Monthly Archives: February 2015

//February

Georgian leaders shocked by Nemtsov assassination

By | February 28th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s president and prime minister are shocked by the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. “I’m shocked by the assassination of Boris Nemtsov. He was a politician who fought tirelessly for the […]

Saakashvili hints Putin may be behind Nemtsov murder

By | February 28th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili lobbying for weapons to Ukraine in the U.S. Congress. (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, vaguely blames President Vladimir Putin of the assasination of a leading Russian opposition politician Friday night. In a Facebook post published early Saturday morning, Saakashvili recalls […]

Head of Georgia’s National Bank may be impeached for ‘inaction’

By | February 28th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The president of Georgia’s National Bank may be impeached after former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Thursday accused him of inaction in the face of a sudden thirty percent drop in the lari. The National Bank is an independent body whose […]

Georgia’s National Bank will not spend reserves on stabilizing lari

By | February 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Giorgi Kadagidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s National Bank will not spend its reserves of foreign currencies to stabilize the lari despite a dramatic 30 percent drop earlier in the week. The bank’s president Giorgi Kadagidze explained at a briefing at noon on Friday that […]

Abashidze-Karasin talks resume after a four-month break

By | February 27th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Zurab Abashidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–On Thusday, Georgia and Russia resumed their economic and humanitarian talks after a four-month break. Georgia’s special envoy Zurab Abashidze and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin discussed trade and reopening […]

Seven people detained in Georgia for making counterfeit money

By | February 27th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

The detainees are accused of making fake 20, 50 and 100 lari bills. (police.ge) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia detained seven people on Thursday for manufacturing and distributing a large amount of counterfeit money. The Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that a group of criminals were in possession of special equipment for producing […]

Opposition groups blame government for lari’s fall

By | February 27th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Free Georgia, Reformers and Christian Democrats activists demonstrating outside the Finance Ministry building on Thursday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There were several anti-government demonstrations in Tbilisi on Thursday in reaction to the thirty percent drop in the value of the national currency, the lari. Smaller groups that are not represented in parliament made up the brunt […]

Georgian parliament to meet on Saturday to discuss crisis

By | February 27th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–As the Georgian government is waiting to hear what ideas experts from the IMF have to deal with the weakened national currency, the lari, the former ruling party will be demanding answers at a special session of parliament on Saturday. […]

Ivanishvili blames the head of the National Bank for currency crisis

By | February 26th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili weighs in on the question of who is to blame for the more than 30% depreciation of the national currency in recent days. The businessman blames the National Bank and its head, who he assumes […]

Georgian lari stabilizes at record low level

By | February 26th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The lari, Georgia’s embattled national currency, showed signs of recovery on Thursday after both the National Bank and the government announced that they are taking measures to stop it from further depreciation. In recent days, the national […]

Parliament approves president’s chief justice nominee on third attempt

By | February 26th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Nino Gvenetadze at Legal Issues Committee. Behind Vakhtang Khmaladze, the committee chairman. (Parliament.ge) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament on Wednesday approved Nino Gvenetadze as new Supreme Court chair. Two hearings on Monday failed because many Georgian Dream representatives didn’t show up and a quorum was not reached. Some were […]

What are two military trucks with Russian plates doing in Tbilisi?

By | February 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Photo from Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Pictures of two massive Russian trucks parked in Tbilisi went viral on social media Wednesday and made many think that Russian soldiers had paid Georgia an unwelcome visit. It caused concern among people to see photos of the trucks, which […]

Georgia to sell off state properties to deal with currency crisis

By | February 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has presented a list of state properties to be sold off to bring in new money, as a means to deal with an unexpected 30% drop in the value of the national currency, the lari. Among the properties to be sold are the […]

Five victims of 1993 plane crash buried in Tbilisi

By | February 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Five more victims of a plane disaster during the Abkhazian war in 1993 were buried in Tbilisi on Tuesday after being recovered from a cemetery inside the breakaway region. Giorgi Chargeishvili, Malkhaz Piranishvili, Zurab Melishiani, Rusudan […]

Georgian govt to cut spending as lari drops rapidly

By | February 24th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has proposed to cut spending in order to deal with a drastic drop in the value of the national currency, the lari. The lari began falling in November last year, and went from a level of 1.75 lari against the US dollar […]

