In brief

Brief news reports, wires.

OSCE says Russia is occupying Georgian regions

By | July 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly July 9 is to adopt a resolution which for the first time calls the presence of Russian military in Georgia’s breakaway regions an occupation. The resolution deals with the current situation in Georgia. The ten point […]

Two still in prison after street fight at Ivanishvili rally

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Two of the four who were imprisoned following a street fight at one of opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili’s campaign rallies have been released. The scuffle took place on June 26 in Mereti, a village near a Russian-Ossetian check point. […]

Political audits continue with more people on trial

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The State Audit Service, which used to be called the Chamber of Control, has seized property and bank accounts of a company which they say belongs to opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. The audit service also determined seventeen people […]

22 year old woman dies after giving birth

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A 22 year old woman has died at a maternity hospital in Telavi, a town in Eastern Georgia. Khatira Ukanova delivered a baby by Caesarean section on July 2. Three days later she was let go home, but yesterday she was submitted to hospital because […]

Van Rompuy calls for fair elections in Georgia

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch –European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says the upcoming elections will be a crucial indicator of the progress Georgia has made on its path to reform. He thereby added his voice to many figures in the international community who continue […]

Three detained in killing of former Georgian general

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A court in Moscow has placed three persons into pre-trial detention until August 21, accused of killing a former Georgian general. Roman Dumbadze sided with the rebels during a stand-off between the region Adjara and Tbilisi authorities, a […]

Georgian Interior Ministry loses another top official

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Another central figure in Georgia’s Interior Ministry resigns, after recent changes in the government. Shota Utiashvili, former head of the Ministry’s Department for Analysis, today announced his decision to leave. He did not say who will be his […]

Germany’s CDU calls for Saakashvili to hold fair election

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Germany’s Christian Democrat party calls for democratic elections in Georgia in October. In a press release entitled Ensure Fair Elections in Georgia, the CDU’s faction in the Bundestag calls for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to take […]

Georgia’s Basis Bank bought by Hualing Group

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – One of China’s largest companies, Hualing Group, has bought a 90 percent share in Georgia’s Basis Bank. Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade (Group) Co. Ltd., Basis Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development today held a joint press […]

Georgia’s new prime minister makes bold promises

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s new prime minister Vano Merabishvili has already started making promises, as only three months are left until the parliamentary elections. In a speech Monday in the Gldani district of Tbilisi, near a construction site of a vocational […]

Georgia to host UEFA Super Cup in 2015

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia will host UEFA Super Cup in August 2015. This will be the first time Georgia is host country for an UEFA event. According to the Georgian Football Federation, the decision was made in Kiev on Saturday at a session of the executive committee. […]

Saakashvili makes Merabishvili new prime minister

By | June 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili says he is appointing Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili as new prime minister. Saakashvili announced the decision from his presidential palace in Tbilisi shortly before 19 local time Saturday. Imedi TV broke […]

Georgia’s foreign debt has tripled in five years

By | June 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia's foreign debt has increased by USD 128.9 million since fourth quarter of 2011 and is now USD 11.4 billion. The National Bank today published data over the country's foreign debt for first quarter in 2012. USD 3.8 billion of the total amount is public sector debt, which is 33 percent of the [...]

Georgia passes media diversity law

By | June 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian parliament today passed the new law which is meant to make television more diverse ahead of each election. A campaigners have been advocating the must-carry and must-offer principles for months, and two weeks ago the […]

Appeal rejected in Ivanishvili citizenship case

By | June 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi Appeals Court upheld the city court’s decision in the case of opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s citizenship. This means he is still without a citizenship of his native Georgia, and he will be barred from standing for election or engaging […]

American election observers arriving in Georgia in July

By | June 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, The International Republican Institute (IRI) is sending a long-term observer mission to Georgia, which will arrive on July 18. Resident Country Director Andrea Keerbs says the IRI will have both long-term and short-term observers from the U.S. and Europe. […]

Saakashvili promises free trade with Europe soon

By | June 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – President Saakashvili says Georgia’s integration with Europe is an irreversible process, and he is sure that there will be achieved a free trade agreement in next 16-18 months, creating tens of thousands jobs. In this near future, Saakashvili said […]

Georgia’s foreign trade grew 19%

By | June 27th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s foreign trade grew by 19 percent in the first five months of 2012, compared with last year. Final figures from GeoStat show that total foreign trade turnover was USD 4 059 million, out of which USD 961 million is export and USD 3 097 […]

Torture still a problem in Georgia’s prisons

By | June 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Several groups in Georgia Tuesday demonstrated against ongoing torture in the country’s prisons. 140 prisoners died in prison during 2011 year, 40 percent of them had injuries on their body. The number of suspected cases of mistreatment gets longer […]

Opposition party organizes refugee protest

By | June 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A group of internal refugees in Georgia today sat down in front of parliament and began a hunger strike. Their protest is being organized by the opposition party Future for Georgia and their demand is to have their living quarters legalized. […]

Alexander Vershbow is coming to Georgia

By | June 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – NATO’s Deputy Secretary General is to visit Georgia on June 28. Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Jalaghania announced at a briefing in Tbilisi Monday that Alexander Vershbow will arrive for a two day visit to participate in a defense and […]

Abkhazia extends a hand to Georgian opposition

By | June 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia says it is ready for dialogue with Georgia in case someone else than President Saakashvili comes to power. “We need pragmatic interlocutors, such as Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Alasania, for dialogue with […]

NDI sends election monitoring team to Georgia

By | June 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A group of experts from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has arrived in Georgia to prepare a report about the election period. According to NDI’s Georgia office, the delegation will hold meetings with the government, candidates, leaders […]

Saakashvili government will allow media diversity, temporarily

By | June 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A leading lawmaker in Georgia has modified a statement he made yesterday, that the government will support a proposal from democracy campaigners. Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze yesterday said he and the ruling National Movement party will vote […]

Ivanishvili: I don’t own any companies in Georgia

By | June 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Bidzina Ivanishvili, who has been fined USD 45 million but refuses to pay, says he doesn’t own shares in any Georgian companies. According to Ivanishvili’s official Facebook page, he says he no longer owns shares in Cartu Bank nor in any other […]

