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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 20
Lavrov: We are ready to continue the process to normalize relations with Georgia

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Moscow is ready for normalization of relations with Georgia.

Lavrov made the above-mentioned announcement in the State Duma, RIA Novosti says.

“We are ready to continue the process of normalizing relations with Georgia,’’ Lavrov said.

Apart from the issue of Georgia, Lavrov talked about the Ukrainian crisis, international relations and opportunities for compromises with the west. (IPN)

50th meeting of the post-2008 incident prevention talks

Monday another meeting was held of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) between the conflicting parties of the 2008 war.

This was the 50th such meeting, and as usual it took place at Ergneti, a village close to the de facto border.

Topics discussed were people who have been detained, problems people have who live near the border, and issues related to the coming winter. Those who live near the border will be needing to cut wood for heating, but barbed wire and fences that have been installed in recent years continue to obstruct their movements.

Toivo Klaar, head of the EU Monitoring Mission, which facilitates IPRM, said the regular meetings ‘have considerably contributed to the stabilization of the security situation on the ground.’

IPRM meetings, which deals mostly with practical problems of people who are affected, is one of three channels for talks between the parties of the frozen conflict. It is supplemented by the Geneva talks, with high-level, often confrontational statements, and low-key informal talks between the one Russian and one Georgian diplomat, who speak of non-diplomatic issues, like economy, culture and transport.

There have been no diplomatic relation between Georgia and Russia since the war in August, 2008. Consular issues, such as visa applications, are formally handled through Swiss embassies.

The next IPRM meeting will be held on January 20, 2015. (DF watch)

United States shares concerns expressed in Brussels

The United States shares the concerns expressed in Brussels and hopes that the former officials’ cases will proceed so that no doubts are left with regard political motivation, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland told reporters.

"Yesterday we were all observing the successful meetings of the Georgian governmental delegation in the European Union and NATO. At the same time, concern was expressed about perception of politically motivated proceedings. The United States shares the concern and hopes that everything will proceed so that no doubts are left regarding political motivation,” said the Ambassador.

As for the question whether the so-called “cable’’ case should be declassified or not, the American diplomat refrained from expressing his view, though explained that the defense should have access to the case materials.

"In any society, when a person is charged, his defense should be allowed to familiarize with case materials," Richard Norland said. (IPN)

EU and Eastern Partnership officials convene in Batumi

Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city Batumi will host the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) on November 20 and 21.

This will be the first time the annual meeting is held in Georgia.

CSF is an institutionalised policy forum where an exchange of ideas and best practices brings together partners from six EaP countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - and the European Union (EU) with the common goal of expanding the European integration processes towards the Eastern Neighbourhood.

The Forum will be attended be Georgia’s newly appointed State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze.

The annual assembly in Batumi will focus on consolidation of the achievements made at civil society level and pave the way for new initiatives in light of a new regional context with Association Agreements in place in three EaP countries, the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan and the security challenges faced by the entire region.

The Forum is usually attended by high-level government officials from EaP countries and EU member states as well as representatives of EU institutions.

This will mark the sixth meeting of the Forum after being established in the wake of the EaP Summit in Prague in 2009. The annual gathering has taken place in Brussels (2009), Berlin (2010), Poznan (2011), Stockholm (2012) and Chisinau (2013). (

Minister of Finance meets with Asian Development Bank Vice-President

Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri has met with Asian Development Bank Vice-President Thierry de Longuemar.

According to the Finance Ministry, issues of cooperation between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Georgia were discussed at the meeting.

The two sides discussed the Asian Development Bank-supported programs.

As was mentioned, the Asian Development Bank will continue to support Georgia in important areas such as infrastructure, roads, transport, urban development, etc.

The ADB Vice President is participating in the fourth regional forum of management of reserves, which has been opened in Tbilisi by the National Bank of Georgia and the Asian Development Bank today. The event is being held for the first time in the Caucasus region. (IPN)