Georgia doubles funding for religious minorities

By | February 24th, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Christmas mass at a Catholic church in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia plans to spend 3.5 million laris on traditional religious groups and dedicate a new square to the idea of tolerance. As reported by DF Watch, there have been growing friction in Georgian society in recent […]

Ombudsman says lifting of ancient gold mine’s heritage status was illegal

By | February 24th, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia, the ombudsman claims that a government official broke the law when he greenlighted the destruction of a 5,400 year old cave complex with invaluable archaeological findings. In December, the Russian company RMG Gold […]

Former Kvemo Kartli governor charged with embezzlement

By | February 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Davit Kirkitadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Finance Ministry’s investigative service on Monday brought embezzlement charges against a former government official. Former Kvemo Kartli governor Davit Kirkitadze is accused of having used state-owned machinery to carry out construction […]

Islam expert doesn’t see any rise in islamophobia in Georgia

By | February 23rd, 2015|Categories: Minorities|Tags: |

Ruslan Baramidze (on the left) during a field work It is harder to be a Muslim anywhere, when international media headlines are dominated by terrorist groups, such as ISIS or Boko Haram. In Georgia, one out of ten citizens is a Muslim. What do we know about Islam in Georgia? Is Islamophobia on the rise here as well? […]

Lifetime prisoners in Georgia demand fixed terms and better conditions

By | February 23rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Rally in Kobuleti (Interpressnews photo) TBILISI, DFWatch–Family members and relatives of 55 prisoners with life sentence who claim being on hunger strike during almost a month, rallied on Sunday outside notorious Gldani No 8 jail in Tbilisi outskirts, demanding reducing their terms and better conditions for inmates. […]

One man dies in mining accident in Georgia

By | February 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–One man died in a mining accident in Western Georgia on Saturday. Early indications are that it was an accident. The victim is Kote Bakhutashvili, who worked in the transport district in the Mindeli mine in Tkibuli, a mining town in the north […]

Gudauri-Kobi road closed

By | February 22nd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The road between Gudauri and Kobi in northern Georgia was Sunday closed for all traffic due to strong wind and limited visibility. Machinery has been deployed to the place by the Infrastructure and Regional Development Ministry. Vehicles are […]

Rally to save old naval station building in Poti

By | February 22nd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Locals rallied Saturday in the Georgian port city Poti. They are opposed to a decision by the local government to demolish the naval station building. Demonstrators say the building is a symbol of the city, which lies on the Black Sea coast and […]

Abashidze-Karasin talks to resume later this month

By | February 21st, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Zurab Abashidze (left) and Grigory Karasin. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia and Georgia will resume their one-on-one talks in Prague in the end of February, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in an announcement. The so-called Abashidze-Karasin talks, which are limited in scope to economic and other practical issues, […]

Uncertain if Georgian parliament will investigate destruction of ancient mine

By | February 21st, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia has still not created a committee to investigate why a pre-historic gold mine was destroyed by a Russian mining company in mid December last year. The Free Democrats on Friday nominated one of their members to chair […]

Red paint bombs thrown at Saakashvili Library in Tbilisi

By | February 21st, 2015|Categories: Youth|Tags: , , |

Lado Sadgobelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Five people were detained during tumults outside the Saakashvili Presidential Library in Tbilisi on Friday. Inside the building, activists for the National Movement held an exhibition dedicated to the one year anniversary of the revolution in […]

Road restrictions in north and west Georgia

By | February 21st, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

On the road between Gudauri and Kobi vehicles are not allowed to drive without snow chains. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Snow has made Georgian authorities enforce restrictions on several roads in mountainous regions in the west and north. On the road between Kutaisi and Ambrolauri, via Tkibuli, traffic is restricted on the 36km to 72km section. No trailers, […]

Georgian government’s economy experts gather as lari continues to fall

By | February 20th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , |

Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili believes the situation will improve in the near future. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–As the Georgian lari reached a new record low, the Georgian government’s “economy team” gathered to come up with a plan to save the country’s economy. The US dollar is valued at 2.1771 laris in the most recent figures from the National Bank […]