Georgia had 8% growth in first five months of 2012

By | June 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.8 percent in first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, according to Georgia’s National Statistics Department (Geostat). Extending the estimate one month, Geostat director Zaza […]

Georgia increases trade, but still sees large trade deficit

By | June 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In the first five months of 2012, Georgia increased its trade with other countries, but had a significant negative trade balance. The trade deficit in the period January-May 2012 was USD 2 136 million. This is 53 percent of the foreign trade […]

Georgian burglar ring busted in Spain

By | June 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Spanish police have busted a ring of suspected Georgian burglars. The website Crime Scene Spain reports that police suspect the ring of having broken into homes and stolen valuables. Among sixteen people arrested, four were women. One was from […]

Computer programmer who went missing returns home

By | June 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A computer programmer who went missing more than a week ago has returned to his home. Mamuka Jibladze (54) disappeared on June 11. After two days, his family called police to report him as missing. The Interior Ministry started a search operation and […]

U.S. will aid Georgia in military surveillance

By | June 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The United States might might provide military assistance to Georgia’s air and sea defenses. According to a common statement by the U.S. and Georgia as part of the strategic partnership established in 2009, the U.S. might contribute to […]

U.S. Ambassador: Georgian media is not diverse enough

By | June 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The outgoing US Ambassador to Georgia criticized the lack of diversity in Georgian television before an important parliamentary election. Ambassador John Bass criticized the current state of affairs in Georgia, saying citizens today only have […]

Detainee released in Ivanishvili’s cable distributor case

By | June 15th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An investor in an opposition affiliated cable company was yesterday released after five hours of interrogation. U.S. citizen Aleksandr Ronzhes, who is co-owner of Global TV, yesterday was unexpectedly detained at Tbilisi international airport and […]

Ivanishvili’s TV distributor hit by criminal case

By | June 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – One of the owners of a cable company that is affiliated with the Georgian opposition was arrested today at Tbilisi international airport. Authorities claim he is involved in money laundering. The opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili indicated that […]

Political analyst suspects his apartment is bugged

By | June 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An independent commentator in Georgia suspects there was installed surveillance equipment in his flat. Gia Khukhashvili yesterday told journalists his neighbor from upstairs discovered a listening device and informed him. “I haven’t seen it […]

Georgia plans to block Russian election observers

By | June 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia may restrict Russian observers from attending the parliamentary elections in October. If a new law proposal is passed, any country that wants to send observers must first express its support for Georgia’s sovereignty. Russia has recognized […]

OSCE to follow Russian exercise closely

By | June 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – OSCE is to keep an eye on a massive Russian military exercise in the Caucasus planned for September. Eamon Gilmour, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said this during a visit to Georgia. After a […]

Increasing foreign investment in Georgia

By | June 12th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new report by the National Statistics Department says that direct foreign investments in the first quarter of 2012 was 55 percent higher than in the same period in 2011. The total amount of direct foreign investments in the first quarter of 2012 […]

Village wanted water, got swings for the elderly

By | June 12th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A swing was put up in a mountain village in Georgia, but no children are there to use it. Next to the swing in Rkoni village, high up in the cool mountains, two elderly people, Nina Berdzeni and Mariam Chokheli are living alone, each in their own house. A swing to [...]

NATO Week opens in Georgia

By | June 11th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, is visiting Georgia. Apparthurai came in order to take part in “NATO Week”, which he officially opened today, together with Vice Prime Minister […]

OSCE election observers arrive in Georgia

By | June 11th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A group of experts from the OSCE has arrived in Georgia to study the situation before the election. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Nino Kalandadze says the experts, who come from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), will […]

Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia starts new cooperation

By | June 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The foreign ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey met Friday in Trabzon and signed a declaration about regional cooperation. The three countries were represented by Azerbaijan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Turkey’s Foreign […]

Journalist shot at in Georgia

By | June 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A TV journalist in Georgia was shot at while driving in her car last night. Ia Tinikashvili, reporter for Maestro TV and Interpressnews in the Shida Kartli region, was returning to Gori after finishing a report in the village Akhrisi, fifteen […]

U.S. Congress expresses support for Georgia

By | June 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on June 7 passed a resolution in support of Georgia. The resolution says that the House of Representatives supports strengthening relations between the U.S. and Georgia with a goal of helping the country […]

Georgia consolidates law made for Ivanishvili

By | June 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia is to change its Election Code so it complies with the recently amended constitution. This means that Saakashvilis main competitor will have the right to participate in elections, and to establish and finance a political party. According to […]

One dies as part of parliament collapses in Georgia

By | June 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A construction worker was killed as one wing of the new parliament building in Kutaisi collapsed Thursday afternoon. According to eyewitnesses, 22 people were injured, but this is unconfirmed. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili confirmed that one […]

Commercials replaces radio on Tbilisi minibuses

By | June 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The days are over when passengers on Tbilisi minibuses could catch the latest political gossip on their way around town. Drivers used to tune in to stations like Utsnobi, Palitra and Maestro, which are independent and often poking fun at the Saakashvili […]

Another bus crashes along Turkey-Georgia road

By | June 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Another accident along the highway most visitors to Georgia arrive on left three Georgians slightly injured. The accident happened Tuesday evening as the bus driver lost control while trying to overtake a car. The bus veered off the road and […]

Hacker brought down two news sites in Georgia

By | June 6th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Police have arrested a 19 year old man for a hacker attack against two Georgian websites. The suspect is said to have carried out a so-called distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against the news portals presa.ge and droni.ge. Police have […]

Hillary Clinton arriving in Georgia Monday

By | June 4th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to arrive in Georga from Armenia Monday evening as part of a tour of the South Caucasus. Tomorrow Clinton is meeting with President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, and later leaders […]

Growth continues in visitors to Georgia

By | June 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The number of visitors to Georgia is increasing. The latest figures from the Interior Ministry show that the number of foreigners who visited Georgia in the first five months of 2012 was half of what it was during all of 2011. 2 822 363 persons […]

Georgia embassy bomb had foreign origin

By | June 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Interior Ministry is looking into a foreign trace in the search for those responsible for placing a bomb in front of Israel’s Embassy in Tbilisi in February. There are no further details about the investigation. On February 13, police […]

