In brief, News

Georgia sends delegation to Munich Security Conference

by | January 8, 2014
ministry_of_foreign_affairs

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will send a delegation to attend the 50th Munich Security Conference. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, it is decided that a delegation from Georgia will attend the conference, but it is still unknown who the members

In brief, News

Georgia’s new chief prosecutor to be announced soon

by | January 4, 2014
Prosecutor's Office of Georgia in Ortachala, Tbilisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's prime minister Irakli Gharibashvili says he will name the new chief prosecutor in a few days. The former chief prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze resigned December 30 after the National Movement claimed an alleged robbery sentence from Germany in 2001

In brief, News

Families get compensation for soldiers who died in war

by | January 3, 2014
coffins ISAF

TBILISI, DFWatch--From January 1, the closest family of soldiers who have died on duty will receive a monthly compensation of 500 lari (USD 300). An amendment was made in June last year to the law about state compensation and state academic scholarship and is now

In brief, News

Georgian ministry renamed from ‘reintegration’ to ‘reconciliation’

by | January 2, 2014
paata_zakareishvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Office of the State Minister for Reintegration from January 1 is called the Office of the State Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Issues. According to the minister, Paata Zakareishvili, the name implies two areas: conflicts and

In brief, News

Tbilisi mayor plans to mortgage house to pay USD 30 000 bail

by | December 30, 2013
gigi-ugulava

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava plans to mortgage his house in order to pay the bail money in a corruption case. Ugulava was last week suspended by Tbilisi City Court. The mayor is charged with embezzlement of Tbilisi City Hall money and using it to

In brief, News

Tbilisi mayor loses appeal

by | December 27, 2013
gigi-ugulava

TBILISI, DFWatch--A decision by the city court to suspend Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava pending a corruption trial has been upheld in the Appeals Court. Both the Prosecutor’s Office and Ugulava's defense lawyers appealed the city court's decision. The Prosecutor’s

In brief, News

Georgian PM to visit US in first half of 2014

by | December 23, 2013
irakli gharibashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian prime minister Irakli Gharibashvili plans to visit the US in the first half of 2014, according to the country's foreign affairs minister. Maia Panjikidze announced the visit while summing up events the last year on Monday, but did not

In brief, News

Georgia becomes member of UNESCO committee

by | December 20, 2013
Ishkhani monastery

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has been elected as member of the Hague Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the election was held on December 17 at UNESCO headquarters during the 5th

In brief, News

Poll: 66% of Georgian want athletes to participate in Sochi

by | December 19, 2013
nino_tsiklauri

TBILISI, DFWatch--66 percent of Georgians approve of the decision by the government that Georgian athletes will participate in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, while 17 percent disapprove of this decision. 16 percent didn't answer. In September 2013, 76 percent supported this

In brief, News

Georgian president pardons 75 prisoners

by | December 18, 2013
giorgi_margvelashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili signed his first decree to pardon 75 prisoners on Wednesday. According to the head of the president's administration Lasha Abashidze, 54 of the prisoners were released, 14 got their sentence reduced to half, while

In brief, News

Georgian PM on visit to Azerbaijan

by | December 16, 2013
irakli_gharibashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday began an official visit to neighboring Azerbaijan. Gharibashvili will meet President Ilham Aliyev, and December 17 participate in a conference about the financing of the second phase of Shah

In brief, News

Former Defense Ministry official detained

by | December 15, 2013
defense_ministry

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia Saturday detained a former official in the Defense Ministry and charged him with illegally owning and keeping a weapon. Alexandre Ninua, former head of the purchasing department at the ministry, was placed in pre-trial detention the same day.

In brief, News

Direct flights between Tbilisi and Sochi during Olympics

by | December 9, 2013
tbilisi_airport

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Airways will offer direct flights between Tbilisi and the Olympic village Sochi from February 4, 2014, in connection with the upcoming Winter Games. There will be flights between Tbilisi and Sochi every Tuesday and Thursday until May. The

In brief, News

Former deputy prosecutor placed in pre-trial detention

by | December 9, 2013
tbilisi_city_court

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court has placed a former deputy chief prosecutor in pre-trial detention. Davit Chkhatarashvili, the former deputy of former Chief Prosecutor Murtaz Zodelava, was December 7 detained and charged with organizing staged torture videos

In brief, News

23 % more visitors to Georgia in Jan-Nov

by | December 5, 2013
visitors

TBILISI, DFWatch--4 973 632 people visited Georgia in January-November, 2013 according to the Interior Ministry. This is 22.6 percent more than the same period last year, and 12.3 period more than the total number of visitors in 2012. The highest number of visitors

In brief, News

Ukrainian MP breaks off Georgia trip due to political crisis

by | December 3, 2013
1450225_10201907526602889_651954018_n

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ukrainian opposition MP, Ruslan Koshulinski, who is deputy speaker of parliament, broke off his visit to Georgia due to the protests in Kyiv. Koshulinski visited Georgia in order to attend the sixth session of the parliamentary assembly of GUAM;

In brief, News

Georgian premier blasts former ruling party on RT

by | December 2, 2013
irakli_gharibashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has strongly criticized the former ruling party, the National Movement, in an interview on Russia Today, the state-owned Russian television station. It's a bit difficult to understand the opposition, they

In brief, News

Putin visiting Armenia

by | December 2, 2013
vladimir_putin

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Yerevan today for the first time in five years. Russian media report that during his visit, Putin will meet with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan. There will also be held a Russia-Armenia regional

In brief, News

GUAM to meet in Tbilisi on Monday

by | December 1, 2013
zurab_abashidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Representatives from the GUAM countries will meet in Tbilisi on Monday. The occasion is the sixth session of the Parliamentary Assembly of GUAM, a cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Zurab Abashidze, chairman of the

In brief, News

One released from South Ossetian detention

by | November 28, 2013
ergneti_03_resized

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian man has been released from a holding facility in South Ossetia after first being detained two days ago for trespassing. Malkhaz Vanishvili, 24, from the village Khurvaleti near the de facto border, was detained together with Gocha Makishvili.

In brief, News

Georgia-Switzerland visa treaty comes into effect from Jan 1

by | November 27, 2013
ministry_of_foreign_affairs

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new agreement between Georgia and Switzerland about simplified visa rules will come into force on January 1, 2014. According to the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the two countries have completed all the procedures related to the agreement

In brief, News

Georgian wine to be served at EU summit in Vilnius

by | November 25, 2013
Georgian-wine-bottles

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian wine will be served during the summit of the EU's Eastern Partnership in Vilnius November 28-29, the Foreign Affairs Ministry confirms. The event will be held at the exhibition hall Litexpo in Vilnius and will be attended by representatives

In brief, News

Ivanishvili awarded the Supreme Order of Justice

by | November 22, 2013
ben_griffith_-_bidzina_ivanishvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili has been awarded the Supreme Order of Justice. The award is given once a year by the World Jurist Association (WJA) to a person and one cleric for their work for peace and justice. WJA President

In brief, News

UNESCO marks anniversary of Georgian poet Tsereteli

by | November 22, 2013
akaki_tsereteli

TBILISI, DFWatch--UNESCO has placed the 100 year anniversary of the death of Georgian poet Akaki Tsereteli on a list of important events in 2014-2015. Tsereteli was born in 1840 and died in 1915 and is considered the best Georgian poet in this period. He also was

In brief, News

40 000 households without electricity in Georgia

by | November 20, 2013
storm_kakheti_2012-08-19

TBILISI, DFWatch--40 000 households in Georgia are without electricity due to bad weather. According to Energo-Pro Georgia, which distributes electricity to consumers, 50 000 households have been without electricity since morning, but power supply to 10 000 of them has now been restored.

