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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Friday, February 15
“Ramaz Klimiashvili: the Liberty Institute forced Badri Patarkatsishvili to enter politics!”

Akhali Taoba quotes political analyst Ramaz Klimiashvili as claiming late Georgian billionaire and former presidential candidate Badri Patarkatsishvili was dragged into Georgian politics by the Liberty Institute, a highly influential NGO.

“Not long ago, majority MP Giga Bokeria demanded that Patarkatsishvili get involved in politics,” Klimiashvili claimed, adding that the authorities later turned on him.

Patarkatsishvili then financed the opposition, and the analyst says the campaign could have succeeded if its backer had not died.

“Giga Bokeria: Irakli Okruashvili’s return to politics will not change much”

Influential majority MP Giga Bokeria tells Sakartvelos Respublika that arrested ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili’s possible return to Georgian politics would not have much effect.

“He is such a small figure now that he won’t be able to influence the political process,” Bokeria says.

In an interview with Reuters from France, where he is under house arrest awaiting extradition hearings, Okruashvili said he would like to compete in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Bokeria says the prominent ex-minister, facing corruption charges in Georgia, is a non-issue.

“These days, the most important issue is to continue dialogue between the opposition and the government,” the MP stated.

“Azerbaijani businessmen to export apples from Samtskhe-Javakheti”

Azerbaijani businesses want to export apple crops from impoverished Samtskhe-Javakheti province, Sakartvelos Respublika writes.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Azerbaijani businesses currently export apples from Shida Kartli province. They are looking to expand to the fruit-laden regions of Akhaltsikhe, Aspindze and Adigeni, the ministry states.