Dirk Niebel to study water project in Batumi

By | June 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Dirk Niebel, Germany’s Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, will visit Batumi on June 2. The German embassy informs that Niebel is planning to meet with Georgian government representatives. He will also study bilateral projects […]

Germany with new 57 mill euro aid package to Georgia

By | May 31st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Germany is to allocate 75 million euro as grant and soft loan to Georgia. The new aid package was announced after a meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri and Dirk Niebel, German minister for economic development today. Gilauri says […]

Georgia’s PM says investments are increasing

By | May 31st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – USD 230 million was transferred to Georgia in the first quarter of 2012 as direct investments. Nika Gilauri, Georgia’s Prime Minister this at a government session Wednesday. The figure is based on preliminary data of National Statistics Department, […]

U.S. Senator Durbin is visiting Georgia

By | May 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – U.S. senator Richard Durbin is visiting Georgia today to discuss regional safety and US-Georgia relations. The visit will last two days. He will meet with President Mikheil Saakashvili, as well as representatives of the opposition and organizations. […]

Saakashvili expects Russia to attack Georgia soon

By | May 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili says his country expects a new attack from Russia by October, when parliament elections are to be held. But he things it will fail. Saakashvili is on a visit to Latvia together with his wife, and made the statement […]

Protesters arrested in front of parliament

By | May 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The police detained eight activists in front of parliament today. The eight were protesting against the arrest of their friends on May 26, near Gelati Monastery, near Kutaisi in western Georgia. The protesters were from three organizations: […]

NATO envoy Appathurai to Tbilisi in June

By | May 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, will arrive in Georgia on June 11. NATO’s information center in Tbilisi told DF Watch on Tuesday that Appathurai is coming to Georgia to plan for […]

Hillary Clinton to visit Georgia on June 5

By | May 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch –The U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will visit Georgia June 5. Clinton starts her South Caucasus tour on June 4 in Armenia. After visiting Georgia, she will leave for Azerbaijan June 6, according to the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi. During the […]

Georgia falls on ranking of trade enabling

By | May 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia fell one place in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012. The list is published by the World Economic Forum (weforum.org). It contains 132 countries and ranks them according to how well they perform in market access, border administration […]

Four Georgians detained in South Ossetia

By | May 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Four Georgians have been detained after having crossed into the breakaway region South Ossetia. The four were detained on May 21 and 22 after going on a trip to pick staphylea, a plant which is used for common sour dish in Georgia. Shota Utiashvili, […]

Russia regrets NATO’s stance on Georgia

By | May 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia regrets that NATO was unable to make findings regarding the events of August 2008. The Russian Foreign Ministry says Russia accepts with regret NATO’s decision regarding Georgia. “One of these complex issues is the situation in the South […]

Georgia postpones LSE listing for state railways

By | May 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia once again has postponed placing shares of the state-owned Georgian Railway on London Stock Exchange. The debut should have been on May 24, but the government has again decided to postpone it. Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said that […]

Saakashvili regime surprised by Ivanishvili’s cold shoulder

By | May 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – One of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s top officials says he was taken by surprise by an open letter from opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili yesterday, in which he said that he will not make use of a new tailor-made constitutional change […]

NATO chief reaffirms membership commitment for Georgia

By | May 22nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Georgia will become a member of the alliance sometime. There has been progress in the reforms and NATO will continue to support the country in that regard. Fogh Rasmussen said this at a joint […]

Former Georgian general murdered in Moscow

By | May 22nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former Georgian general who was convicted of treason and lived in Russia was killed Monday in Moscow. Russian media report that Roman Dumbadze was hit by bullets from two attackers passing by on motorcycles near his home. Dumbadze died on the […]

German business eyes investing in Georgia’s regions

By | May 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia is attractive in regards to ease of doing business and freedom of the economy, says Martin Wansleben, head of the German Chamber of Commerce. He hopes that this will contribute to an influx of German investments to Georgia. Wansleben said […]

Still unknown when Hillary Clinton will visit Georgia

By | May 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – John Bass, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, says that Hillary Clinton will visit Georgia. In late 2011, it was reported that the US Secretary of State’s was going to visit Georgia, and February was mentioned as a probable date for her arrival. But the […]

More money is transferred in and out of Georgia

By | May 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Money transfers from foreign countries to Georgia increased 6.4 percent in April, compared to the same period in 2011. There was also an increase in money transferred abroad in April, compared to last year, according to Georgia’s National Bank. […]

Per Eklund studying Georgia’s election campaign

By | May 16th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Giorgi Targamadze (pictured) is one of the sources for a new report former EU Ambassador to Georgia Per Eklund is writing about the election environment ahead of the parliamentary elections in October. Eklund met with the Christian Democrats parliamentary […]

Georgia boosts foreign trade by 18%

By | May 16th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first four months of 2012 grew 18 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Georgian National Statistics Department, GeoStat, reported on Wednesday that preliminary figures for January-April 2012 show that […]

Georgia’s gas and oil company is on LSE

By | May 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has obtained a listing on London Stock Exchange for obligations in Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation. Securities valued USD 250 million were placed on one of the world’s most famous stock exchanges on May 9. According to Kommersant, the lowest […]

Heavy flood killed five in Tbilisi

By | May 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia was hit by heavy rain overnight, causing flash flooding many places. Five deaths are reported in the capital Tbilisi as a reservoir burst in a hill above the city and flooded one district. The Emergency Department in Tbilisi says five people have died from flooding […]

Georgia notes growth in construction business

By | May 11th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Demand is growing within the construction business in Georgia. According to the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, the number of permits for constructions and reconstructions has increased by 43.3 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010. The […]

Georgia postpones population census

By | May 11th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has said it is unable to conduct a general population census in 2012. Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat, says even though there was expected to be conducted a census this year, it is not feasible. The statement says that […]

Heavy rain in Georgia, but so far no flooding

By | May 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Rivers in Georgia’s Eastern region Kakheti swelled Tuesday after heavy rain and melting snow, but so far there has not been a repeat ot the disaster year 2011. Deputy Governor of the region told Interpressnews that the rivers feeding Alazani, one of […]

