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The News in Brief

Monday, February 16
Georgian FM Comments on Minsk Agreement on Ukraine

Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Tamar Beruchashvili, welcomed the Minsk agreement agreed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, and said now it is important Moscow to “fully implement” the deal, but added, recalling 2008 ceasefire agreement, that Georgia has a “very negative experience” in this regard.

“We were watching closely very difficult negotiations in Minsk and were looking forward to its results, which should have put an end to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” she said on February 13 at a joint news conference in Tbilisi with visiting Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu.

“We welcome the result and express hope that this process will be irreversible. We hope that, unlike the 2008 six-point ceasefire agreement [with Georgia], Russia will fulfill all the commitments under this [Minsk] agreement and will respect fully fundamental norms and principles of the international law. I want to reiterate our support towards Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity in its internationally recognized borders,” Beruchashvili said.

“Now it is very important Russia to start full implementation of this agreement. Regrettably, Georgia has a very negative experience in this regard and we call once again on our European partners not to look at developments in Ukraine as an isolated process, but as part of a bigger picture of Russia’s aggressive policy in the region, which is directly related to ‘spheres of influence’ in Russia’s neighborhood. We hope that international community, and especially our European partners, will pay more attention to this issue and will fully take into consideration those challenges and threats that we are now facing,” the Georgian Foreign Minister said.

Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, said that the Minsk agreement “will be a step forward in the resolution of the crisis only if it is strictly implemented.”

“We have to see whether it is implemented, whether the ceasefire is respected, we have to see whether the heavy weapons are withdrawn as it is agreed upon in the document and then we will be able to assess whether this is a step forward in the resolution of the crisis or not,” he added. “We do not want to see another frozen or protracted conflict in our neighborhood.”

Georgia’s rugby team beats Portugal’s

The Georgian National Rugby Team held a match against Portugal winning by a score of 20-15. The match took place at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. Georgia defeated Germany by the score 64-8, while Portugal was defeated by Romania 10-27 in the first tour. The Georgian national rugby team will hold the next match of European Championship on February 28 against Spain.

“The current government has strengthened democracy in Georgia”

The current government has strengthened democracy in Georgia, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt.

When asked about the statements made by several former officials that democracy in Georgia is in danger, Gharibashvili said: “this accusation is unfair”.

"I cannot comment on this issue, this is ridiculous. This accusation is political and unfair. On the contrary, we have strengthened democracy in Georgia”, the Prime Minister said.

He also spoke about his predecessor. “Former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili advices me on key strategic issues”, Gharibashvili added.

When asked about the case of Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, Gharibashvili said: “Those who commit crimes should be held accountable”.

Tbilisi City Court orders pre-trial detention for Jokia Bodokia

Tbilisi City Court has ordered pre-trial detention for Head of the Supervisory Service of Tbilisi City Hall, Jokia Bodokia.

Jokia Bodokia was arrested on bribery charges on February 11. He is accused of taking 50,000 USD in exchange for issuing a permit for the construction of a hotel.

“South Ossetian militias opened fire first in 2008”

South Ossetian militias opened fire first in 2008, Georgia’s former Defence Minister Irakli Alasania has told Tabula TV.

“If I were the Defence Ministry, I would have answered fire with fire. I can tell you that South Ossetian militias opened fire first in 2008”, Irakli Alasania said.

Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi are still tense following their 2008 war over two Moscow-backed breakaway regions in Georgia.

During the five-day conflict, 170 servicemen, 14 policemen, and 228 civilians from Georgia were killed and 1,747 wounded. Sixty-seven Russian servicemen were killed, and 283 were wounded, and 365 South Ossetian servicemen and civilians (combined) were killed, according to an official EU fact-finding report about the conflict.

August 26, 2008 - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signs an order recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two breakaway regions in Georgia.

July 2009 - U.N. observers leave Georgia after 16 years. The mission was not extended due to a Russia veto.

Meeting with the Romanian Foreign Minister

The Georgian Prime Minister will visit Romania on February 27th - the Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu have spoken about the visit details at the meeting held in the Government Administration.

The parties have discussed major issues of bilateral relations between the two states. Special attention was paid to the prospects of intensifying economic and energy cooperation. The importance of transportation capacity has been emphasized.

The meeting was focused on: the processes of integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures; preparation for "The Eastern Partnership Summit" in Riga and the steps taken to effectively implement the visa liberalization action plan and the Association Agreement.

The Government Leader has thanked Bogdan Aurescu for the support in sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia as well as strong support, expressed by Romania in the processes of European integration.

Since November 24, 2014, Bogdan Lucian Aurescu is occupying the position of Romania's Foreign Affairs Minister. From 2012, he is the Lecturer of Public Law at the Faculty of Law of Bucharest University. In 2006, he was the visiting Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of Hamburg University. He is the Doctor of Law Science.
(Prime Minister's Press Service)