In brief, News

Railway strike called off in Georgia

by | November 17, 2013
railway_workers_on_strike_IPN

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two thousand railway workers in Georgia ended their strike yesterday, after successful negotiations with the company. Talks between workers and the Georgian Railway management board lasted for six hours and all three demands the workers brought with

In brief, News

Suspected police attacker let out on bail

by | November 14, 2013
MIA_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--A man suspected of injuring a policeman in Zugdidi, a town in western Georgia, was released on Thursday on a 2 000 lari (USD 1200) bail. Zugdidi City Court satisfied the appeal by the Prosecutor’s Office to release the suspect on bail. The suspect will have

In brief, News

Relatives rally in support of man who cut off policeman’s ear

by | November 14, 2013
MIA_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--A protest was held Wednesday in Zugdidi, in western Georgia, by relatives of a man detained for injuring a policeman a few days ago. Their demand was to have him released. But the suspect surrendered to the police and admitted having injured

In brief, News

Policeman found naked in a pool of blood after rape attempt

by | November 13, 2013
MIA_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--A policeman was brutally attacked in western Georgia Tuesday, after locals accused him of having raped a woman. Local media reported that the policeman was found naked, with a broken leg, and in a pool of blood near the presidential residence in

In brief, News

Georgia’s leaders to meet aboard U.S. Navy ship

by | November 12, 2013
uss_mount_whitney

TBILISI, DFWatch--Five days before the inauguration of Giorgi Margvelashvili as new president, he and other members of the current government will join outgoing president Mikheil Saakashvili for an event aboard a U.S. naval ship docked in Batumi. Also outgoing Prime

In brief, News

Guests from thirty countries to attend Georgian inauguration

by | November 11, 2013
Maya Panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is expecting representatives of 30 countries to attend the inauguration of Giorgi Margvelashvili as new president on November 17. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said Monday that among the guests will be two or three presidents, speakers

In brief, News

85 refugee families to receive apartments in Tbilisi

by | November 11, 2013
refugee_2012-05-12-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Ministry of Refugees will provide 85 refugee families with apartments on Monday. The apartments, which are located on Kvareli Street in Tbilisi, were distributed to families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) by use of secret ballot,

In brief, News

Georgian and French defense ministers discussed cooperation

by | November 9, 2013
irakli alasania - Jean-Yves Le Drian

TBILISI, DFWatch--Defense Minister Irakli Alasania Friday met with his French colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian at the French Defense Ministry. They discussed military-industrial cooperation between Georgia and France and future plans. Alasania said they discussed

In brief, News

Campaigner beaten in the head with brick on Election Day

by | November 7, 2013
MIA_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police are investigating an attack on the head of the campaign office for Georgian Dream candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili in Sagarejo, in eastern Georgia, in the evening of Election Day. Ivane Kvrivishvili was attacked by members of the Georgian Dream

In brief, News

Saakashvili pardons one more former official

by | November 6, 2013
mikheil_saakashvili_-_minaret

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili has pardoned one more person convicted in the so-called prison riot case and awarded him with Order of Vakhtang Gorgasali of the first class. Revaz Charbadze, a former chairman of the purchasing department of the Defense

In brief, News

Georgia wants to hold presentation of wine at Vilnius summit

by | November 5, 2013
Georgian-wine-bottles

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia wants to hold a presentation of wine during the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius later this month. Representatives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry explain that Georgia is in negotiations with the organizers about holding a

In brief, News

Ship sinks in Aegean Sea – five Georgians rescued

by | November 4, 2013
stella

TBILISI, DFWatch--A ship with Georgian crew Saturday went down in the Aegean Sea. Five of the crew members were rescued, but the captain is missing and a search is underway. According to Maritime Bulletin, the small freighter Stella had a crew of six when it sank for

In brief, News

Georgia elected member of ECOSOC

by | November 3, 2013
ECOSOC

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has been accepted as member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the country is elected as member for a period from 2014 to 2016. The election for new ECOSOC members was held

In brief, News

United States congratulates Georgia on election

by | October 29, 2013
john_kerry_-_official_portrait

TBILISI, DFWatch--The United States has congratulated the Georgian people on holding a peaceful presidential election. A statement published on the State Department website says the presidential election on October 27 was an important step for Georgia’s democratic

In brief, News

Margvelashvili won among Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan

by | October 28, 2013
soldiers_voting_in_afghanistan

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Dream candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili received most votes among Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan. Margvelashvili won over Davit Bakradze, from the National Movement, at two election precincts for Georgian soldiers serving in the NATO-led

In brief, News

Exit polls show Georgian Dream winning in first round

by | October 27, 2013
margvelashvili-archevnebi__4_

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Dream coalition's candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili is predicted to win Georgia's presidential election in the first round. Two exit polls show Margvelashvili winning clearly. According to an exit poll by the German company GFK on the order of

In brief, News

Low voter turnout, but election’s legitimacy not in question

by | October 27, 2013
archevnebi-2013__2_

TBILISI, DFWatch--Despite low turnout, the legitimacy of today's election is not in question, says Georgia's Central Election Commission (CEC). By 15:00, 32 percent had voted. In 2012's parliamentary election, the turnout at 15:00 was 45 percent. A spokesperson for

In brief, News

Voter turnout at noon highest in Racha and Guria

by | October 27, 2013
giorgi_margvelashvili_voting

TBILISI, DFWatch--At noon, voter turnout in Georgia's presidential election was highest in the Racha region (29%) in the mid north part of the country and in Guria (24%) in the south west. Overall turnout at noon was 17 %, as just over 600 000 out of 3.5 million who are

In brief, News

Over a thousand foreign observers for Georgia’s election

by | October 26, 2013
voters-waiting

TBILISI, DFWatch--60 local and 65 international organizations will observe Sunday’s presidential election. The Central Election Commission published information about the observers on Saturday, after finishing the process of registration of organizations and media.

In brief, News

NATO envoy compliments Georgian defense minister

by | October 25, 2013
james_appathurai

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO envoy James Appathurai compliments Georgia's defense minister in a Facebook update after meeting him on Thursday. Defense Minister Irakli Alasania participated in NATO’s ISAF meeting on Thursday at NATO headquarters. After the meeting, he met

In brief, News

Poll shows Georgia’s election heading for a second round

by | October 24, 2013
voters-in-queue

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a new survey conducted by the American company Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research, 43 percent would vote for the Georgian Dream candidate Giorgi Marvelashvili, while 23 percent would vote for the National Movement party’s Davit

In brief, News

Georgian Dream gets 58% in new poll

by | October 24, 2013
giorgi_margvelashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to a survey conducted by Research and Consult Center Psiqo Proeqti, 57.6 percent support the Georgian Dream coalition candidate for president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, while 11.8 percent support Davit Bakradze, the National Movement candidate.