Georgia’s 2012 budget expanded after influx of EU funding

By | May 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s budget is to be increased by 200 million lari by increasing the licensing fees for use of natural resources. Another source for the increase is grants from the EU to finance reforms in different areas, according to Gia Khuroshvili, […]

Two minor earthquakes in South Caucasus

By | May 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Caucasus region experienced two minor earthquakes Monday, the strongest of 5.6 magnitude. The 5.6 magnitude earthquake occurred at 08:40 in the morning with epicenter in the border region between Azerbaijan and Georgia, 17 kilometers from Zagatala, […]

Russia copied Georgian police reform, says Saakashvili

By | May 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president claims Russia tried to copy the Georgian police reforms, but could not get them to work. Sunday, Saakashvili marked a recently created national holiday called Police Day, held on the same day as St George’s Day, May 6, […]

Georgian pro-government TV disses the church

By | May 5th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Three national TV channels in Georgia selectively left out parts of a new survey. The survey was done by the International Republican Institute, which is affiliated with the Republican party in the United States and is in Georgia to develop democracy. […]

Bomb suspect arrested in western Georgia

By | May 4th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Interior Ministry says one person has been arrested for smuggling explosive material to Zugdidi, after crossing the administrative border line with Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia. “Explosive material was seized by the Sappers Division […]

Saakashvili’s successor will win: new poll

By | May 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new poll shows that no matter who is nominated to suceed Mikheil Saakashvili, his party will win the next Georgian presidential election. A poll by the International Republican Institute shows that Saakashvili’s National Movement party still has […]

Georgia’s parliament will be opened before it’s finished

By | May 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The new parliament building in Georgia will be only partly completed by the time of the opening session on May 26. In 2011, Mikheil Saakashvili announced that he would move parliament to Kutaisi, Georgia’s second biggest city. He also said that […]

Trump lauds Saakashvili on Fox & Friends

By | May 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The American investor Donald Trump praised Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on the morning talk show Fox & Friends recently, calling him “one of the great leaders of the world”. The billionaire and TV personality had just returned from a trip […]

Visa-free Georgia records flood of visitors

By | May 1st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In first four months of 2012, 61 per cent more people came to Georgia, compared to the same period the previous year. 978 521 person visited Georgia between January and April this year, according to the Interior Ministry. Over three hundred thousand […]

Lithuanian PM advocates Georgian NATO membership

By | April 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The prime ministers of Georgia and Lithuania today signed a memorandum of understanding. The MoU deals with cooperation within local government between Lithuania’s national assembly, the Seimas’s Committee on State Administration and Local Government […]

OSCE sends extra election observers to Georgia

By | April 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A team of election experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will visit Georgia June 11-16. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is sending a mission in connection with Georgia’s […]

Lithuanians arrive to talk about local government

By | April 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A delegation from Lithuania’s Seimas will visit Georgia on Monday. In the morning, the delegation which are members of the Seimas’ Committee on State Administration and Local Government, will participate in a Georgian-Lithuanian forum about local […]

Georgia’s National Bank lowers interest rate

By | April 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The National Bank of Georgia Wednesday decided to lower the main refinancing rate by a quarter point to 6.25%. Lowering the rate now is an indication that the bank has an optimistic view of the country’s economy. In a statement, the bank notes that the […]

Sixteenth Georgian soldier dies in Afghanistan

By | April 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Defense Ministry informs that another soldier has died in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of servicemen lost there to sixteen. Valerian Khujadze was serving in the 31st Battalion in the volatile Helmand province. The incident happened on […]

Scuffle in Georgian parliament over Armenian genocide

By | April 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A scuffle broke out Tuesday in the Georgian parliament during a debate about the Armenian genocide. Jondi Baghaturia, member of parliament (MP) for the opposition Georgian Troupe party, asked in a speech what the government is going to do regarding a […]

Tax incentive near breakaway regions

By | April 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The tax pressure will be relieved, sanctions liberalized and the administration will be simplified, the government has decided. Rusudan Kemularia, Deputy Finance Minister, held a briefing on Monday regarding the plan. She presented amendments to the tax […]

Negotiations in May for U.S.-Georgia trade plan

By | April 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Negotiations will start between Georgia and the U.S. at the end of May aimed at intensifying trade relations. Georgia’s Prime Minister Nika Gilauri announced this after returning from a visit to the U.S. Gilauri met the heads of the Millennium Challenge […]

ODIHR positive to strengthened monitoring of Georgian election

By | April 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights expresses readiness to take part in observing the parliamentary elections in Georgia. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze adds that Georgia is not waiting for an official response […]

Trump spoke about planned high rise, left Georgia

By | April 22nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – American billionaire Donald Trump has left Georgia, after a two day visit. Trump arrived Saturday in Tbilisi, and Sunday held a press conference in Batumi, where he plans to cooperate with local investors on building a 47-storey residential high rise […]

Georgian opposition movement chooses woman to front party

By | April 21st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBLISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s main opposition party today chose a female lawyer as its temporary leader. As there is less than six months left until the parliamentary elections, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili today formally established his Georgian Dream party. Due to […]

Donald Trump arrives in Tbilisi for 2-day visit

By | April 21st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The American billionaire Donald Trump arrived at Tbilisi international airport noon Saturday for a two day visit to Georgia. Meeting him at the airport were Minister for Economic Development Vera Kobalia and head of Silk Road Group Giorgi Ramishvili. […]

Russia concerned over Georgia’s NATO aspirations

By | April 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says it causes confusion and apprehension for his country that Georgia continues to be a candidate for NATO membership. Lavrov said this after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council Thursday. “Now, NATO […]

Tax incentive for Georgians living near the conflict zone

By | April 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Property close to the occupied territories of Georgia are to be exempted from property tax. The government proposes to amend the tax code so that land which is owned by a person or property lands that are located near the occupied territories, […]

Tougher sentences for family violence

By | April 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Family violence may become a crime in Georgia. Systematic physical, psychological violence or force by one family member against another, which causes physical, psychological or moral pain or suffering for the victim, will be punished by a fine or […]

Political pressure on opposition activists in Eastern Georgia

By | April 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The pressure group Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association says supporters of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition are regularly subject to pressure in the eastern Kakheti region of Georgia. Spokesperson for GYLA’s Kakheti office told Interpressnews […]