Parliament replaces Free Democrats’ vice speaker

By | February 20th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Gubaz Sanikidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament on Wednesday approved a new vice speaker, following the departure of one party from the government coalition. The Free Democrats left the Georgian Dream coalition November 5, and now the party’s highest […]

Former Tbilisi mayor must remain in detention, court decides

By | February 20th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Gigi Ugulava. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Tbilisi court decided on Wednesday that former Mayor Gigi Ugulava must stay in detention. Lawyers asked the court to release Ugulava on bail and promised to hand his ID card and passport over to prosecutors as a guarantee […]

Free Democrats: No deal with Saakashvili party

By | February 19th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

“I would not comment seriously on Baron Münchausen’s statements,” Irakli Alasania responded to Mikheil Saakashvili’s TV interview. (DF Watch.) Tbilisi, DFWatch -After exchanging barrels of criticism, Georgia’s two main pro-western political parties deny likelihood of future political alliance. At least one of them, Free Democrats of the former defense minister Irakli Alasania, […]

Georgian diplomat casts doubt on NATO membership goal

By | February 19th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Zurab Abashidze said it’s not on the agenda today or tomorrow for Georgia to join NATO. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A statement by a Georgian diplomat makes many ask whether the country’s foreign policy has changed. Russian relations special envoy Zurab Abashidze was answering a warning by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday, that Russia […]

Wrestling world champion confirmed as member of Georgian parliament

By | February 19th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Luka Kurtanidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian wrestler and double Olympic bronze medalist on Tuesday became a member of parliament. Luka Kurtanidze will be replacing Tamaz Avdaliani, who recently passed away due to illness. Eldar (Luka) Kurtanidze is on the same party list, […]

Ukraine’s ambassador to Georgia defends Saakashvili appointment

By | February 19th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Georgia Vasyl Tsybenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ukraine’s ambassador to Georgia on Monday defended his country’s appointment of Georgian officials who ex-President Saakashvili as an adviser, after being called in to the Foreign Ministry in Tbilisi. Saakashvili is wanted in four criminal […]

Georgia asks Ukraine to extradite Saakashvili

By | February 18th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Mikheil Saakashvili. (Maestro.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has asked Ukraine to extradite ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili and ex Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili. Both are working for the Kiev government despite being charged with a number of crimes in their home country. The Prosecutor […]

Freezing the Kremlin’s policy

By | February 18th, 2015|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

Lasha Tughushi is founder of DFWatch, PhD and chair of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum – Georgian National Platform. How Europe should respond to Putin at the Riga Summit Against the backdrop of a rain of bullets, and the rumble of tanks and cannons, Europe is preparing for the Riga Summit in May. Expectations are already low, but one likely positive decision is visa liberalization […]

Victoria Nuland visiting Tbilisi Tuesday

By | February 17th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Victoria Nuland. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is visiting Georgia on Tuesday as part of a Caucasus tour. In Tbilisi, Nuland plans to meet with representatives of the government and opposition, as well as non-governmental organizations, so-called […]

Georgian kickboxer accused of robbery in Russia

By | February 16th, 2015|Categories: Sport|Tags: |

Irakli Gvinjilia. (timer.ge.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian athlete and four time world champion in kickboxing was detained in Moscow last month, accused of robbery. Russian media outlets report that Irakli Gvinjilia is accused of stealing 70,000 Russian rubles, or about USD 1,000, from someone […]

Saakashvili’s party will never get back in power: Ivanishvili

By | February 16th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Godfather of the government coalition in Georgia, financier Bidzina Ivanishvili, said in a newspaper interview this weekend that he doesn’t think the National Movement party will ever be able to get back in power. The National Movement […]

Tbilisi summons Ukraine’s ambassador about Saakashvili appointment

By | February 16th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Mikheil Saakashvili was last week appointed adviser to Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has summed the Ukrainian ambassador to explain why ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is wanted in his home country, has been appointed to a high position in Kiev. Ambassador Vasyl Tsybenko was asked to come to the […]

South Ossetia to sign treaty with Russia on Feb 18

By | February 15th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Davit Sanakoyev. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian breakaway region South Ossetia plans to sign a ‘treaty of alliance and integration’ with Russia on February 18. This follows the signing of a similar treaty between the de facto government of the other breakaway region Abkhazia […]