In brief, News

Council of Europe elections observers arrive in Georgia Friday

by | October 24, 2013
cesko_CEC

TBILISI, DFWatch--A delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will arrive in Georgia October 25 for a three day visit to observe the presidential election. Until Election Day, October 27, the 26 delegation members will meet with the

In brief, News

A sixth depot of undistributed refugee supplies discovered

by | October 22, 2013
refugee supplies Bolnisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Refugee Ministry says there has been discovered a sixth depot where equipment, home appliances and various supplies for refugees has been kept since 2008. The humanitarian goods were this time discovered in Bolnisi. The goods should have been

In brief, News

Number of charged and convicted fell 59% in Q3

by | October 21, 2013
prison_

TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of people charged with or convicted of a crime has been reduced by 59.3 percent in the third quarter of 2013, compared to the same period last year, according to the Prison Ministry. The number of people charged or placed in jail

In brief, News

Georgian soldiers cast their vote in Afghanistan

by | October 21, 2013
Georgian_soldiers_in_NATO

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian soldiers serving in the NATO-led ISAF mission have voted at two precincts in Afghanistan. Usually, elections are held in Afghanistan a few days before Election Day, which this year is October 27 for Georgia and for all the other voting

In brief, News

Georgia’s foreign trade was stable Jan-Sept 2013

by | October 19, 2013
money cash

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's foreign trade turnover in January to September fell by 0.1 percent, compared to the same period last year. The total amount of turnover in the first ten months this year was USD 7 585 million. USD 2 019 million out of this was export, which

In brief, News

NATO envoy met Georgian Euro-integration minister

by | October 16, 2013
james appathurai

TBILISI, DFWatch--Alexi Petriashvili, Minister for Euro and Euro-Atlantic integration, yesterday met with NATO envoy James Appathurai, who recounted the meeting on his official Facebook page. "He made a clear, realistic and convincing case for why, if/when the upcoming

In brief, News

Strasbourg to announce ruling in Georgia vs Russia next year

by | October 15, 2013
strasbourg_court_of_human_rights

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg next year will announce its ruling in a case Georgia has lodged against Russia concerning the deportation of Georgian citizens from Russia seven years ago. This was conveyed in a message from the

In brief, News

Georgia preparing Interpol search for jihad video suspect

by | October 12, 2013
MIA_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--Interior Minister informs that very soon Interpol will issue a red alert for the search for the man suspected of uploading two videos to Youtube threatening jihad against Georgia. The ministry is preparing the necessary documentation to send

In brief, News

Tbilisi City Hall to buy apples from conflict zone

by | October 12, 2013
meria - city hall

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall plans to purchase apples from villages close to the Russian-controlled territories. The plan is the initiative of the Mayor of Tbilisi, and the goal is to help people living in the conflict zone who otherwise would be left without an income

In brief, News

Georgian fruit and vegetables to be exported to Russia

by | October 11, 2013
fruit_and_vegetable_stand

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia will allow export of Georgian fruit and vegetables to its market. Shalva Pipia, Minister of Agriculture, said Thursday that a document has been signed by the parties which lifts all restrictions on Georgian export of nuts, grapes, apple, pea,

In brief, News

Farmers demand payment for wine grapes

by | October 11, 2013
grapes

TBILISI, DFWatch--More than 100 farmers demand to be paid for grapes they delivered to the wine maker Shildi. Two days ago, the farmers rallied outside the plant demanding their payment immediately. They told journalists that many of them should be paid thousands

In brief, News

Two tourists found after rescue operation

by | October 8, 2013
tourists

TBILISI, DFWatch--Rescue workers have recovered two tourists from Israel who were lost for two days in a mountainous part of Georgia. According to the Interior Ministry, the tourists were discovered in Mestia, Svaneti. They left from the village Janbeshi toward the village

In brief, News

Poti port closed due to storm

by | October 7, 2013
poti

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four a fourth day, the port in Poti on the Black Sea has been closed for ships due to a storm. According to local media, the unloading of ships has been in progress for the last few days, but fifteen ships which should have arrived have been turned

In brief, News

15% more visitors to Georgia in September

by | October 5, 2013
tbilisi_airport

TBILISI, DFWatch--15.1 percent more visitors came to Georgia in September 2013 compared to same period last year. According to Interior Ministry, 507 082 persons visited the country in September, while 4 075 600 visitors came to Georgia in the first nine months of the

In brief, News

Saakashvili pardons 18 000 probationers

by | October 4, 2013
queue_at_president_palace

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Saakashvili has pardoned about 18 000 people on probation or already finished serving their sentence. The president signed a decree which has been sent to the appropriate bodies in order to be enforced. Andro Barnovi, head of the

In brief, News

Plan to bar Georgians from leaving country put on hold

by | October 3, 2013
session-hall-parliament-2012-10-21

TBILISI, DFWatch--Lawmakers in Georgia have retracted a bill to make it possible for authorities to bar Georgians from leaving the country without specifying the reason. MPs Irine Imerlishvili and Zurab Abashidze said they were revoking the bill in order to improve it,

In brief, News

Georgia’s economy grew 1.1 percent in August – estimate

by | October 1, 2013
GeoStat

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's estimated real GDP growth rate amounted to 1.1 percent in August 2013. For the first eight months of 2013, the same figure was 1.6 percent, according to Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat. GeoStat's monthly rapid estimates

In brief, News

53 election precincts abroad for Georgian election

by | October 1, 2013
georgia_embassy_washington

TBILISI, DFWatch--53 election precincts will be open at locations abroad for Georgians there who want to vote in the presidential election on October 27. According to the Central Election Commission, the highest number of precincts will be in Greece

In brief, News

Protesters set up wire block outside Ivanishvili’s house

by | October 1, 2013
wire_block_at_ivanishvili_residence

TBILISI, DFWatch--The organization Droa protested outside Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's business center Monday evening, installing barbed wires at the entrance. Police prohibited them from blocking the road with wires, so they placed them on the side walk.

In brief, News

76 prisoners released early

by | September 29, 2013
prison

TBILISI, DFWatch--67 prisoners were released on Saturday on recommendation of the commission for early release, according to the Prison Ministry. 14 of the released prisoners are women. The ministry says the commission has reviewed about 300 cases and

In brief, News

Russian helicopter spotted over border village

by | September 28, 2013
dvani

TBILISI, DFWatch--A military helicopter was seen Friday flying over the village Dvani, where Russian soldiers are reinforcing the de facto border with barbed wire blocks and fences. The allegedly Russian military helicopter was filmed on video. The Ministry of Interior

In brief, News

Saakashvili met Anders Fogh Rasmussen

by | September 27, 2013
anders_fogh_rasmussen_-_mikheil_saakashvili_-_2013-09-26

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in New York, within the frames of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. According to the president's press office, Saakashvili spoke with Rasmussen

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70% increase in administrative fines

by | September 27, 2013
IDFI_logo

TBILISI, DFWatch--Fines issued by the police for administrative violations have increased by 70 percent in the first six months of 2013 compared to last year. According to the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), which obtained official data

In brief, News

Two attempts to bring drugs into prison

by | September 27, 2013
prison_ministry_staff

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prison Ministry employees in Georgia have disrupted two attempts to bring drugs into a prison in Tbilisi. According to the ministry, the father of a prison came to Prison No 8 with a parcel. When the prison employees opened the parcel, there was

In brief, News

Georgia extends maternity leave

by | September 26, 2013
Mother_Kissing_Baby

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia is extending maternity leave and increasing the amount of paid leave. Parliament Wednesday began a fast-track review of the new bill, which will amend the labor code; an initiative of the healthcare committee. With the new

In brief, News

Obama had brief meeting with Saakashvili

by | September 24, 2013
barack_obama_-_mikheil_saakashvili_-_2013-09-23

(Comments from Saakashvili added.) TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili Monday met with President Barack Obama in New York. The brief conversation too place at a civil society event in connection with the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

In brief, News

Saakashvili visits the US

by | September 23, 2013
mikheil saakashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili has left for the US to go on a working visit and deliver a speech at the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The president will also hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of different countries,

In brief, News

Suspect in Batumi shooting wanted for diplomat’s murder in Abkhazia

by | September 20, 2013
mia_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Russian citizen who was detained for shooting a cop in Batumi is suspected of murdering a Russian diplomat in Abkhazia on September 9. According to Russian channel NTV, Yusuf Lakayev is suspected of murdering the Russian envoy to the breakaway