Another suicide reported in case of Abkhazian attackers

By | April 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Another suspect in the attack on de facto Abkhazian president is reported to have committed suicide. Ria Novosti reports that Temur Khutaba hanged himself. He was one of the men suspected in the failed assassination attempt on Alexander Ankvab on […]

Suspect in Ankvab assassination attempt commits suicide

By | April 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former Interior minister suspected of participating in the attack on the de facto president of Abkhazia on February 22, committed suicide on Tuesday. Abkhazian news agency Apsnypress reports that operational units of the co-called Interior Ministry […]

Roki tunnel to be closed the next three years

By | April 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

The Roki tunnel is closing. (Photo: Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch – The tunnel carrying the only road connecting Russia and Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia will be partly closed for the next three years, starting April 24, Russian media reports. The Roki tunnel runs through the greater Caucasus mountain range […]

German foreign affairs official visits Georgia

By | April 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Germany’s Minister of State under Foreign Minister Cornelia Pieper visits Georgia. Announcing the visit Tuesday, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said that Pieper will arrive today on April 17 and have meetings here April 18 and 19. […]

Clinton visit is certain, but date not set

By | April 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – That Hillary Clinton is coming to Georgia is now certain, as the two countries have completed agreeing on formalities around the visit. But the exact date for the U.S. Secretary of State’s trip still has to be decided, says Nino Kalandadze, Deputy […]

Georgian interior ministry in the dark about cesium traffickers

By | April 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has no detailed information about the three Turkish citizens who were arrested for smuggling radioactive material to Turkey. The three had driven by car from Russia, transiting through Georgia, and were arrested on April 11, carrying […]

Democracy topic of U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership talks

By | April 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The fifth meeting of the working group on democracy within the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter was held on April 16 in Washington. The Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry informs that parties discussed ongoing and already implemented […]

Azerbaijan warns against visiting Georgia’s breakaway regions

By | April 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Azerbaijani government warns its citizens about visiting Georgia’s occupied territories. The warning is more matter-of-fact than a previous warning from the Kremlin to Russians who might be tempted to go to Georgia after a visa is no longer needed […]

Slovakian visas to be issued in Georgia

By | April 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian Foreign Minister met his Slovakian colleague on Thursday during a visit to Bratislava. The ministers discussed bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including important issues for both countries ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago […]

Six detained for assassination attempt on Abkhazian leader

By | April 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The de facto authorities in Abkhazia yesterday detained six suspects in the case about the assassination attempt on the president in February. On February 22, Alexander Ankvab’s car was fired on with machine guns and a […]

Court removes licence requirement for cable broadcasters

By | April 12th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Constitutional Court made a decision in favor of canceling the requirement of a license for cable broadcasting. But a license is still needed for satellite broadcasting. The court partly satisfied an appeal by the Public Defender, who […]

U.S. brings mine-resistant vehicles to Georgia for training

By | April 11th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The U.S. Department of Defense has brought 28 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAP) to Georgia to train Georgian troops. The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi released a statement saying that the vehicles will be transfered from the […]

Bust honoring Lech Kaczynski unveiled in Tbilisi

By | April 11th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A bust of Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski was opened Tuesday here in Tbilisi. The square where it is located is near the street named after him by Tbilisi City Council to honor him after his tragic death two years ago. Zaal Samadashvili, […]

Saakashvili warns against the enemy within

By | April 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Speaking on April 9, officially known as The Day of National Unity, President Mikheil Saakashvili warned against his country’s enemy within. Addressing soldiers in the yard of the parliament building on the important public holiday dedicated to unity, […]

Museum in Stalin’s hometown to focus on history of stalinism

By | April 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The museum dedicated to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in his hometown of Gori in Georgia will change name to the Museum of Stalinism. The Ministry of Culture is behind the idea that the museum will offer visitors a historical account of stalinism, […]

Ex-KGB officer wins in South Ossetia

By | April 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former local head of the KGB in South Ossetia has won the presidential elections in the breakaway region. Leonid Tibilov received about 55 percent of the votes beating competitor David Sanakoyev, presidential human rights commissioner. The […]

South Ossetia to go to the polls again

By | April 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The de facto republic South Ossetia tomorrow holds the second round of its second presidential elections. The first election was held in November 2011. The Kremlin favorite and an opposition leader got through to the second round, in which the […]

Finland’s foreign minister visits Tbilisi

By | April 4th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Finland’s Foreign Minister is on a working visit to Georgia within the frames of a tour of the region. Erkki Tuomioja arrived in Georgia on April 3, the 20 year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Finland and […]

NATO chief reaffirms membership pledge to Georgia

By | April 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – NATO once again underlines that the decision that Georgia will become member of Alliance stands firm. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, said this today during a press conference with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili at the […]

40 % growth in visitors to Georgia

By | April 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The number of visitors to Georgia in the first quarter of 2012 was 680 000. This is a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The new statistics were released by the Interior Ministry on April 2 and is based on data from custom’s […]

Georgia saves second citizen from hanging in Malaysia

By | April 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The second of two Georgians has been saved from execution for drug crimes in Malaysia. Babutsa Gordadze had her death sentence changed into eight years in jail. She has already served two years in a Malaysian jail. Earlier, Darejan Kokhtashvili, […]

Saakashvili to attend NATO Georgia commission

By | April 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president will participate at the session of the NATO Georgia commission on April 3 in Brussels. According to the president’s administration, Mikheil Saakashvili will meet NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and the two will […]

Mobile company in Georgia “recognizes” Abkhazia as a country

By | April 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A Russian mobile operator in Georgia portrays Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia as an independent country on its website. It’s Beeline, which is owned by the Russian mobile company VimpelCom, which now suggests to readers of its website […]

Borisov to Saakashvili: Bulgaria backs Georgia’s EU approach

By | April 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Bulgaria expresses its full support for Georgia’s integration process towards NATO and the EU. Boyko Borisov, Bulgarian Prime Minister, said this Sunday during a meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Specifically Borisov said his […]

One Georgian saved from execution in Malaysia

By | April 1st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian authorities have succeeded in saving one of their citizens from being executed for drug crimes in Malaysia. The news comes in a statement released by Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s office. It says a Malaysian court has overturned Darejan […]

