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The News in Brief

Monday, July 1
Georgian PM: Geneva talks format not to change

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili commented on the statement made by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Grigory Karasin, due to the possible termination of the Geneva Talks format. There is no alternative to the Geneva format, the current format will not be changed until we find the best format, the prime minister said.

According to him, the government was able to achieve some success in relations with Russia, in particular, to restore trade relations. "Perhaps, in the near future, Russia will begin negotiations on the simplification or abolition of the visa regime, but, despite all this, it is very unfortunate that barbed wire fencing was installed along the separatist region border. However, the government does not create panic and continues its policy of cooperation with Russia," Ivanishvili said.

The Geneva Talks were convened after the armed conflict in Georgia in August 2008, in accordance with the ceasefire agreement of August 12.

PM’s special representative: Russia to simplify visa regime with Georgia

Russia will simplify its visa regime with Georgia in the near future, said the PM's special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, on Friday. According to him, the Upper Lars customs checkpoint will work round' the clock until September, which will facilitate the delivery of Georgian goods to Russia. "We planned to hold a meeting between the representatives of the Highway Agency and the Transport Ministry of Russia to lift visa restrictions on Georgian companies," Abashidze said. "At the same time, it took much time to lift the conventional ban on the Russian railway. Our goods can already be delivered to Russia by railway through Azerbaijan."

Georgia, Poland discuss cooperation in regional development

Georgia's Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure David Narmania met with his Polish counterpart Elzbieta Bienkowska in Warsaw. According the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, the parties discussed implementation of joint projects aimed at improving the institutional capacity of public bodies in Georgia. The memorandum on cooperation between the ministries of the two countries was signed in 2009.

The Polish side provided substantial assistance to Georgia in the development of strategic documents on regional development. This year, implementation of the fifth project is underway with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland.

David Narmania briefed the meeting on the progress of reforms with regards to decentralization whereby Georgia is actively using Polish experience. The minister thanked the Polish side for its assistance. The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze, Deputy Economy Minister Mikhael Dzhanelidze and the President of the Chamber of Commerce Kakha Baindurashvili.

Saakashvili discusses post-presidency plans

Mikheil Saakashvili wants to work after the expiry of his presidential term in the field of raising the political awareness and education standards. He said this on Thursday, responding to a question about what he will do when he steps down as president.

"I want to work in the field of raising political awareness and education standards. I'll do everything to be in politics, in that direction, which is called education, awareness, and not purely in politics," Saakashvili said.

New chief of the Criminal Police of Georgia appointed

Zurab Gamezardashvili was appointed as chief of the Criminal Police of Internal Affairs of Georgia instead of David Bedia. David Bedia was appointed to the post of Deputy Head of the Main Department of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia. Zurab Gamezardashvili previously worked as head of the Regional Department of Internal Affairs of Imereti. Now, this post was taken by the first deputy of Gamezardashvili, Zaza Chubinidze.

Russia has lifted a ban on imports of Georgian tea, spices and nuts

Russia has lifted a ban on imports of Georgian tea, spices, nuts and similar foodstuffs according to the Russian media.

"Such goods do not require approval or certification for crossing the Russian border. However, such products are subject to phytosanitary quarantine control,” the watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, said in a statement.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia may soon begin exporting animal products, such as meat and milk, to Georgia.
(Front News)

Georgia’s Co-investment Fund hit $5 billion

Procedures for the establishment of the co-investment Fund of Georgia will be complete in the near future, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili told reporters on Thursday. According to him, to date, the fund has accumulated $5 billion dollars, and the number of people willing to invest in it is increasing. "In the case of cost-effective and well-calculated projects, the fund is ready to offer 25 to 75 percent of co-financing. Projects can be offered in any field," the prime minister said.

According to him, the Georgian market is very interesting - it's small, but logistically beneficial and it can be used to create a billion-dollar business.

Cooperation between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia very important - former Serbian president

Cooperation between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia is very important for the states at this development stage, the former Serbian President said. Boris Tadic is participating in the Tbilisi-hosted forum of young politicians of the South Caucasus.

“Young politicians of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are discussing territorial issues, development, cooperation, and so on. Cooperation is very important for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia at this development stage,” Interpressnews quotes Tadic as saying.

PACE calls on the Georgian government to punish the perpetrators of the event of May 17

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a resolution: "Tackling discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”.

According to the parliamentary minority of Georgia, "the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls on the Georgian government to punish the perpetrators of the event of May 17”

"The assembly calls on the authorities of Georgia to carry out a prompt investigation into the attack by the violent counter demonstrators against the participants of the rally against Homophobia on 17 May 2013, and hold accountable those who incited and committed violent acts,” the assembly says.
(Front News)