In brief, News

Bomb hoax update: two schools and a bank evacuated

by | September 19, 2013
mia_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--Wednesday there were two more false bomb reports in Georgia. The target of one of the hoax calls was the central office of Bank of Georgia. No bomb was discovered. An adult was apprehended and may be risking up to three years in jail. The other

In brief, News

Olympic Committee lists Abkhazia and South Ossetia as countries

by | September 18, 2013
sochi_olympics

TBILISI, DFWatch--The public broadcaster in Georgia on Tuesday reported that the Russian Olympic Committee has listed Abkhazia and South Ossetia as separate countries to take part in the winter Olympics in Sochi in February. “This is very unpleasant precedent and we

In brief, News

OSCE’s Krivokapic visiting Georgia

by | September 16, 2013
Ranko_Krivokapic

TBILISI, DFWatch--The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE, Ranko Krivokapic, is visiting Georgia for three days, starting Monday. Krivokapic, who is also the Speaker of Parliament in Montenegro, will hold meetings with government officials and members of

In brief, News

Switzerland signs visa agreement with Georgia

by | September 14, 2013
maya_panjikidze_-_Didier_Burkhalter_-_Sept_2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Switzerland has signed an agreement about simplifying procedures for the issuing of visas between the two countries. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze signed the agreement during a visit to her Swiss colleague Didier Burkhalter, according

In brief, News

Georgia’s CEC selects new chair

by | September 12, 2013
cesko_CEC

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Central Election Commission in Georgia Wednesday chose Tamar Zhvania as new chair. Zhvania previously worked on election issues at UNDP. She received the votes of all six of the commission members. President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday

In brief, News

Zourabichvili loses appeal

by | September 10, 2013
salome_zourabichvili_2013-09-10

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Appeals Court in Georgia Tuesday upheld a decision by the Central Election Commission (CEC) to not allow Salome Zourabichvili to register as a presidential candidate. Zourabichvili earlier lost an appeal in Tbilisi City Court. The CEC's decision,

In brief, News

54 through first hurdle ahead of presidential election in Georgia

by | September 8, 2013
cesko_CEC

TBILISI, DFWatch--54 persons are through the first hurdle in the upcoming presidential election in Georgia as the deadline to register as a candidate expired on Friday. Among applicants are Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Georgian Dream coalition's candidate, and Davit Bakradze,

In brief, News

Parliament evacuated after another bomb threat

by | September 7, 2013
parliament

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament building in Kutaisi was evacuated Friday due to a bomb threat. Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili appealed to lawmakers to leave the building, despite the fact that a bomb threat earlier this year turned out to

In brief, News

Georgia’s Ivanishvili visiting Latvia

by | September 6, 2013
ivanishvili_bidzina_-

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is visiting Latvia for two days, starting Friday. The visit begins with a meeting with Andris Bērziņš, President of Latvia, and Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. Ivanishvili will also meet with the speaker of

In brief, News

Georgia and Russia to meet in Prague in mid September

by | September 4, 2013
abashidze_zurab

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Russia plan another round of direct talks in Prague in the middle of September. The Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russian Relations, Zurab Abashidze, told journalists on Tuesday that the details of the meeting are

In brief, News

Georgia to brief its diplomatic corps about foreign policy

by | September 2, 2013
MFA Georgia

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's Foreign Ministry is holding a conference for its diplomats. Maia Panjikidze, Foreign Affairs Minister, opened the conference in Tbililsi Monday. Prime Minister Ivanishvili and other government representatives will also attend the meeting,

In brief, News

Georgia lacks ambassador to 7 countries, Saakashvili hasn’t signed

by | August 31, 2013
mikheil saakashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is without ambassador in seven countries, because the president has failed to sign their confirmation. Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze said on Saturday that President Mikheil Saakashvili still hasn’t signed the document to confirm

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Compromise about minaret will create new inter-religious council

by | August 30, 2013
mosque_demonstration_2013-08-28_aqciaa_mechettan__5__Crop

TBILISI, DFWatch--Agreement was reached by Muslim and Christian leaders in Georgia on Thursday about what to do with a minaret which was removed from a mosque earlier in the week. The Georgian Orthodox Church -- the Patriarchate -- and the organizations Muslims of

In brief, News

Three Georgians released from Tskhinvali detention

by | August 29, 2013
tsitelubani_-_tv1

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three Georgians were released on Wednesday by Russian soldiers in South Ossetia, a Georgian breakaway region. Irakli Merebashvili, and the couple Nana Vanishvili, Alexandre Tsertsvadze and their teenage child were detained on August 22 in the village

In brief, News

Georgia releases 429 prisoners who were pardoned

by | August 28, 2013
prison_

TBILISI, DFWatch--429 prisoners were released on Wednesday in connection with the Georgian religious holiday Mariamoba. August 28, Georgia celebrates the assumption of Mary, known as Mariamoba. In connection with the holiday, the president customarily pardons

In brief, News

EU concerned about Putin’s Abkhazia visit

by | August 27, 2013
aleksander_ankvab_-_vladimer_putin_2013-08-26

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Union Delegation to Georgia expresses concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia. The EU delegation on Tuesday issued a statement saying that it recalls that the EU doesn’t

In brief, News

Olympic Committee chairman released on bail

by | August 27, 2013
city-court-in-tbilisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--The former head of Georgia's National Olympic Committee and the founder of Artesi Ltd were released on 200 000 lari (USD 120 000) bail each and will have 30 days to pay the bail. The Prosecutor’s Office asked for 300 000 bail for each of them. 16

In brief, News

217 prisoners in Georgia recommended for pardoning

by | August 24, 2013
elene-tevdoradze

TBILISI, DFWatch--The pardon commission on Friday reviewed the cases of 500 prisoners. 217 were given a positive recommendation. The commission received recommendations from the president, who has the right to pardon prisoners independently or based on the

In brief, News

New mosque planned in Kakheti, eastern Georgia

by | August 23, 2013
mosque

TBILISI, DFWatch--A mosque is going to be built in a village in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region. Badrudin Ibragimov, Chairman of National-Cultural Autonomy of Avar in South Caucasus, told Intepressnews that at the moment, the project is acquiring all the necessary

In brief, News

Georgian soldier dies in apparent suicide

by | August 22, 2013
Giorgi_Mebonia

TBILISI, DFWatch--A recruit has died at a Georgian military air base near the capital Tbilisi. According to the ministry, the incident happened on Wednesday at a checkpoint while he was on duty. The body of the deceased, Giorgi Mebonia, has been taken to the National

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Armed robbery in Bank of Georgia branch in downtown Tbilisi

by | August 22, 2013
police_line_bank_of_georgia_robbery

TBILISI, DFWatch--Bank of Georgia was subject to an armed robbery in downtown Tbilisi late on Wednesday. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was tight-lipped about the details, beyond noting that an investigation has been launched and criminal experts are studying the

In brief, News

Georgia improves listing on failed states index

by | August 21, 2013
failed_states_-_map

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is in 55th place of 178 countries on the Failed States Index for 2013. This is a slight improvement position compared to previous years. On top of the list are Somalia, Congo, Sudan and South Sudan. The least failed countries are Finland,

In brief, News

Okruashvili detained at Nice airport after scuffle

by | August 17, 2013
irakli okruashvili free on bail 2013-01-11

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former defense minister Irakli Okruashvili was Saturday briefly detained by French police after a scuffle with another Georgian politician, former MP Merab Samadashvili. The scuffle took place at Nice airport. Okruashvili was later released by airport police.

