the meeting, the sides adopted a joint declaration, emphasizing “unique scope and depth of Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance.” In the declaration, Allies recognize the …

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