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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 22
Sergey Lavrov: ‘Russia can change nothing with Georgia’

Russia claims it is doing its best to improve relationships between Georgian and Russian people, but says it can’t move forward because of a staunch Georgian Government.

Russia’s Foreign Minister said Georgian leaders need to realize and accept the situation before the two countries could move forward mutually.

“The non-recognition of [reality] by the Georgian government that developed in the region after the August War impedes development of the relations of Moscow and Tbilisi,” declared Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press conference on January 21.

He said the main problem was that the Russian government could not change the environment developed after the war, although the country did its best to improve the relationship between the Russian and Georgian people.

“Neither formal problems nor the non-existence of diplomatic relations is a major problem between us (Russia and Georgia). Actually, our problem is that Russia is able to change nothing after the war launched by Saakashvili. We are frequently hampered by this problem of Georgia not recognizing the realities developed in the region, and periodically this will impede and hinder our relationship,” Lavrov stated.

The Georgian Government has not yet responded to Lavrov’s claim. (

NATO military committee to visit Georgia on 11-12 February

The NATO military committee will visit Georgia on 11-12 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Maya Panjikidze said at today’s press conference. She assesses that it is an important fact, which means that the military cooperation with NATO moves to a new level.

“This visit will be further confirmation and logic continuation of the work conducted last year, when within the NATO-Georgia commission and national annual plan, Georgia was very successful from a political and military perspective. The reforms carried out in the military office has been very positively reflected in NATO reports and all this gives us hope that 2014 will bring new success to Georgia in NATO directions too”, Maya Panjikidze said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs states that this year the NATO summit is to be held in the UK and Georgia’s party’s expects is that our success and progress will be adequately reflected at the summit. (ipn)

France to deport Georgian citizens undergoing free treatment

France has stopped free treatment of Georgian citizens suffering from hepatitis C, human rights activist Dmitry Lortkipanidze and Executive Director of the Georgian- French friendship association Nugzar Sulashvili said at a briefing on Tuesday.

"France made this decision on August 6, 2013, after the French embassy learned a free hepatitis C treatment program was created in Georgia," Sulashvili added. "However, it was not indicated that the program is valid only in the penal system."

Around 400-5,000 Georgian citizens suffering from hepatitis C are being treated in France. They are subject to deportation, he said.

"The deportation means that the treatment will be stopped," Lortkipanidze said.

"France's position is consolidated by the readmission agreement," he said. "Perhaps thousands of people will demand free treatment. Our statement is a warning to the government. We urge it to settle this problem. Let those who started treatment in France complete it there or continue treatment in Georgia, but at the country's expense." (

Saakashvili to become Fletcher’s first senior statesman

Former President of the Republic of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, will serve as the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy’s first Senior Statesman starting this January. The position of Senior Statesman is a new idea, intended to provide students with access to internationally known leaders and practitioners in a variety of fields, Admiral James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School said.

“Our concept is to try to bring each year some important international political figure to be affiliated with The Fletcher School,” he said. Saakashvili, who served as president for two terms between 2004 and 2013, founded Georgia’s United National Movement Party and led the Rose Revolution, which forced the resignation of the Republic of Georgia’s president at the time. Saakashvili will not be in residence at Fletcher full-time, but is expected to visit on three or four occasions during both semesters of his one-year appointment. Saakashvili is excited to interact with students at The Fletcher School in both informal and educational settings, he said. “I like to talk to students,” Saakashvili said. “I have always loved to talk to them, even when I was elected in politics.” ( front news)

Georgian Armed Forces General Staff chief to participate in NATO Military Committee meeting

Head of the General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze is on a visit to Brussels.

A meeting of the NATO Military Committee will be held at the headquarters of the alliance on January 21-23, the Ministry of Defense told Trend on Monday.

Several meetings will be led by the head of the NATO Military Committee, General Knud Bartels. The member-states and partners will discuss the current operations, the process of transformation and the plans on strengthening the partnership within two days.

Kapanadze will take part in a meeting of the heads of the joint staffs of the non-NATO member-states participating in the ISAF operation. He will address his foreign counterparts. Several issues, the NATO-Georgia cooperation in the military sphere and Georgia's readiness to support the Afghan security forces will be discussed.

A meeting of the military committee is planned to be held in the format of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.

Kapanadze will meet with General Knud Bartels as part of his visit on Jan. 21.

Bilateral meetings will be held with foreign colleagues. The chief of the Georgian General Staff will discuss the military cooperation with Lithuanian, Moldovan, Polish and Belarusian counterparts.