Georgian president meets with candidates for new Supreme Court head

By | February 15th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Saturday met for more than five hours with candidates for new head of the Supreme Court to learn about their plans and programs. Margvelashvili is continuing his selection of candidates for new […]

City Hall employee accused of corruption placed in pre-trial detention

By | February 14th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Tbilisi City Hall. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The head of Tbilisi City Hall’s supervision service was Friday placed in to pre-trial detention on charges of bribery. During the court hearing, Prosecutor Malkhaz Getsadze said that the accused, Jokia Bodokia, accepted a bribe from Darioushi, […]

Saakashvili appointed adviser to Ukraine’s Poroshenko

By | February 14th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was Friday officially confirmed as adviser to the Ukrainian president, despite being wanted for crimes in his home country. Saakashvili will be head of the Advisory International Council of Reforms, […]

Georgia’s trade in January 30% lower than last year

By | February 13th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January 2015 was 9 percent lower than last year, according to preliminary data published by the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, on Friday. The total turnover was USD 694 million, out of which export […]

City Hall employee denies corruption charges

By | February 13th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Mayor Davit Narmania denied that he is an old friend of the accused, Jokia Bodokia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The head of City Hall’s supervision service pleaded not guilty in the case of taking a bribe in return for facilitating the construction of a new hotel. Jokia Bodokia was detained on Wednesday. His lawyer, Giorgi Kavlashvili, told journalists that his client […]

Families rally in support of prisoners on life sentences

By | February 13th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Families demand life sentences converted so the prisoners may have hope of being free some day. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Families and relatives of prisoners with life sentences and incurable diseases rallied in front of the government house in Adjara on Thursday. They demand that the prisoners are offered a new chance to have their cases reviewed and their sentences […]

Georgia climbs further on press freedom index

By | February 13th, 2015|Categories: Media|Tags: |

Georgian journalists demonstrating for press freedom in 2011 . (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Press freedom has been improved in Georgia, judging by the latest annual index published by Reporters Without Borders. The country has moved up 15 places and is number 69 among 180 countries. The last time Georgia listed this high was […]

Parliamentarians object against criteria for selecting head of Supreme Court

By | February 12th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dimitri Khundadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A large part of the governing coalition in parliament are against the criteria the president used when he recently selected candidates for new head of Supreme Court. The initiative began with 16 MPs from the Georgian Dream coalition. […]

Update: Restrictions on several roads due to snow

By | February 12th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Traffic restrictions on the Akhaltsikhe-Ninotsminda road are now lifted. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Traffic is still blocked along the road between Gudauri and Kobi in the north of Georgia due to danger of avalanche. According to the Road Department, no vehicles are allowed through. There are also the following restrictions on the Tkibuli […]

City Hall employee detained for corruption

By | February 12th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The head of the Supervision Service at Tbilisi City Hall was detained on Wednesday on suspicion of bribery. Jokia Bodokia is accused of having accepted a bribe of USD 180,000; ten percent of the price of constructing a new hotel. The money […]

Prisoners with life sentence continue hunger strike

By | February 11th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–60 prisoners with life sentence are continuing their hunger strike to demand a new assessment of their cases. The prisoners on lifelong term want to be included in a mass amnesty introduced by the new Georgian Dream coalition […]

Georgia’s governing coalition loses its majority in Adjara assembly

By | February 11th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Medea Vasadze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Dream coalition has lost its majority of seats in the regional assembly in Adjara after one deputy broke ranks last week. Medea Vasadze explained in a statement that her decision was the result of two years and four months of analysis. […]

Two more officials resign in Georgia

By | February 11th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two more government officials resigned in Georgia on Tuesday; one regional police chief and a deputy department head in the Defense Ministry. Robert Grigalashvili, deputy head of military reporting, yesterday evening handed in his resignation […]

28 candidates for new head of Supreme Court

By | February 11th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Zakaria Kutsnashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president on Tuesday presented a list of 28 candidates for new head of Supreme Court. Most of the names on the list are unknown to the public. Among the few known names is Zakaria Kutsnashvili; a member of the Georgian […]