Georgia wants a stop to heritage vandalism in Abkhazia

By | March 31st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian parliament asks the international community to react to intentional destruction of historical monuments on the territory of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia. The Georgian legislative body calls for the international community to […]

Ivanishvili met EU Commission’s Wiegand

By | March 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A Georgian billionaire who is considered the main competitor of the government yesterday met EU officials and discussed the election campaign in the country. The press office of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s political coalition Georgian Dream reports the […]

Georgia’s parliamentarians on the move

By | March 30th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has changed its laws so that parliament can meet in the new parliament building in Kutaisi already from May 1. During a transition period, Georgia’s parliamentarians may gather at either the new building or in the old building in Tbilisi. […]

Georgian MPs to Uganda to meet other parliamentarians

By | March 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A delegation from the Georgian parliament is going to Uganda to take part in the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The visit will last from March 31 to April 5 in the city of Kampala. Meetings will be held with delegations of different […]

Observers should check restoration works in Abkhazia

By | March 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian parliament asks the international community to help keep a watch on the restoration work planned at several historical sites in Abkhazia. This comes a few days after Alexander Ankvab, de facto president of Abkhazia, spoke about an initiative […]

Georgians awaiting important opinion poll

By | March 27th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tuesday, the results of a reguler opinion poll done by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) are expected. Although regular, the results are eagerly awaited because they will indicate the political landscape seven months before an election which will […]

Second round in Abkhazian poll completed

By | March 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The breakaway republic Abkhazia Sunday completed its 2012 parliamentary election by holding a second round of voting. There was voting in 20 districts this time. The region has a first past the post system, and these districts out of a total of 35 needed […]

Georgian patriarch asks diplomats to help with election

By | March 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Patriarch, Ilia II, told foreign diplomats that their assistance is needed for the difficult election period his country is heading into. Ilia, who has great influence among the population, appealed to the diplomats during a ceremony Friday […]

Abkhazia holds second round of election

By | March 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Abkhazia today holds the second round of the elections for parliament. 20 constituencies are selecting a candidate in a first past the post system. In the first round, March 10, 13 candidates were chosen, out of a total of 35. In one district, less […]

Twenty years of US-Georgia relations

By | March 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Today it is twenty years since Georgia and the U.S. established diplomatic relations. Marking the occasion, the U.S. Embassy writes in a press release that since 1992, hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers have come to Georgia and over five thousand […]

New World Bank loans for Georgia

By | March 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The World Bank has granted Georgia two new loans. The loans total 130 million US dollars and will go to finance infrastructural development and rehabilitation of the roads in the eastern Kakheti region. 70 million US dollars was approved by the World Bank […]

Georgian opposition details Saakashvili’s alleged paramilitaries

By | March 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An opposition candidate Tuesday presented details about an alleged secret paramilitary organization he claims was recently organized by President Mikheil Saakashvili in western Georgia. Leader of the Free Democrats Irakli Alasania had called the press […]

Georgia in talks to spare 2 from execution in Malaysia

By | March 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia is to send a task group to Malaysia to study the situation regarding two Georgians sentenced to death for drug related crimes. Babutsa Gordadze (26) and Darejan Kokhtashvili (37) were arrested in Malaysia in October 2010, accused of trafficking […]

Chamber of Control to testify before Georgian Parliament

By | March 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Parliamentarians in Georgia are awaiting the testimony of the chairman of the country’s Chamber of Control, a controversial agency recently vested with broad extrajudicial powers. Parliament will hear Chamber chairman Levan Bezhashvili explain what’s going […]

Groups met Georgian lawmakers over campaign law

By | March 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Four non-governmental organizations in Georgia Monday for the third time met with parliament’s judicial committee about the new law on party financing, called ‘law on political unions of citizens’. Georgian Young Lawyers Organization, Transparency International […]

Hillary Clinton soon coming to Georgia

By | March 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s foreign ministry says the U.S. State Department has confirmed to them that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coming to Georgia in the near future. But the exact date has yet to be announced. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalanadadze says […]

Georgian security official chimes in on Russian visa move

By | March 16th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – After a top Georgian lawmaker and the foreign ministry came out with critical remarks about a statement by Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov about visa rules, Georgia’s security council chief also added his comments. Security Council Secretary Giga […]

US Ambassador criticizes interrogations in Georgia

By | March 16th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, John Bass, has expressed concern about the wave of interrogations carried out by the Georgian Chamber of Control. “Concerned about the controversy surrounding the Chamber of Control’s recent […]

Georgian lawmaker answers Lavrov

By | March 15th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia is not going to abolish the law on occupied territories before Russia starts pulling back its occupying troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This was the response Georgia’s ruling party had to a statement by Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov […]

Georgia’s patriarch congratulates Putin with election

By | March 15th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian Patriarch congratules Vladimir Putin with having been elected as president of Russia. Polls have shown Patriarch Ilia II to be the most respected person among the Georgian population. His administration has published the text of the […]

Obama’s promise led to US-Georgia business talks

By | March 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A two day business conference was launched in Tbilisi Wednesday called Making Business with USA. The conference is the result of an agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili to hold high level dialog between their […]

Lavrov says Georgia must change law to get visa freedom

By | March 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia is ready to cancel its visa requirements for Georgian citizens if Georgia changes the law about the occupied territories, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. According to the law, Russian citizens who go to Abkhazia or South Ossetia can […]

Saakashvili to attend nuclear summit in Seoul

By | March 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili will attend the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit to be held March 27-28 in Seoul, South Korea. The president’s press spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze said this at a regular briefing Tuesday. According to the summit’s […]

US and EU do not recognize Abkhazian election

By | March 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The delegations of the U.S. and the EU in Georgia do not recognize the recent de facto parliamentary elections in Abkhazia as legitimate. Both have releases statements expressing support for Georgia’s territorial integrity. “The United States […]

EU’s NGO platform in Georgia asks Füle for help

By | March 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Eastern Partnership Georgia appeals to the EU for help in the case of party financing rules. Authorities in Georgia enforced new tough restrictions on party financing last December, and made the rules apply also to organizations and individuals ‘indirectly’ […]

