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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 2
Ukraine visit ahead for PM Garibashvili

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is expecting to visit Ukraine with a team of high officials, the newly appointed Speaker of Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, David Kereselidze says. The date of the visit has not yet been determined but Kereselidze believed the visit will be organized for the near future."We are waiting for the formation of Ukraine’s Ministerial Cabinet. This will be a high official visit so we have to be ready for talks on many issues,” Kereselidze told press at a media briefing today. Ukraine’s new Cabinet of Ministers is likely to be announced tomorrow, December 2.

Kereselidze confirmed bilateral political consultations were held in Kiev on November 27, which was led by Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalaghania.

"A series of events were planned to foster cooperation between the two countries to become even more active and coordinated regarding the issues like EU integration as well as consolidating the international society’s support against the threats coming from Russia,” he said.

PM Garibashvili will be accompanied on his Ukraine visit by members of Georgia’s Cabinet of Ministers.

Launch of Ivanishvili’s new talk show postponed till February

Former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s talk show will not go on air until February at the earliest.

The businessman who dedicated himself to strengthening civil society after retiring from politics announced his plans for a talk show a few weeks ago, in a TV interview on Georgian Public Broadcaster.

The weekly show will feature himself alongside the hosts. It is to be broadcast on GDS, a TV company created by his rapper son Bera, and will offer analysis of current events in Georgia. Ivanishvili said it should go on air sometime in December.

GDS is an entertaining channel, however, it doesn’t have a license to air political programs. The company applied to the Communications Commission for the appropriate license in late October.

The commission said in a statement Friday that due to technical issues, GDS will not be able to completely prepare programs foreseen by the common broadcasting license until February 2015. The company therefore requested to suspend the public administrative proceedings and the commission granted this request.

GDS will have to send a new application for a license as what’s called a ‘common broadcaster’, which allows the company to also broadcast political programs.

Ivanishvili said in the interview that the TV show will be called ‘Society 2030’ and will be live every day from Monday to Friday with three analysts and invited guests.
(DF watch)

Ombudsman Speaks about Lapankuri special operation

There might be incidents of improper and disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officers during the Lapankuri special operation, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili said before the presentation of a report on the operation.

The Public Defender said the Ombudsman's Office and the Public Council have highlighted questions that must be answered by the investigation.

"We have checked a number of facts. In reality, our goal was to document specific facts. We do not have a specific version of what happened two years ago in the Lopota Gorge. It is an obligation of the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor's Office, but we have arrived at some conclusions. For example, we wonder why was there a difference in the initial information about the number of the people killed (11 persons) and the current data (7 persons). We also have a question about the fact that the armed group did not indeed arrive from the North Caucasus and about why the Georgian authorities had classified the information about presence of Georgian citizens in the illegal armed group", said Nanuashvili.

The Ombudsman called on the Parliament to re-start the study of the issue.

"We appeal to the Parliament to address the Prosecutor's Office with a request to launch an investigation. The Prosecutor's Office has not executed the Parliament’s two resolutions up to now. Classification has still not been changed, and the investigation is under way only into the hostage-taking and not into other possible crimes committed in the Gorge," the Ombudsman said.

On August 29, 2012 the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) stated that it was carrying out an anti-terrorist operation against an armed group close to Lapankuri village in the Lopota gorge, not far from the Dagestan section of the Georgian-Russian border. Later on the same day, it announced that eleven armed individuals and three Georgian special service personnel were killed in a clash that was preceded by a hostage-taking incident. After the initial denials, the Interior Ministry confirmed on September 2 that among the gunmen killed in the clash, two were Georgian citizens as well.

Mikheil Saakashvili may become Ukraine's deputy prime minister

The Kyiv Post has published an article entitled “Global recruiting agencies find 24 foreigners to work in Ukraine's government”. “Lack of public service professionals on the Ukraine labor market has pushed the government to look abroad for qualified applicants who can take positions. Prague-based Pedersen & Partners and Korn Ferry, global head hunting firms, have found 185 potential employees, many of whom are members of Ukrainian community in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.after the job interviews, 24 candidates were recognized as fully qualified to serve in Ukraine's public offices. However, their names haven't been disclosed so far.

Four of them are expected to be employed with the Agrarian Ministry and another four with the Finance Ministry. The Renaissance Foundation, a global network of policy consulting centers launched by American billionaire George Soros, has sponsored the headhunting process. It paid as much as $82,200 to two companies involved in finding the capable employees for the government agencies.

As of now, Ukrainian legislation doesn't allow the foreigners to hold any public offices, which is why those who'll accept the government's job offers will have to take Ukraine's citizenship. Meanwhile, dual citizenship is not allowed.

President Petro Poroshenko during his Nov. 27 speech in parliament offered to allow the foreigners be officially employed in the country's government. Moreover, he asked the lawmakers to provide him with legal tools to grant Ukrainian citizenship through special decrees. Central Bank Governor Valeriya Gontareva also thinks this should be changed. "Unfortunately, current Ukrainian legislation does not allow me to hire foreign citizens and to get the best experts on the NBU staff," she said. “Ukraine is facing very special challenges - complicated situation in the economy, aggression from the side of the Russian Federation, necessity of pivotal reforms and efforts focused on fighting the corruption," commented Dmytro Shymkiv, deputy head of presidential staff. "Ukraine needs Western practicians of public administration, fight against the corruption, financial planning, and anti-crisis management."

Meanwhile, Natalie Jaresko, U.S. citizen of Ukrainian descent and chief executive officer of Horizon Capital, a private equity fund with $650 million in assets, is considered to be a candidate for the position of finance minister, according to the Kyiv Post research. Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is currently a political science lecturer at Tufts University in the U.S., may become Ukraine's deputy prime minister”, the article says.