In brief, News

Three prisoners on hunger strike in Ksani prison

by | August 6, 2013
rustavi_prison_guard_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three prisoners are on a hunger strike at Ksani prison. The Prison Ministry said Monday that August 1 one of its prisoners, a man called Kakha, had sewed his eyelids shut as a sign of protest, as he perceives himself as innocent and demands to

In brief, News

Six Georgians remain in detention in Tskhinvali

by | August 1, 2013
tskhinvali

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Russian soldiers have detained one more Georgian citizen in a village close to the breakaway region South Ossetia. Locals say Mikheil Khurievi, 63, was in the village Tsitelubani on Georgian-controlled territory when Russian soldiers approached him.

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Polish climbers rescued after being trapped for three days

by | August 1, 2013
Elbrus

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Emergency workers in Georgia have saved four Polish climbers who have been trapped for three days atop one of the highest mountains in the Caucasus. The four became trapped on top of the mountain Shkara after one of them fell down when

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Iran’s consul offers Georgia assistance in murder case

by | July 30, 2013
iran flag

TBILISI, DFWatch--Iran’s consul in Georgia Ahmad-Reza Arzjani says the suspect in murder of a 16-year-old girl in Batumi Juy 22 has been in Turkey for the last two years. Mariam Kochalidze, 16, was murdered near the beach in Batumi, a Black Sea holiday resort and one

In brief, News

Four Polish climbers trapped in the Caucasus mountains

by | July 29, 2013
Elbrus

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of Polish climbers are requesting help after four of them got stuck in the Caucasus mountains. One of the trapped climbers fell after a rope broke. He did not break any bones, but is having problems moving. Giorgi Dzagnide, head of the Interior

In brief, News

One man detained for parliament bomb scare

by | July 27, 2013
new_parliament_kutaisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police detained Omar, 71, on suspicion of being behind a false bomb threat at the parliament building in Kutaisi. Thursday parliament building was evacuated to allow law enforcers to conduct a bomb search. It later turned out that the report

In brief, News

One Georgian released by South Ossetia

by | July 19, 2013
Guram_Gigineishvili_released_2013-07-18

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia has released Guram Gigineishvili, a Georgian who was detained five days ago in a village bordering on Russian-controlled territory. Russian soldiers detained Guram Gigineishvili in the village Bershueti while he was working in

In brief, News

Margvelashvili picks replacement ahead of presidential run

by | July 16, 2013
giorgi_margvelashvili_-_tamar_sanikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Minister of Education Giorgi Margvelashvili has picked his own replacement, as he prepares for the race to be Georgia's next president. The Georgian Dream coalition chose Margvelashvili as its candidate in the upcoming election, and although Georgian

In brief, News

Ivanishvili will visit Lithuania and Poland July 18-19

by | July 16, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili - PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will visit Lithuania and Poland July 18-19. Davit Zalkaliani, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, said on Monday’s briefing that Georgia sees visit to Lithuania to be important as it has recently taken

In brief, News

Second detention this week near de facto border

by | July 11, 2013
ditsi 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers have detained one more Georgian citizen and taken him to Tskhinvali, the capital of the de facto breakaway region South Ossetia. Witnesses claim that the detainee, Guram Gigineishvili, 49, was working in the cornfield in the village

In brief, News

Another Georgian detained at de facto border

by | July 9, 2013
sakorintlo

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border soldiers a few days ago detained another Georgian citizen and brought him to Tskhinvali where he was placed in preliminary detention. The detainee Zurab Salamashvili, 52, from the village Sakorintlo has been in a detention for three

In brief, News

Štefan Füle to visit Georgia July 11-12

by | July 8, 2013
Štefan-Füle

TBILISI, DFWatch--Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, will visit Georgia July 11-12. Davit Jalaghania, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, said at a briefing Monday that the visit is planned to be held in Batumi, a city

In brief, News

Hunger strike over in Georgian women’s prison

by | July 4, 2013
prison

TBILISI, DFWatch--The hunger strike at Rustavi women’s prison is over. Prisoners of No 5 prison facility in Rustavi, a town 20 km south of the capital, had been on hunger strike for two days demanding to get their sentences reduced. Wednesday, Eka Beselia, chair

In brief, News

Hunger strike breaks out in Georgian women’s prison

by | July 3, 2013
rustavi_prison_guard_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--About 80 prisoners at the women's prison in Rustavi have gone on hunger strike demanding to get their sentences reduced. According to the administration of prison No 5 in Rustavi, 20 km away from the capital, the prisoners have no complaints against

In brief, News

Heavy rain flooding the streets of Tbilisi

by | June 27, 2013
heavy rain in Tbilisi 2013-06-27

TBILISI, DFWatch--Heavy rain hit the Georgian capital Thursday evening with hail in some of districts. Rain flooded the first floors of houses and underground pedestrian tunnels. In some districts of Tbilisi there was a short hailstorm. Interpressnews reports that

In brief, News

Israel and Georgia considering visa free travel

by | June 26, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili - benjamin netanyahu 2013-06-25

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says Israel and Georgia may enter an agreement about visa free travel. Ivanishvili said this after meeting with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. He said that they also discussed establishing

In brief, News

NATO tops visit Georgia

by | June 25, 2013
anders fogh rasmussen 2012-11-14

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO's highest political body, the North Atlantic Council, will visit Georgia June 26-27. The delegation, which is headed by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, have planned meetings with President Mikheil Saakashvili, Prime Minister Bidzina

In brief, News

Georgia’s GDP in Q1 was USD 3.5 billion

by | June 24, 2013
money cash

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s GDP in the first quarter of 2013 was 5 782.8 million GEL (USD 3 500 million), which is 2.4 percent more than same period last year. According to Georgia's National Statistics Department, industry has the largest share for GDP figures

In brief, News

Council of Europe will discuss the ‘deteriorating situation’ in Georgia

by | June 24, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--PACE will discuss the ‘deteriorating situation in Georgia’ during a session which opens Monday, June 24 and lasts until June 28. Georgia is on today's agenda under the headline ‘changes in the membership of committees’. The name of the topic

In brief, News

Russian border guards detain Georgian near South Ossetia

by | June 21, 2013
ditsi 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards have detained two more locals on the de facto border with South Ossetia while several people detained during the last few weeks still remain in detention. According to locals, armed Russian border guards took Zaza Khidasheli

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Russia detains a man on border with Abkhazia

by | June 17, 2013
enguri

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards Sunday detained a Georgian citizen near the administrative border around Abkhazia. A reporter for Interpressnews said Russian border guards took Tengiz Kurua from the village Orsantia, Zugdidi. Kurua was walking along the

In brief, News

Two Georgians released by South Ossetia

by | June 4, 2013
ditsi

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian father and son who were detained by Russian soldiers close to the so-called administrative border with South Ossetia a few days ago were were released on Monday. According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, Avtandil and Kakhi Khaduri,

In brief, News

Georgian’s foreign minister visits the US

by | June 4, 2013
maya panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Maya Pankikidze, Foreign Affairs Minister of Georgia, is on a visit to the United States and will today attend a reception in Washington organized by the Georgian embassy to mark Independence Day of Georgia. She will also meet with Miriam Sapiro,

In brief, News

NATO week in Georgia

by | June 2, 2013
nato_flag

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will mark NATO week from 3 to 10th June. It will be opened by NATO envoy James Appathurai and the minister for Euro Atlantic integration. Elene Gotsadze, director of the information center for NATO and EU, said Friday that James Appathurai,

In brief, News

Zestaponi strike over, most demands accepted

by | June 1, 2013
ferro zestaponi

TBILISI, DFWatch--1 600 workers at the Ferro plant in Zestaponi called off their strike Friday. The strike lasted more than a week, and paralyzed the plant which accounts for 12% of Georgia's national export. Management agreed to enter into negotiations and finally

