The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, October 14
Rasmussen condemns Russia building fences near Tskhinvali’s administrative boundary line

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned Russia for its construction of barbed wire fences near Tskhinvali’s administrative boundary line. Rasmussen's statement was made at the 59th session of NATO parliamentary assembly, which took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The NATO Secretary General confirmed support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and condemned the activities of Russia near the occupation line. Rasmussen recalled the Bucharest summit decision and the readiness of Georgia to become a NATO member. He said that the alliance will observe the presidential election, which will determine Georgia’s progress.

Irakli Sesiashvili, Chairperson of the Defense and Security committee of the Parliament of

Georgia spoke about Russian activities in the boundary line at the session. Sesiashvili thanked Rasmussen and Alliance member countries for their statements that Russia’s activities are unacceptable and supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and non-recognition policy.

“I underscored that activities of Russia on the occupation line are unacceptable. I spoke about the ongoing developments in the country and thanked NATO Secretary General for sending 20-member observation delegation to monitor presidential elections in Georgia and expressed deep belief that NATO colleagues will make sure that Georgia is on the democratic path. I voiced hope that NATO will adequately assess positive processes in our country and after the well-conducted elections, will take Georgia’s advance into consideration for processes of integration,” Sesiashvili said.

Georgian delegation led by Sesiashvili includes MPs Zurab Abashidze, Levan Berdzenishvili and Giorgi Baramidze.

Hillary Clinton – Georgia faces a very challenging dilemma

The former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton thinks Georgia is facing a challenging dilemma. Replying to Sulkhan Khabadze at Chatham House Clinton said “The progress that Georgia has made in the last, now nearly 20 years, is quite remarkable and many of the people who contributed to that progress are currently out of office and you have a new government that understandably wants to continue the progress and figure out the best way to do that.”

To Khabadze’s question, what should the government of Georgia do to tackle the obstacle that is in the way of building democracy, Clinton said that “there is so much riding on how you navigate through these next months in terms of your stability, in terms of whether or not you can protect the rule of law without undermining a lot of the progress that has been made. That takes a lot of very careful thought that has to be depersonalized. You have to think not of the people who you believe may have broken the laws, but think about the positions that are currently being held by the new government and whether pursing prior office holders is going to consolidate democracy or rip the country into a lot of pieces and what I would ask you to do is to try to avoid personalizing it and instead to try to analyze what would be in the best interests of Georgia in five, ten, fifteen years. Because for every person, you say, who wants you to do something, there is a person who thinks it would be very unfortunate if you did, and you have to sort that out. there is truth in re-consolidation commission models, there are other kinds of inquiries, that could make things public, so that it would serve the purpose of transparency but not create the kind of instability and may be even conflict that could undermine the democratic project in Georgia,” Clinton said.

“Our government is under huge pressure from the West, not to arrest the former officials or to blame them for the politically motivated persecutions, at the same time, the government is under pressure from the public to bring them to justice for the sake of democracy and rule of law. Madam Clinton, your views are greatly appreciated and respected in Georgia, I would be really grateful if you could tell us your views how we should tackle these obstacles that are clearly in our way in building healthier democracy in Georgia,” Khabadze had asked.

EU experts positively assess Georgia’s activity on visa liberalization

EU evaluation mission gave positive assessment to Georgia's activity on liberalization of the visa regime, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili said after meeting with representatives of the evaluation mission.

The goal of European experts' visit is the assessment of the visa liberalization action plan's legislative phase. Beruchashvili said the experts got a very good impression of Georgia's work.

"I hope that these results will be presented in the evaluation document, which we are expecting for November. Our colleagues from the European Union noted that this will be a significant step taken by Georgia on the path of liberalization of the visa regime," Beruchashvili said.

Action Plan, handed over to Georgia on February 25, consists of two phases and four blocs, which are related to the issues of documentation safety, control of borders and migration policy, public peace and security, foreign policy and protection of human rights.

Georgian citizens will be provided with a possibility of a visa-free travel to the Schengen Agreement area countries in case of the successful completion of both phases and after conducting corresponding internal procedures by the EU, as well as adoption of a political decision.

Tbilisi City Hall to assist people living in the villages along the occupation line

Tbilisi government will carry out a special program for assisting the population living in the villages adjacent to the administrative boundary line of the occupied Tskhinvali region. The Tbilisi government will purchase the apple harvest from locals and distribute the purchased product to vulnerable families. The residents of Adzvi village, which was recently divided into two parts by the newly installed barbwire fences had offered the initiative to the Tbilisi Mayor's Office

Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava introduced the initiative to the governors of the Tbilisi districts. The mayor also intends to assist the children from the families living along the administrative boundary line, who fail to get proper education due to the lack of funds. These children will be able to get education at the budgetary schools of arts for free.
(Rustavi 2)

Chokutaev to be wanted by Interpol

The Georgian Interior Ministry and the Office of the Chief Prosecutor are preparing documents, which will be sent to Interpol for launching the search of Samar Chokutaev by red circuit. Samar Chokutaev is accused of uploading fake videos on behalf of the Taliban on the internet a few months ago.

Chokutaev has been sentenced to pre-trial detention by Georgian court in absentia.

The investigation states that Chokutaev hacked into the Georgian internet network and uploaded videos on Youtube, According to the investigation, the IT specialist used the masts of Georgian cellular communication companies for uploading scandalous videos on internet.
(Rustavi 2)