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The News in Brief

Friday, November 8
Usupashvili rules out politically motivated prosecutions

Parliamentary speaker Davit Usupashvili has said that there will be no politically motivated prosecution of either outgoing President Saakashvili or anyone else in Georgia.

Asked during a press conference on November 6th about concerns in the EU over possible criminal proceedings against President Saakashvili once his term expires, Usupashvili responded that “the constitution and the law will be observed in respect of everyone in Georgia and politically motivated prosecution is and will be ruled out in Georgia.”

In an interview with RFE/RL, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt warned Georgia against possible criminal proceedings against Saakashvili.

Asked if he was worried that Saakashvili “might become “a new Tymoshenko”, the Swedish foreign minister said “it might even be worse in this particular case.” In 2011, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in a case that is widely perceived to have been politically motivated.

According to Bildt, “It has been made very clear to Mr. Ivanishvili that if he goes forward with those things [prosecuting Saakashvili], then Georgian foreign policy will be reduced to one issue for the next few years to come, to the detriment of the development of the country.”

Bildt added that Ivanishvili has said “some wise things.” The Swedish Foreign Minister was apparently referring to Ivanishvili’s remarks that by “thinking only about punishment” and “looking to the past” Georgia will lose pace on development and European integration. According to Ivanishvili, Georgia “should look to the future.” (Civil.Ge)

Georgian MPs comment on statement by OSCE chairman

Georgian lawmakers welcome the statement of OSCE chairperson Lamberto Zannier regarding the restoration of the OSCE mission in Georgia. .

Giorgi Baramidze of the United National Movement (UNM) says the OSCE mission must have full access to the occupied regions of Georgia if it is to be successful. (Rustavi 2)

Maia Panjikidze to participate in UNESCO conference

Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze will participate in the 37th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 7th-8th in Paris.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Panjikidze has scheduled a meeting with the UNESCO Director General today. Cooperation between Georgia and UNESCO and future joint projects will be discussed at the meeting.

On November 8th Maia Panjikidze will deliver a speech at the UNESCO plenary session.

A meeting is also scheduled with the French Minister for European Affairs. The meeting will focus on the situation ahead of the Vilnius summit and prospects for Georgia-EU relations. (InterPressNews)

MIA releases crime statistics for 2013

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) has released statistics of criminal activity in Georgia in the first ten months of 2013. The statistics refers to the number of committed and investigated crimes in Tbilisi and the regions.

According to the MIA, in 2013, the crime rate has increased by 56,3% compared to the same period in 2012. (Rustavi 2)

Irakli Alasania holds meeting at French National Assembly

Georgia’s Defense Minister held a meeting at the French National Assembly. Irakli Alasania discussed the ongoing political process in Georgia with members of a group of friends of Georgia, as well representatives of the defense and foreign affairs committees. Among the issues discussed was the recent Georgian presidential election. French MPs stressed the progress Georgia has achieved recently, especially the free and fair presidential election.

Another issue of discussion was Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration. Alasania expressed his gratitude to the French government for its continued support of Georgia's territorial integrity, as well as Georgia’s aspiration to NATO and EU membership. The importance of the upcoming Vilnius and NATO 2014 Summits was also discussed.

Alasania briefed the French representatives on the reforms being made in Georgia’s defense sphere. The defense minister expressed his gratitude to the French government for cooperation in the defense sphere. The two sides also discussed the future prospects of improving bilateral relations.

As part of his of his visit to France, Alasania met with his French counterpart. Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian. Minister also visited French military-industrial complex representatives in the General Directorate of Armament of France and with the Director of the French Foreign Ministry's Department for continental Europe, Eric Fournier. (InterPressNews)

Vitaly Churkin: Sochi will receive Georgian sportsmen with respect

Russia promises that Georgian sportsmen and supporters will be received with respect at the Sochi Olympic Games. Ria Novosti reports that Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said at the General Assembly session that “despite the Georgian attempt to start political battles regarding the Sochi Olympic Games, Georgian sportsmen and supporters will be received with respect, which they deserve.”

According to Ria Novosti, the statement was made by Churkin after Georgia’s UN ambassador raised issues related to Abkhazia and South Ossetia during the General Assembly Session. (InterPressNews)

Tbilisi hosts 4th Russian Film Festival

Tbilisi is currently hosting the 4th Russian Film Festival, from November 6th-10th. The film festival is being organized by the International Foundation of Arts and Intercultural Dialogue (Tbilisi) and Kinoprocess (Moscow). USSR People’s Artist Eldar Ryazanov is the President of the Festival and Constantine Luzinyan-Rizhinashvili is the General Producer, Trend reports.

The retrospective part of the Festival will include presentation of films by Andrey and Avdotya Smirnovs.

A special film will be shown to commemorate Georgian actor Otar Megvinetukhutsesi, who died at the age of 81 in May 2013. The Sofiko Chiaureli Award will also be given at the festival. Well-known Russian directors, actors, producers and critics, such as Dmitry Astrakhan, Valery Todorovsky, Andrey and Avdotya Smirnov, have been invited to the festival. Andrey Tarkovsky’s son will be a special guest. (Vestnik Kavkaza)