In brief, News

Georgian metal workers still on strike

by | May 27, 2013
ferro zestaponi

TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the largest factories in Georgia is still paralyzed by a now week-long strike by hundreds of workers who demand higher salaries, better social conditions, collective contracts and compensation for night shifts. A group of students have joined

In brief, News

PACE’s Mignon visits Georgia on Tuesday

by | May 26, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of PACE will arrive in Georgia May 28 for a two-day visit. Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, is on a regional tour and comes to Georgia after finishing his visit to Azerbaijan. He

In brief, News

Two more charged with May 17 violence

by | May 25, 2013
police line and crowd ii 2013-05-17

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two more persons have been charged with violence on May 17, when a rally against homophobia was disrupted by a crowd of thousands of people encouraged by Orthodox clerics. The clashes led to almost 30 people being injured. The Interior Ministry

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Georgia charges two Orthodox clerics after anti-gay violence

by | May 23, 2013
police and priests - 2013-05-17

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry in Georgia says it is charging two high-ranking clerics who work for the country's Orthodox church. (Article has been corrected.) The police is pressing charges against the archimandrite of Sameba cathedral, Father

In brief, News

Strike continues at Georgian metalworks plant

by | May 22, 2013
Ferro workers

TBILISI, DFWatch--Hundreds workers of Georgia’s large ferroalloy plant in Zestaponi are continuing their strike and do not plan to give up until their demands are met. Three workers have decided to end their hunger strike after consultations with the head

In brief, News

Metalworks plant in Georgia paralyzed by strike

by | May 21, 2013
ferro zestaponi

TBILISI, DFWatch--Metal workers in Zestaponi in western Georgia are on strike and have paralyzed the functioning of a plant which is responsible for 12 percent of Georgia's export. The operation of the Zestaponi ferroalloy plant was suspended almost all of Monday.

In brief, News

Hammarberg: Hard to explain how May 17 could happen

by | May 21, 2013
Thomas Hammarberg

TBILISI, DFWatch--Thomas Hammarberg says it will be difficult to explain to Europe how the May 17 violence could occur in a democratic country such as Georgia. Christian Orthodox activists last Friday used violence to disrupt a planned peaceful event to mark

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Calls for a truth and justice commission

by | May 20, 2013
establish justice

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former political prisoners on Sunday held people’s congress at Sport’s Palace in Tbilisi in order to demand the restoration of justice and put the Saakashvili regime on trial. The congress decided to set up a people’s movement with the same

In brief, News

Suspect in sex tape leak out on bail and fired

by | May 15, 2013
gela khvedelidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Gela Khvedelidze, the Deputy Interior Minister accused of leaking a sex tape, is free on USD 3 000 bail and has been removed from his position. Khvedelidze was detained a few days ago for publishing a video with intimate scenes between three people. Wednesday Tbilisi

In brief, News

Georgia preparing second investigation into the 2008 war

by | May 14, 2013
2008_war_soldier

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of eight persons will study crimes commited during and after the Russia-Georgia war in August, 2008. Following a decision by Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili, representatives of three bodies will sit in the investigative group and study

In brief, News

21 percent more visitors to Georgia in April

by | May 12, 2013
tbilisi international airport

TBILISI, DFWatch--21 percent more foreigners visited Georgia in April 2013 than in the same month the year before. In the first five months of the year as a whole, 32 percent more foreigners visited the country, compared to the preceding year. These figures

In brief, News

OSCE delegation held closed door meetings

by | May 8, 2013
OSCE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Parliamentarians from the coalition of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the National Movement (UNM) party of President Saakashvili on Tuesday met with a delegation from the OSCE to discuss current events in Georgia, foreign policy and other

In brief, News

Saakashvili and Aliyev discussed Kars-Akhalkalaki railway

by | May 7, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - ilham aliyev 2013-05-07

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili discussed the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway with President Ilham Aliyev during his visit to Azerbaijan. The heads of state of the two neighboring countries underlined that the construction of

In brief, News

OSCE parliamentarians visiting Georgia

by | May 7, 2013
radisson blu iveria hotel

TBILISI, DFWatch--A delegation from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chaired by Wolfgang Grossruck, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, arrives in Georgia today Tuesday for a three day visit. In the delegation are also

In brief, News

Romania recognizes Georgia’s neutral passports

by | May 3, 2013
sukhumi_woman-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--Romania has recognized Georgia's so-called neutral travel documents, which are issued to people living in the breakaway territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia's Foreign Ministry received word of the decision Friday in a note from the

In brief, News

Saakashvili met Kerry and Biden

by | May 2, 2013
john kerry - mikheil saakashvili 2013-05-01

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili Wednesday continued his tour of the US and held meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden. "We applaud the democratic transition that has been taking place in Georgia," Kerry said in

In brief, News

Alasania disappointed by lack of support from Germany

by | May 2, 2013
irakli alasania

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said on Wednesday that in the past, there have been exceeded expectations about Germany's support for Georgia's aspirations to become a NATO member. He said this as he opened a forum to discuss strategic

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Third gold to Georgia in judo championship

by | April 27, 2013
Avtandil Chrikishvili - 250x210

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has its third European judo champion, after Avtandil Chrikishvili won gold medal in men’s 81 kg on Friday. Chrikishvili defeated Tomislav Marijanovic of Croatia in the final to win gold in the 2013 European Championship in Budapest.

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Georgia takes second gold in judo championship

by | April 26, 2013
lasha shavdatuashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili Thursday won gold in the European Judo Championship in Budapest. This is Georgia's second gold in this year's championship. The first one was won by Amiran Papinashvili. Before Thursday's win, 21 year old

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Kerry promises to visit Georgia

by | April 25, 2013
maya panjikidze - john kerry - brussels 2013-04-24

TBILISI, DFWatch--US Secretary of State John Kerry has promised that he will visit Georgia. Kerry made the promise as he met Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze in Brussels on Wednesday to talk about Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration,

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Saakashvili visits US to meet Biden and Kerry

by | April 23, 2013
mikheil-saakashvili-2013-01-05

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Next week President Mikheil Saakashvili plans to visit the US next week to meet with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and his old friend John McCain

In brief, News

92% of Georgians trust Patriarch Ilia II

by | April 22, 2013
Ilia II

TBILISI, DFWatch--92 percent of Georgians say they like Patriarch Ilia II, who for many years has been the most trusted person in the country. According to a new survey published by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Monday, 75 percent say they like Prime

In brief, News

Ivanishvili to address PACE on Tuesday

by | April 20, 2013
bidzina-ivanishvili-2012-12-09

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on Tuesday. His speech is expected to deal with the new reforms his government has begun of the courts and the constitution,

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Georgia to consider legal recognition of church weddings

by | April 20, 2013
jvriswera - church wedding

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia may consider granting legal status to weddings conducted by the church. This issue will be studied in the near future by the commission which handles relations between the state and the Orthodox Church. Today, a marriage

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Saakashvili’s allies take leave from parliament

by | April 18, 2013
davit bakradze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Members of Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement party have taken the last two days off from work in parliament in order to prepare for a big rally on April 19. One of the party's leaders, Davit Bakradze, on Wednesday explained that for two

In brief, News

Saakashvili: 100 000 Russian troops crossed border in 2008

by | April 17, 2013
mikheil saakashvili 2013-03-04

Tbilisi, DF Watch - President Mikheil Saakashvili says it was possible to avoid Russia-Georgian war of August 2008 only if Georgia would give up its statehood. He also remembered details of war saying that more than