Georgian Defense Ministry official resigns due to public pressure

By | February 10th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The deputy head of the general inspection in the Georgian Defense Ministry resigned on Tuesday, explaining that he made the decision due to the accusations against him lately. Explaining the decision, Valeri Zumbadze wrote in a statement published […]

President’s annual address will be on March 18

By | February 10th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

President Giorgi Margvelashivli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president’s annual state of the nation address in parliament will be held on March 18. It is still an open question whether there will be a debate after President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s address. His parliamentary secretary Giorgi […]

Two boys on life support after being stabbed at Tbilisi school

By | February 10th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two teenage boys were hospitalized with serious injuries on Monday after being stabbed by another pupil at the same Tbilisi school. Police detained a suspect, who is also a minor. All three are pupils at Public School No 186 in Didi Digomi […]

Locals in Kutaisi accuse police wife of fatal hit-and-run

By | February 9th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Newpress.ge.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The parents and relatives of a girl who died in a car accident three days ago in Kutaisi accuse the police of covering up what happened. They believe the real culprit is the wife of a policeman. The family of the victim Nana Giglemiani demonstrated Monday […]

Suspect in Yuri Vazagashvili murder placed in pre-trial detention

By | February 9th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Monday placed the suspect in the murder of Yuri Vazagashvili in pre-trial detention. The Prosecutor’s Office asked to keep the policeman in detention. He was detained yesterday, suspected of murdering Vazagashvili. […]

Road closed in Gudauri due to heavy snow

By | February 9th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Traffic is prohibited along the Gudauri-Kobi section of the old military highway in northern Georgia due to snow and danger of avalanche. According to the Infrastructure Ministry’s road department, no vehicles are allowed through in that stretch […]

Policeman detained for murder of human rights activist

By | February 9th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Yuri Vazagashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor General’s Office in Georgia has detained a police officer who is suspected of murdering human rights activist Yuri Vazagashvili three weeks ago. Yuri Vazagashvili had been campaigning for justice for his son Zurab, who was […]

Georgian PM: We are ready for negotiations with Russia

By | February 8th, 2015|Categories: Security|Tags: , |

Irakli Garibashvili at the Munich security conference. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Garibashivli says Georgia is ready for negotiations with Russia. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since fighting a brief war more than six years ago. Georgia’s pro-European course stands firm, the PM […]

Poland ratifies Georgia’s EU agreement

By | February 8th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(opis.sejm.gov.pl.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Poland ratified the association agreement between Georgia and the EU on Friday; the 13th EU member state to do so. The vote in the Sejm was 439 for ratification, none against and one abstaining. The agreement gives Georgia free trade access […]

Woman dies during robbery

By | February 7th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A woman died during a robbery of her house on Friday in Tbilisi. Her colleagues believe she was murdered and demand a proper investigation. Lela Avlokhashvili, 43, died while robbers were in her house stealing money and gold jewelry. Vendors […]

Georgian fishing boat owners protest in Poti

By | February 6th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Owners of about 40 fishing boats in Poti demonstrated Friday to demand less strict environmental protection in order to compete with the Turkish fishing fleet. The boat owners, who use seines to catch anchovy, think the law puts them […]

Escaped prisoner caught in Batumi

By | February 6th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Gurjaani Regional Court. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A prisoner who escaped from a court building two days ago has been apprehended in Batumi on the Black Sea coast. The prisoner escaped from the court cell in Gurjaani Regional Court on February 2 after hearing that he was being placed in […]

Two detained in Georgia for forging US visas

By | February 6th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two people were detained in Georgia on Friday for making fake US visas. Police working together with staff of the US embassy’s security department found that two people – a man about 40 and a woman about 50 – were making forged documents […]

Georgia downgrades its economic growth outlook

By | February 6th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: , |

Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government has downgraded its economic growth outlook for 2015 from five to four percent. Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri said on Thursday that stagnation is expected in all neighboring countries, and this is reflected in the new […]

Georgia’s interior minister says ‘certain forces’ are planning a coup

By | February 5th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s new interior minister says ‘certain forces’ are attempting to destabilize the country, but Georgia won’t allow a ‘Ukraine scenario’ to be repeated in Georgia. After journalists asked Vakhtang Gomelauri to specify if he meant the former ruling […]

