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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 1
Georgia and Moldova ready to deepen bilateral relations

Speaker of Georgian Parliament Davit Usupashvili has ended his visit to Moldova by meeting the country's Prime Minister Yurie Leanca and discussing his readiness to deepen bilateral economic and diplomatic relations.

Usupashvili said Moldova was a country that was often named alongside Georgia, as both countries were going through a similar experience as they both worked towards becoming more integrated with Europe. The Eastern Partnership in Vilnius which set the same way for the two countries.

He said cooperation between Moldova and Georgia was intensifying within all levels of the Government of the two countries, and said this was a necessary precondition so both countries were successful in the EU integration attempts.

Before meeting the PM of Moldova, Georgia's Parliament Speaker met with the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Natalia Gherman. The Association Agreement with the EU and technical details of its implementation were discussed at the meeting.

As Gherman pointed out, signing the agreement would not have an immediate effect but by gradually introducing it, the country would feel the benefits that were outlined in the document. She has also stressed that it was important for people to recognize that many privileges the country would receive after signing the agreement were clearly explained.

Usupashvili congratulated the Foreign Affairs Ministry on successfully completing the visa liberalization process and underlined that Georgia was expected to reach the same goal in the next 18 months. (Agenda.Ge)

EU is ready to help EaP countries shape “different future”

The European Union has adopted a special support package worth ˆ60 million for Georgia and Moldova to help them with the implementation of the Association Agreements (AA).

At the Visegrad Group (V4) meeting in Budapest, the Czech Republic, Hungarian, Polish and Slovakian Foreign Ministers issued a statement claiming a perspective of European integration remained the best stimulus for deep reforms for the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries.

The V4 Ministers highlighted the importance of signing the AA/DCFTA with Georgia and Moldova in June 2014, as agreed by the European Council.

They rejected any military or economic threat against EaP Partner countries and in this context reiterated their full support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Regarding the visa liberalization process, the Ministers noted the opportunity of visa free travel for the citizens of Moldova and reiterated the commitment to achieve the same goal for Georgians and Ukrainians soon.

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule also participated in the V4 meeting.

He reconfirmed the EU’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership and said signature and the consequent implementation of the AA/DCFTAs with the EaP countries including Georgia would seal the irreversibility of political association and economic integration.

The Eastern Partnership is an initiative of the EU governing their relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. It is intended to provide a venue for discussions of trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and its eastern neighbors. (Agenda.Ge)

Rape case shocks Tbilisi

Police in Georgia have detained three Iraqi citizens who are suspected of rape of a fifteen year old boy on Tuesday at an apartment on Zandukeli Street in the center of the capital, but he managed to get away.

Police detained an Iraqi citizen born in 1993 suspected of rape. According to the Interior Ministry, the investigation found that the detainee asked the boy to come to his apartment on Zandukeli Street and then raped him, after which the boy escaped.

The suspect was detained a few hours later in Tbilisi.

Several hours later, police detained two more suspects, also Iraqi citizens, accused of the same.

Interpressnews quotes locals from the house where the incident took place, who say that they heard a noise at eight o’clock in the morning, went out of the door and saw a boy half naked wrapped in a towel and asking for help.

The boy told them that he managed to escape from the foreigners. He also said that he lives in an orphanage in Gldani, a suburb of Tbilisi, and followed the foreigners to their house because they promised him cigarettes and food.

Police are conducting an investigation into what happened. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Britain's Foreign Secretary to visit Georgia

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday he will visit Ukraine as well as Georgia and Moldova next week in a show of support for Kiev and other pro-EU governments, Agence France-Presse reported.

Speaking to parliament, Hague criticized Russia as tensions mounted in eastern Ukraine while announcing his plans to visit the area next week.

"I intend to travel to the region next week, including to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova," he said, adding that Britain had sent four Typhoon fighter jets to boost NATO's regular Baltic Air Policing Mission.

"We stand ready to provide more support as NATO's response develops," he added.

Georgia and Moldova are the two countries of the former Soviet bloc to have initialed association agreements with the EU, Agence France-Presse said.

The announcement came as the United States and the European Union stepped up pressure on Moscow, with the White House imposing sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 firms close to President Vladimir Putin and Brussels adding 15 names to its own list. (Agenda.Ge)

Large weapons collection discovered in Tbilisi

A Georgian citizen has voluntarily handed over a large collection of military type weapons to the police department in Tbilisi.

The impressive weapons collection included an RPG-26 anti-tank grenade launcher, four prefabricated PG-9 and OG-9 anti-tank missiles and six UZRGM grenade fuses.

Further part of the weapons collection was five RGD-5 hand grenades, six F1 hand grenades, two FG42 hand grenades, one RKG3 cumulative grenade, and a portable communications device.

It also included more common black market weapons: an AK-74 Kalashnikov rifle, an AKS-74 Kalashnikov, 2,714 cartridges for firearm and 12 magazines for Kalashnikov, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The 44 year old man also handed in one 5,6 mm caliber rifle and rifle barrels compensator, 1 piece of rifle scope, and 1 piece of 5,6 mm caliber gun barrel part.

The ministry has launched an investigation into the case on suspicion of illegal acquiring and possession of weapons. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)