In brief, News

Ivanishvili visits Germany

by | April 15, 2013
bidzina_ivanishvili_440x369

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is visiting Germany to participate in a conference organized by the German Marshall Fund. Part of the delegation are also Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili, Foreign Affair Minister Maia Panjikidze,

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Turkey allows Georgian specialists in monastery works

by | April 13, 2013
Ishkhani monastery - photo buba kudava

TBILISI, DFWatch--Turkey has agreed to allow Georgian specialists to participate in the restoration of a Georgian the 7th century Ishkhani Monastery on its territory. A meeting was held on Friday at the Ministry of Culture of Turkey in Ankara, where representatives

In brief, News

Saakashvili refuses to cooperate with 2008 war inquest

by | April 12, 2013
Mikheil Saakashvili - Bronisław Komorowski - 2013-04-11

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says he doesn’t plan to cooperate with a new investigation of the Russia-Georgia war in August, 2008. “I, as president, distance myself completely from the statement by the prime minister that it was a fault

In brief, News

Hail storm destroyed crops in Georgia

by | April 11, 2013
hail storm kakheti 2013-04-10 i

TBILISI, DFWatch--A hailstorm Wednesday destroyed harvest and flooded the first floors of houses in the village Ruispiri in eastern Georgia. Information Center of Kakheti reports that the hailstorm lasted 20 minutes and ripped the flowers off trees. “The hail

In brief, News

Saakashvili carries on visit with broken arm

by | April 10, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - bicycle ride in Turkey, 2013-04-08

TBILISI, DFWatch--Despite having a broken arm, Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili carried on his tour of Turkey Tuesday and met his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül. On Sunday, Saakashvili crashed with a trailer in Antalya during his daily bicycle exercise.

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Schwarzenberg tells Georgia Czech Republic can not mediate

by | April 9, 2013
Karel Schwarzenberg

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia only respects larger states, therefore the Czech Republic cannot be mediator between Georgia and Russia, Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Tuesday. The minister, who is visiting Georgia, said this at a joint press conference

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April 9 remembered in Georgia, 24 years on

by | April 9, 2013
April 9 remembered 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--April 9 Georgia remembered that it was 24 years since Soviet troops dispersed a peaceful protest in Tbilisi, and 22 years since the day when Georgia restored its independence. People started arriving late night yesterday at the April 9 memorial

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30 town officials in Sagarejo replaced

by | April 9, 2013
isfed-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) says people are still being fired for political reasons in Georgia and calls on the government to prevent it. The call comes after the dismissal of several employees of the local

In brief, News

PACE co-rapporteurs visiting Georgia

by | April 8, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Michael Aastrup Jensen and Boriss Cilevics from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will arrive in Georgia on Monday for a five-day visit. On Monday, the co-rapporteurs have planned to hold meetings with Prime Minister Bidzina

In brief, News

Six Georgians released by South Ossetia

by | April 6, 2013
c7957b475200c5ed05a487bfыыыыыыыыыыыыыfb133a89

TBILISI, DFWatch--The de facto government of Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia has released six Georgians who were detained for ‘illegally crossing the border.’ Two of them have been detained since September 19, 2012. Malkhaz Titvelashvili and Givi

In brief, News

Number of prisoners halved in Georgia

by | April 5, 2013
prison_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of prisoners in Georgia was reduced by 56.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, according to the Ministry of Corrections. The number of prisoners has been a cause of alarm during the last years.

In brief, News

Uncertainty about Georgia’s participation in EU’s Mali mission

by | April 2, 2013
irakli alasania - soldiers

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is waiting for confirmation from the European Union about whether to send military advisers to Mali to assist the Union's mission there. Georgia told the EU in December it would contribute militarily to the fight against an Islamist insurgency

In brief, News

Third Georgian released by South Ossetia

by | March 29, 2013
c7957b475200c5ed05a487bfыыыыыыыыыыыыыfb133a89

Tbilisi, DFWatch - A Georgian was released from prison by the breakaway region South Ossetia Friday. This was the third Georgian prisoner to be released in the same number of days. The de facto authorities of the region on Friday released Ushangi Dotiashvili,

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MoD proposes draft law increasing accountability to Parliament

by | March 29, 2013
irakli-alasania

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Ministry of Defense prepared two draft laws which, it argues, will increase its accountability before the parliament. The draft is about public and secret procurement

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Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey plan closer cooperation

by | March 28, 2013
maya panjikidze - ilham aliyev - 2013-03-18

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Foreign ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey will be meeting on Thursday in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea coast.

In brief, News

Missing fisherman found dead after storm

by | March 28, 2013
fishermen discovered dead body

TBILISI, DFWatch--The crew of a Georgian fishing boat Wednesday discovered the body of a man, 55, drifting in the Black Sea. The deceased, Davit Geladze, had been lost at sea during the storm of March 23 and was the subject of a search operation at the time his

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Saakashvili presents a list of five new ambassadors

by | March 26, 2013
file copy

Tbilisi, DFWatch -President Saakashvili on Monday presented parliament with a list of five new ambassadors. The candidates are Khatuna Salukvadze for Lithuania, Zurab Pataradze for Kazakhstan, Irakli Koplatadze for Turkey, Teimuraz Sharashenidze for Azerbaijan

In brief, News

Two Georgian battalions depart for Afghanistan

by | March 22, 2013
georgian soldiers afghanistan isaf

TBILISI, DFWatch--The 33rd and 42nd battalions of Georgia’s III and IV infantry brigades are today getting ready to depart for Afghanistan to participate in NATO’s ISAF mission. According to the Defense Ministry, both battalions have been through a six-month

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US ambassador: Georgia has strong and competitive government

by | March 21, 2013
richard norland 2013-03-21

TBILISI, DFWatch--US Ambassador Richard Norland says Georgia has a strong and competitive government, a competitive parliament, independent media and justice system, and a strong and experienced opposition. Norland said this during a meeting in parliament Thursday.

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Georgia’s foreign minister visits Azerbaijan

by | March 19, 2013
maya panjikidze - ilham aliyev - 2013-03-18

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze on Tuesday met with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to discuss bilateral relations and further cooperation. During her visit to Azerbaijan, Panjikidze also met with the prime minister

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Georgia confirms nine new ambassadors

by | March 19, 2013
defense_ministry

TBILISI, DFWatch--President of Georgia on Monday approved the list of nine new ambassadors, by signing the document which parliament passed February 20. The new ambassadors are those serving in Belgium, Ukraine, France, US, Hungary, Austria, Latvia, Czech Republic

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Storm hits Black Sea coast

by | March 18, 2013
storm Batumi 2013-03-18

TBILISI, DFWatch--A storm hit Georgia Sunday evening and is threatening to inflict damage. Rescue personnel are mobilized in several regions of the country. According to local media, the wind has a speed of 20 meters per second on the Black Sea coast in the Adjara

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Ivanishvili to address PACE

by | March 17, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister will participate at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from April 20. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will address the assembly, according to Tina Khidasheli, a member

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Robakidze video has been edited, examination shows

by | March 16, 2013
buta robakidze video

TBILISI, DFWatch--A forensic examination has concluded that a video clip of a police operation in 2004 which ended the life of Buta Robakidze has been edited. The Prosecutor’s Office on Friday published the results of an examination of the video, which was released

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Bushfire in southwest Georgia

by | March 16, 2013
fire adjara

TBILISI, DFWatch--Firefighters are trying to contain a bushfire that is spreading in the Adjara region in south western Georgia on the Black Sea shores, bur wind is making their work is made difficult. Journalists for the local newspaper Batumelebi and the news agency

In brief, News

Snow blocks two roads in Georgia

by | March 15, 2013
snow road

TBILISI, DFWatch--A road in the Mtskheta region close to the capital is closed for all traffic after an avalanche. Also part of a road in Gudauri-Kobi in northern Georgia is blocked by masses of snow. The Road Department on Friday said clearance work is in progress.

