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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 9
Georgia's Prime Minister welcomes son

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and his wife Nunu (Nunuka) Tamazashvili have welcomed a baby boy into their family.

The baby boy was born at 11:30pm on April 7 and he was named Gabrieli. The mother and infant are both in good health, doctors said.

This was the couple’s third child. Garibashvili and Tamazashvili have two older sons, Nikolozi (born in 2005) and Andria (born in 2010). (

Russian Deputy FM on Ties with Georgia

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, hailed what he called Georgian government’s attempts to build ties with Russia on “pragmatic basis”, but expressed concern over Tbilisi’s NATO integration and said Moscow sees “dualism” in Georgia’s position.

Karasin, who is Russia’s chief negotiator in the Geneva talks, launched after the August 2008 war, and also is involved in direct dialogue with Tbilisi led from the Georgian side by PM’s special representatives for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze, spoke about relations with Georgia in an interview with Russian newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published on April 7.

He said that “in overall we are developing ties normally in the condition of absence of diplomatic relations between our countries”.

Karasin, however, said that “aggressive minded” opposition in Georgia tries to “artificially aggravate” situation in bilateral ties between Tbilisi and Moscow.

“Opposition forces, which mainly come from ‘Saakashvili’s nest’, are artificially aggravating situation today. These are aggressive minded people, who are exploiting economic difficulties, which Tbilisi faces, for their own interests,” Karasin said.

“However, for the future it is important for Tbilisi to shake off the burden of the previous unbridled, anti-Russian regime, which saw all kind of evil in its northern neighbor. Whatever negative was happening in the country or in the region, it was immediately linked to Russia,” Karasin said. “That’s an example of political idiotism,” and added that Georgia’s “attack on South Ossetia” was possibly dictated from outside.

“Georgia’s new leadership aspires to build its relations with Russia on more pragmatic basis,” he said.

“Of course we are concerned that mysterious NATO training centers are emerging on the territory of Georgia, promising statements are made about the need to speed up moving towards NATO structures,” Karasin said.

“We take into consideration and view it as dualism in [Georgia’s] position,” he added.

Commenting of Russia’s recently signed “alliance” treaties with breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Karasin said that “hysteria caused by Tbilisi and the West” over these agreements “is an attempt to return the situation in the region back to August, 2008.”

“We cannot allow Tbilisi to constantly call under question their [Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s] ability to develop relations with us in a way they deem it necessary,” Karasin said. (

Bus and metro drivers may strike on April 14

Employees of Tbilisi Transport Company including bus and metro drivers may go on strike on April 14.

As bus driver Jemal Tsertsvadze has told InterPressNews, the reason behind the strike is that City Hall has not given them bonuses.

According to Tsertsvadze, City Hall provided all its agencies with bonuses, equal to 80% of an employee’s salary, except for them. (IPN)

President Awards Healthcare Minister with Saint George’s Order

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has awarded Minister of Labor, Healthcare and Social Affairs Davit Sergeenko with Saint George’s Order of Victory for his personal contribution to successful healthcare reforms and for his high level of professionalism.

“He made revolutionary steps in terms of protection of our citizens’ health; I would like to mention the universal health care program. I thank Davit Sergeenko for these activities,” – President Margvelashvili said.

The official ceremony was held at the Avlabari Presidential Residence.

Davit Sergeenko was appointed as the Minister of Health in October of 2012. As per the IRI survey, Sergeenko is the best liked politician in Georgia. Davit Sergeenko and President Giorgi Margvelashvili lead with 62% each the IRI rating. (Frontnews)