Georgia halts gas flow to Armenia

By | March 12th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia halted the flow of Russian natural gas to Armenia on Saturday, due to a technical accident on the pipeline caused by a landslide near the village of Mamkoda near Tbilisi. Energy minister Alexander Khetaguri said Saturday that […]

Foreign investment soars in Georgia

By | March 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Foreign direct investment in Georgia is increasing dramatically, and much of it comes from companies registered in the British Virgin Island, a known tax haven with low transparency. Foreign direct investments increased by 58% in the […]

Bidzina Ivanishvili had talks with radical movement

By | March 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An opposition billionaire in the former Soviet republic of Georgia Tuesday had meetings with representatives for the movement behind a protest wave which ended in a fatal clash with police in May 2011. Bidzina Ivanishvili met with People’s Assembly, […]

Georgia’s Saakashvili on friendly visit to Azerbaijan’s Aliyev

By | March 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili met his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev March 6 during a two-day visit to the country. A press release from the Azerbaijani president’s administration says that the two expressed satisfaction with how […]

Georgia is to punish hate crimes harder

By | March 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia increases its sentencing of hate crimes. A new bill to amend the Criminal Code will make it mandatory for courts to use the maximum sentence if the crime was motivated by racial, linguistic, religious, national or ethnic prejudice. For every […]

NATO reaffirms Georgia’s eligibility for membership

By | March 6th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen reiterates that Georgia is eligible for membership in the alliance sometime in the future when all criteria are met. Fogh Rasmussen said this at a regular briefing when asked by journalists how a potential […]

93 % voted for Putin in South Ossetia

By | March 5th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – 92.77% of the voters in South Ossetia voted for Vladimir Putin as president of Russia. In the other breakaway republic Abkhazia, 90.94% of voters supported Putin in the presidential elections. 15,839 voters participated in the election in South Ossetia, Ria […]

Saakashvili sets up new expert military panel

By | March 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has set up a new board of military advisers in the Defense Ministry. The point of having the new advisors there is to aid in the transformation process of Georgia’s armed forces. The advisors will analyze […]

Saakashvili gets more power to sell off state property

By | March 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, have been given even more power to manage the sale of state property. Parliament has adopted a law which gives the president freedom to set the period of payment for state property when selling real estate […]

Iranian visitors to Georgia increase most

By | March 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The former Soviet republic of Georgia is seeing a steady increase in foreigners visiting. Iranians account for the highest growth in visits. According to the country’s Interior Ministry, 38.9% more foreigners arrived in Georgia in 2011, compared to […]

Saakashvili: Free trade will make unemployment disappear

By | March 1st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili hopes a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU will make unemployment disappear in Georgia. Saakashvili made his statement while visiting an Abipharm pharmaceutical plant in the village Tserovani near […]

Young lawyers win suit against secret wiretapping powers

By | March 1st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Constitutional Court has decided that parliament did not have the right to give prosecutors powers to conduct secret wiretappings. Tamar Khidasheli and Georgian Young Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court regarding […]

Georgian opposition party canvassing war refugees

By | March 1st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The political party For a Renewed Georgia will today open a regional office in Mtskheta-Mtianeti north of Tbilisi for refugees from the Akhalgori region. Party leaders will meet residents of Tsilknisi and Tserovani, two villages where most of the refugees […]

Georgia hopes vocational training will remedy crisis

By | February 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – From this year, Georgians who sign up with a private or vocational school for learning a new profession will receive a 1 000 lari voucher from the government. This was announced by President Mikheil Saakashvili during an annual speech to parliament […]

Saakashvili promises health insurance to large families

By | February 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The president in Georgia promises health insurance for all large families from 2013. Mikheil Saakashvili was making his annual address to parliament February 28. He noted that after establishing this system in Georgia, one out of two will be insured. […]

Netherland to study Georgia’s health care system

By | February 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili claims that the Netherlands wants to copy Georgia’s health care system. He said this during his annual speech to parliament on February 28. Speaking about the system implemented in Georgia, he said new hospitals […]

EU to discuss visa action plan with Georgia

By | February 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – EU foreign ministers have issued a paper setting out to integrate Georgia more in the Union. The paper is a broad review of relations between Georgia and the EU and the country’s security. It notes that there has been progress in the Eastern […]

EU asks Georgia to hold democratic elections

By | February 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – EU says parliamentary and presidential elections in Georgia should meet internationally recognized standards of democracy. A statement published on the EU’s Council on the South Caucasus webpage says the EU acknowledges Georgia’s European […]

EU Commissioner in Tbilisi to forge free trade agreement

By | February 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The European Union’s commissioner for trade issues, Karel de Gucht, will arrive in Georgia today on February 28 and will start negotiations with Georgia about a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement. Moldova is also offered the same kind of […]

Protest announced for Saakashvili’s address about country’s condition

By | February 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – When Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili comes to parliament this evening to make his speech about the state of the nation, groups and opposition parties will be demonstrating outside. The press office of the Free Georgia Party announced the […]

Georgian opposition movement not to reconsider NATO missions

By | February 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s billionaire-backed opposition movement, Georgian Dream, is not going to reconsider the country’s participation in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. Press spokesperson Maya Pandzhikidze said this at a regular briefing on February 27. […]

Georgia to host OSCE Economic Forum in May

By | February 27th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Black Sea port of Batumi has been chosen as host for the OSCE Economic Forum in May, Georgia’s Vice Speaker of Parliament Gigi Tsereteli told journalists Monday. Tsereteli says the decision was taken a few days ago after a meeting of […]

Georgia unveils new combat vehicle

By | February 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia today presented its new combat vehicle Lazika at the Vaziani military base not far from the capital Tbilisi. The demonstration of the new vehicle’s technical and tactical abilities was attended by the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili. […]

Saakashvili’s Facebook page blocked Russian users

By | February 25th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Friday evening, Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s Facebook page suffered a similar attack as his Russian counterpart Dimitry Medvedev. Tens of comments per minute were submitted in Russian, until the administrator intervened and blocked […]

Correction: Only one of Ankvab’s guards died in attack

By | February 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Only one of Abkhazian de facto president Alexander Ankvab’s guards died after Wednesday’s assassination attempt. In the immedate aftermath of the shootout, a spokesman for Ankvab was quoted by Russian news agency Itar-Tass saying that a second […]