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Time schedule for visa liberalization plan ready

by | March 15, 2013
alex_petriashvili_440x369

TBILISI, DFWatch--A time schedule for implementing the action plan for visa liberalization between Georgia and the EU has been confirmed. Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili explained Thursday that the new agreement sets detailed goals for

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Over 8 000 prisoners were freed in Georgia amnesty

by | March 15, 2013
gldani prison guard tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--The prisoner amnesty in Georgia ended its term of execution March 13. 8 322 prisoners were freed in total. According to the Prison Ministry, about 800 cases are still pending review in court. Most of them are about charges of fraud, cases which

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Georgia asks Interpol to help catch ex-official

by | March 14, 2013
davit chakua - interpol notice

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia asks for help from Interpol in its search for a former government official. This time, the wanted note is about Davit Chakua, the former head of the prison department, who is charged with abuse of powers, humiliating and inhumane treatment,

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Prosecutors struggling to deal with flood of complaints

by | March 14, 2013
Archil Kbilashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has created a 12 member investigative group to deal with the mass of complaints flowing in. Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili said on Wednesday that the group consists solely of young prosecutors who finished

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Doctors’ hunger strike over

by | March 14, 2013
doctors on hunger strike

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four fired doctors on Wednesday ended their week-long hunger strike after learning that the director of the emergency service where they worked has been removed from his position. The doctors started their protest March 6. They said had they

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Progress in prisoner exchange with Tskhinvali

by | March 13, 2013
ucha nanuashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--There are twelve Georgian prisoners in South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region, according to the public defender Ucha Nanuashvili. He told Pirveli Radio Wednesday that his office has received positive signal from non-government organizations in

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Merabishvili ‘connected’ to controversial 2006 killing

by | March 13, 2013
Vano Merabishvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's chief prosecutor and justice minister claim that the long time former interior minister Vano Merabishvili was implicated in the killing of Sandro Girgvliani, a controversial murder committed by the police in 2006. Chief Prosecutor Archil

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Most visitors to Georgia come from neighboring countries

by | March 12, 2013
visitors 2006-2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The majority of foreign visitors to Georgia in 2013 came from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine and Iran. As there is no mechanism to categorize people crossing the border of the country, the government provides general information about

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Georgia ends use of consecutive sentence

by | March 8, 2013
city court in tbilisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--The parliament in Georgia on Friday decided to end the practice of mandatory consecutive sentence. Following the amendments to the Criminal Law code and Criminal Law Procedure Code, the longer sentence absorbs the shorter one; what is called

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Snow and ice is causing traffic problems in Georgia

by | March 4, 2013
snow road

TBILISI, DFWatch--The latest snowfall has made driving conditions so poor that the road from the winter resort Gudauri to the village Kobi has been closed for all traffic. On other roads there are restrictions from some types of traffic. Along the road section from

In brief, News

Akhalaia to remain in detention

by | March 4, 2013
bacho akhalaia - tbilisi court v - 2013-02-28

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Saturday held pretrial hearing in two of the five criminal cases currently brought against former defense minister Bacho Akhalaia to decide on preventive measures before the trial. For the third time, Akhalaia was given pretrial

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Prosecutor lost appeal in Tbilisi mayor’s case

by | March 2, 2013
gigi-ugulava

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office lost its appeal about issuing bail conditions for Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava in a case about money laundering and embezzlement. The Appeals Court refused to set a one million GEL (USD 600 000) bail for mayor and suspend him

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Russia and Georgia discussed visa rules

by | March 2, 2013
zurab abashidze -

TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the main topics of conversation when Georgia and Russia met in Prague yesterday was whether Russia will simplify visa rules for Georgian citizens. (Article has been updated with comments from Russia's foreign ministry.) The two countries

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Saakashvili reaffirms Georgia’s close ties with neighbor Azerbaijan

by | March 1, 2013
sandra roelofs - mikheil saakashvili - ilham aliyev - mehriban aliyeva - 2013-02-28

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili says no matter who is in government, the country will continue the same foreign policy course, also in relations with neighboring Azerbaijan. The Georgian leader visited Azerbaijan for two days and held meetings with his

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Georgia and Russia meet today in Prague

by | March 1, 2013
Çàìåñòèòåëü ìèíèñòðà èíîñòðàííûõ äåë ÐÔ Ãðèãîðèé Êàðàñèí

TBILISI, DFWatch--Representatives of Georgia and Russia meet in Prague today to discuss trade, cultural and transport issues. The countries still have no formal relations after fighting a war in 2008. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili a few months ago appointed Zurab

In brief, News

Saakashvili visits Azerbaijan

by | February 27, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - in london 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili today starts a two day visit to Azerbaijan. The visit will take place on February 27-28 and includes a personal meeting with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, according to the Georgian president's press office.

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EU and Georgia agree on visa action plan

by | February 26, 2013
cecilia malmstrom - maya panjikidze - 2013-02-25

TBILISI, DFWatch--EU has agreed with Georgia about a visa action plan that may one day allow Georgians to enter Europe without a visa. But first, the country must pass through a set of requirements in data safety, border management, migration, public order, security

In brief, News

Ugulava free without bail

by | February 25, 2013
gigi ugulava  ii - 2013-02-23

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court did not listen to a plea from the Prosecutor's Office to suspend Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Uglava from his position. Neither did it set bail conditions. Monday, the court reviewed the charges against Ugulava, a member of President

In brief, News

Georgia and Russia to meet in Prague for direct talks

by | February 25, 2013
zurab abashidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Russia will meet for a second round of direct talks in Prague on March 1. The two countries have still not established formal relations following a brief war in 2008. Georgia's envoy, Zurab Abashidze, told journalists Monday that they will

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Ex-minister involved in an unexpected killing released on bail

by | February 24, 2013
lado Vardzelashvili detained

TBILISI, DFWatch -A former sports minister detained for being involved in a fatal gun accident that killed his friend was Saturday released on GEL 3,000 (USD 1,800) bail by Tbilisi court, along with two other men charged for the same incident. Lado Vardzelashvili, former sports

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Lawmakers in Georgia discuss using national dress

by | February 23, 2013
zviad dzidziguri - bidzina gujabidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Lawmakers in Georgia Friday discussed a proposal to allow members of the assembly to wear the national dress Chokha while in parliament. The bill is the initiative of Bidzina Gujabidze from the Conservative Party, who argues that the physical

In brief, News

Akhalaia expected in court today

by | February 20, 2013
bacho-axalaia-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court today holds pretrial hearing in the case against Saakashvili loyalist Bacho Akhalaia and other former government officials. The hearing has been rescheduled several times on request by the Chief Prosecutor. Wednesday's hearings

In brief, News

Cecilia Malmström to visit Georgia

by | February 19, 2013
news_26510

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will visit Georgia and bring action plan for visa liberalization issues on February 24. Maia Panjikidze, Foreign Affair Minister on Tuesday met with the National Movement members in parliament

In brief, News

Georgia gets new business ombudsman

by | February 19, 2013
giorgi gakharia - appointed as business ombudsman 2013-02-19

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili Tuesday appointed a new business ombudsman. He said this will make it easier for them to make the government aware of problems they may have. The announcement took place at a meeting with business

In brief, News

Foreign experts to study high profile cases

by | February 18, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili 2013-02-17

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of foreign experts is to monitor ongoing high profile criminal cases in Georgia. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who took the initiative, told journalists that President Mikheil Saakashvili has agreed to establishing the group. Another

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