Work halted on new hotel in Vake Park

By | February 5th, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: , , |

Vake Park one year ago. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–City Hall temporarily halted construction work on a new hotel in Vake Park in central Tbilisi on Wednesday. Environmental activists from a group called Guerrilla Gardening gathered in the park warning that the workers are in violation of law […]

Two more former officials charged in Zhvania case

By | February 5th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Mamuka Gvaramia said the charges are politically motivated. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former chief prosecutor and a deputy head of the National Forensic Bureau were Wednesday charged with involvement in the murder of PM Zurab Zhvania in 2005. The Prosecutor’s Office claims the two exceeded official powers […]

Wanted Georgian ex-justice minister spotted in Kiev

By | February 5th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Zurab Adeishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili, who has been wanted for more than a year and is subject to an Interpol Red Alert, was recently spotted in Ukraine. The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office has now asked the Ukrainian government […]

Georgia wants to give locals preferential treatment in labor market

By | February 4th, 2015|Categories: Society|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government is preparing to impose a protectionist labor migration law, under which local employees only will be allowed to hire a foreigner if they cannot find a local who satisfies their requirements. The draft law on Labor […]

Robbers target Georgia’s small bank service centers

By | February 4th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

One of the service centers for Liberty Bank. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A bank service center was robbed in Tbilisi Wednesday. This is the fourth such robbery in a short time. An armed robber attacked Bank of Georgia’s service center on Noneishvili Street in Gldani, northern Tbilisi. It is still unknown whether […]

Six detained in Tbilisi at rally against National Movement

By | February 4th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

Demonstrators blame the National Movement for encouraging Georgian youth to join the war in Ukraine. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Six people were detained for petty hooliganism in Tbilisi on Tuesday, during a rally outside the office of the National Movement. The rally was organized by the youth movement Free Generation, which demands to convict former officials and ‘restore justice.’ […]

Prisoner on the run in Kakheti, eastern Georgia

By | February 4th, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Gurjaani Regional Court. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Police in Georgia are searching for a prisoner who escaped from a court building on Monday. The man, a resident of the a village Velistsikhe, is charged with injuring a person with a weapon. The regional court in Gurjaani, in the Kakheti region […]

Belarus and Georgia resume cooperation, Lukashenko plans visit

By | February 3rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko plans to visit Georgia in April. Georgian agriculture minister Otar Danelia said this today during a visit to Minsk. Danelia is there in connection with a session of the newly revived Georgia-Belarus […]

Three percent drop in visitors to Georgia in January

By | February 3rd, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three percent less people visited Georgia in January 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to new figures from the Ministry of internal Affairs. The figures were presented on Tuesday by the ministry’s Department of Analysis, […]

Georgian PM downplays Ivanishvili’s criticism of NGO leaders

By | February 3rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian prime minister on Monday downplayed criticism of three NGO leaders by businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili last week. The billionaire who created the coalition now in power said in a TV interview that an organization he runs is working […]

Eleven police officers detained in Georgia

By | February 3rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Eleven current and former police officers were detained in Georgia on Tuesday in connection with bombing of a human rights activist nearly two weeks ago. Yuri Vazagashvili, a Tbilisi businessman, was killed January 20 as he stepped on a land mine […]

Rally in Tbilisi to demand accountability for Saakashvili regime

By | February 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Demonstrators demand to ‘restore justice’ and punish officials that committed violations during the Saakashvili regime. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Over a thousand people demonstrated in central Tbilisi on Saturday, demanding that officials that broke the law during the Saakashvili regime are held to account. They demand that officials in the Saakashvili regime who committed crimes are punished, […]

Seat in Georgian parliament empty as MP dies of illness

By | February 2nd, 2015|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Tamaz Avdaliani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of parliament from the Georgian Dream coalition has died as result of serious illness, parliament’s press office said on Friday. Tamaz Avdaliani, who was born September 16, 1964. In October, 2012, was elected through the party list […]

Activists say ‘SOS’ for Old Tbilisi as massive development goes ahead

By | February 1st, 2015|Categories: Environment|Tags: , , , |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Hundreds of people marched through Tbilisi on Saturday to protest against the construction of a number of massive buildings in different locations mostly in the old part of the capital. Protesters gathered outside Tbilisi City Council and walked toward […]