Turkey is Georgia’s most important trade partner

By | February 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s largest trading partner is Turkey, just like before, according to fresh data of from January 2012. According to Georgia’s Statistics Department, the turnover with Turkey last year totaled 90 million US dollars. Azerbaijan and Germany […]

Georgians blocked from Medvedev’s Facebook page

By | February 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An online campaign against Russian president Dimitry Medvedev’s Facebook page led to comments in Georgian language being blocked by the administrator. The campaigners wanted to express their protest against Russian policy regarding […]

Putin seeks brotherly relations with the Georgian people

By | February 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia hopes to restore friendly relations with the Georgian people, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says. “We have never equaled the Georgian government to the Georgian people. And I hope very much that this really brotherly people to us […]

Abkhazian leader Ankvab survives, guards dies

By | February 22nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Wednesday morning the de facto president of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia was attacked while in his car on his way to work in Sukhumi. Alexander Ankvab himself was not hurt, Abkhazian and Russian media report, but one of his bodyguards […]

Georgian accused of 2007 plot released on bail

By | February 21st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The former member of parliament accused of planning a coup d’état in 2007 was released on bail. Georgian authorities accuse Valeri Gelbakhiani of having hatched the plot together with Badri Patarkatsishvili, a now deceased billionaire who owned […]

Georgia’s new party finance rules to be reworked

By | February 21st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze is asking parliament to change the recently introduced party finance rules so that they guarantee the freedom of speech more. He said this during a bureau session on February 20, responding to a petition […]

Saakashvili to give state of the nation address next week

By | February 21st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili will hold his annual state of the nation address in parliament’s next week. The exact date of his speech is not yet known. Georgian Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze said this at a parliamentary bureau session Monday. […]

Change of U.S. Ambassador is ordinary event

By | February 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The change of U.S. Ambassador to Georgia is routine, says the embassy’s press service. ‘Ambassadors are replaced once in three years. John Bass has been Ambassador to Georgia since October 2009. Consequently, three years will pass in autumn 2012. He may […]

Ex-MP arrested for coup attempt as crosses border to Georgia

By | February 20th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former parliamentarian has been arrested in Georgia today just as he entered the country from Armenia. Valeri Gelbakhiani had just crossed the border as law-enforcers arrested him. He voluntarily surrendered and was transferred […]

Obama proposes Norland as new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia

By | February 19th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Barack Obama has proposed Richard Boyce Norland as new U.S. ambassador to Georgia. The President proposed Norland as replacement for current ambassador John R. Bass, whose term expires this autumn. He was appointed in October 2009. The Senate’s Foreign […]

Georgia to build new coal power station

By | February 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The former Soviet republic of Georgia is going to construct a new coal power station in the near future. This was announced Thursday by the director of Georgian Industrial Group, Nana Turnava. She said the group has signed a contract with the Turkish […]

Georgian authorities deny sabotaging opposition TV

By | February 17th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Revenue Service says it can not understand the charges made by a billionaire opposition politician that his TV van was damaged in customs. The revenue service said in a statement Thursday that Bidzina Ivanishvili’s claim that TV equipment he was […]

Georgia extends military service to 15 months

By | February 16th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s defense ministry says the current twelve month service length is not enough to properly prepare persons called up for compulsory military service. It is now asking parliament to increase the length of service to 15 months. The bill is certain […]

Suspected bomb found outside Russian consulate in Tbilisi

By | February 15th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A suspected explosive device was reported to have been found outside Russia’s consulate in Tbilisi Wednesday. However, it turned out to be just an empty suitcase, according to Interior Ministry spokesperson Shotia Utiashvili. The suspicious object […]

Finding Israel embassy bomber is first priority for Georgian leader

By | February 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia is giving the highest priority to investigating Monday’s foiled bombing attempt against the car of an employee at the Israeli embassy. President Mikheil Saakashvili’s press spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze said this today at a regular briefing. […]

Terror suspect arrested, ‘unrelated’ to embassy attacks

By | February 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A terror suspect was arrested in Zugdidi Tuesday, but Georgian authorities deny that it is linked with yesterday’s bomb attacks against Israeli embassies in Georgia and India. The Georgian Interior Ministry Tuesday arrested a person suspected of planning […]

Georgian president to brief own party after Obama visit

By | February 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Today at 17:00 the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili will meet representatives of the parliamentary majority at his residence in Tbilisi’s Avlabari district. Items on the agenda will be Georgia’s domestic and foreign policy. Majority representatives […]

Georgian parliament saves its moderate minority

By | February 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the bigger parties are giving away representatives in an apparent effort to prevent the moderate opposition from becoming too small. The radical faction Unity for Justice seems to be building up steam, as Roman […]

Media protests against photo ban in parliament

By | February 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Coalition for Media Advocacy says it is unacceptable to prevent journalists from bringing cameras into the session hall of the the Georgian parliament. It recently became known that there will be a photo ban in the new Georgian parliament building in […]

Wife of opposition financier to sue Georgia’s Saakashvili

By | February 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The wife of opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili is suing Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, after he wrongfully revoked her citizenship. Saakashvili revoked Ekaterine Khvedelidze’s Georgian citizenship last October, at a time when […]

Abkhazia to ask EU to recognize homemade passports

By | February 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Abkhazia wants the EU to recognize the Georgian breakaway region’s own passports as valid travel documents, just as is the case with North Cyprus. De facto foreign minister Viacheslav Chirikba said this February 8 after meeting Philip Dimitrov, […]

Ivanishvili takes part in street protest for the first time

By | February 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili calls for the government to investigate a police special operation in 2006 which took the lives of two young men. It’s known as the Vazagashvili case and gathers a crowd every year at the spot near Paliashvili […]

Georgia notes record number of visitors, but are they tourists?

By | February 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia recorded a record number of visitors entering the country in January 2012. According to data from the Border Guard Department and the National Administration of Tourism, 227 006 international travelers entered the country in January, which is 41% […]

Georgia hit by up to two meters of snow, schools closed

By | February 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Snowy weather is creating difficulties in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The whole country is currently covered with up to two meters of snow, but the transit of goods east-west is flowing normally. The international airport in Tbilisi says their […]