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Moscow Signs Contracts on Georgia-Russia Trade Monitoring

The Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation signed on May 18 an agreement with Geneva-based testing and inspection company – SGS – on carrying out cargo monitoring through three “trade corridors” between Georgia and the Russian Federation. The contract is part of the Swiss-mediated agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow signed on November 9, …

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Interior Minister Reports on Drug Raids, Police Reform

On May 18, Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia reported to the Parliament at the request of the European Georgia minority group, focusing on May 13 drug raids on Tbilisi’s top music clubs, as well as on reforms planned in the Ministry. In his 40-minute statement Minister Gakharia stressed the necessity of …

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Georgian FM Speaks on Abkhazia, S.Ossetia at CoE Ministerial

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze addressed the 128th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) in Elsinore, Denmark, and focused in his remarks on the security environment and human rights violations in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. “When we talk about human rights we should …

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Top U.S. Army Commander Attends Georgia Defense Program Opening

Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Commander of the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, who visited Georgia on May 17-18, attended today the inauguration of the Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP), a large U.S.-funded training program focused on Georgia’s territorial defense capabilities. Speaking at a new Combat Training Center …

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Gay Rights Activists Mark Anti-Homophobia Day

A group of approximately 250 gay rights activists and their sympathizers, holding rainbow flags and posters with messages against homophobic violence, gathered outside the Government administration in Tbilisi to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). The demonstrators assembled in the area at 7 pm today in their …

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FM Janelidze Meets Kazakh Leaders, Discusses Deepening Ties

Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze is visiting Kazakhstan on May 16-17.  He met Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and other officials, and discussed bilateral cooperation. While meeting PM Sagintayev, the sides hailed “successful cooperation” between Georgia and Kazakhstan in trade, economy, tourism, transport, and other spheres as …

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Gay Rights Groups Cancel IDAHOT Rally

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) will no longer be marked in Tbilisi, the Equality Movement, a Tbilisi-based LGBT rights organization, announced yesterday evening, after hours of tense negotiations with gay rights activists and partner organizations. The decision follows the announcement of several parallel rallies by the Georgian …

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Police Probe into Neo-Nazi Activists’ Calls for Violence

The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into calls for violence by the Georgian National Unity, a Tbilisi-based group that positions itself as a “fascist” and “right wing national-socialist” organization. The police announcement follows the May 13 remarks of Giorgi Chelidze, the leader of the organization, voiced …

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Two Parallel Rallies Scheduled for May 17

Two parallel rallies are scheduled to take place in Tbilisi on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), – a symbolic date for both the Georgian Orthodox Church and the gay rights organizations and activists. The Orthodox parish, led by senior clerics, will gather at several locations …

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MDF Presents New Report on Anti-Western Propaganda

Tbilisi-based Media Development Foundation released its third annual monitoring report on May 14, identifying around two thousand anti-western messages in Georgian media in 2017. The report, covering the period between January 1 and December 31, 2017, documented the anti-western messages and fake news in seventeen television, online and print media …

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Georgian Leaders Want NATO Summit to Recognize Country’s Progress

The country’s progress on its NATO integration path has to be “adequately” recognized at the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels on July 11-12, the Georgian leaders stressed yesterday, shortly after the National Security Council session. In his remarks after the meeting, President Giorgi Margvelashvili said Georgia “was indeed a frontrunner” …

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Four NATO Ships Make Port Call in Georgia

Four NATO ships, assigned to the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), arrived on a four-day port call in Poti on Georgia’s Black Sea coast today. The maritime group, which includes the British frigate HMS Duncan, Turkish TCG Gemlik, Bulgarian BGS Drazki, and Romanian ROS Regele Ferdinand, is led by Mike …

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Interior Minister Meets Members of White Noise Movement

Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia and leaders of the White Noise movement agreed at their meeting earlier today to set up two working groups – one on the drug policy reform and another on scrutinizing the May 12 raid on Tbilisi’s top music clubs. Davit Subeliani, one of the leaders of …

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President Margvelashvili on Protests in Tbilisi

The government’s drug policy should be “much more liberal,” and the police should be “dealing with drug traffickers” rather than users and petty dealers, President Giorgi Margvelashvili said today, just hours after two opposing rallies faced off in the center of Tbilisi. “In the last few days, we witnessed a …

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Protesters Clear Rustaveli Avenue after Talks with Interior Minister

Several hundred protesters, who rallied against police raids on Tbilisi’s top music clubs, have cleared the Rustaveli avenue after nearly six hour-long standoff with a group of hardline nationalists and conservatives. The rally, convened in front of the Parliament building at 3 pm yesterday, proceeded peacefully in the initial hours, …

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Patriarchate Weighs in on Tbilisi Protests

The Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate has issued a statement on Tbilisi protests. “Our compatriots have been appalled by recent developments in Tbilisi. Although countering drug trade is essential for us, the government and the entire population, questions have been raised on the police operation in certain segments of the society (although, …

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Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Tbilisi Protests

Below is a statement of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, issued at 9 pm Tbilisi time. “I would like to comment on the developments in Tbilisi over the last two days. Yesterday and from today morning we have been having active discussions in the team on what has …

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Two Demonstrations Underway in Tbilisi

Tense standoff on Rustaveli avenue, as hard-line nationalists and conservatives rally against the crowd that has gathered in front of the old Parliament building to protest police raids on Tbilisi’s top music clubs. The counter-rally participants reportedly chant violent slogans against what they see as “drug use promotion” and “anti-Georgian” …

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