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The News in Brief

Monday, April 20
Georgian sambo wrestler wins gold in Spain

Spain-based Georgian sambo wrestler received a gold medal at the Spanish Championship in Madrid.

Gia Magradze competed for Club De Lucha Olimpica and his club’s overall result was four gold, two silver and two bronze medals, Georgia's Sports Ministry said.

In the final match, Magradze defeated Juan Espino of the Canary Islands, who had been undefeated since 2010.

The Georgian wrestler triumphed at the championship after a 15-year break from the sport.

Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport. The word "SAMBO" is an acronym, which literally translates in English to "self-defence without weapons".

Georgian Fighter Dies in Ukraine

Another Georgian fighter has been killed in Ukraine. Commander of the Georgian legion in Ukraine, Mamuka Mamulashvili, posted about it on his Facebook page.

According to Mamulashvili, Giorgi Janelidze, who was fighting in the Azov battalion, was killed in action with separatist forces near Shiroki.

“We offer our condolences to the family of Giorgi Janelidze, and the Georgian people. Janelidze died a hero,” Mamulashvili writes.

Janelidze is the third Georgian fighter to be killed in Ukraine’s civil war.

Defence Minister, UK Ambassador Discuss Cooperation Issues

Defence Minister of Georgia, Mindia Janelidze, has held a meeting with Ambassador of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Georgia, Alexandra Hall Hall.

According to the Ministry of Defence, Deputy Defence Minister Levan Girsiashvili, UK Defence Attache LTC Nick Wilkes, Political Advisor to Ambassador Chris Gaff and UK Special Advisor to the Georgian MoD Stephan Glover attended the meeting as well.

Reportedly, the two sides talked about current cooperation issues and future prospects in the defence sphere between Georgia and the UK. Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspiration, the implementation process of NATO-Georgia Substantial Package and the UK’s contribution in this process were also discussed at the meeting.

The Defence Minister outlined Great Britain’s importance as Georgia’s strategic partner, and hence close cooperation with the UK is very essential. “Periodically, we review the cooperation process with our partners. Georgia has a very active relation with the British side. I’d like to emphasize cooperation in military education – we actively cooperate in the direction of joint training. We hope that the British side will participate in the NATO-Georgia joint training scheduled to be held this summer. We also have a number of exchange meetings planned. Therefore, similar meetings and discussion of cooperation prospects are necessary to be organized”, stated Minister Mindia Janelidze.

Alexandra Hall Hall focused on close and fruitful cooperation with Defence Ministry of Georgia: “We have a very good working relationship with the Georgian Ministry of Defence, with the Minister personally and his team. The purpose of my meeting today was to discuss current levels of UK-Georgia cooperation in defence. I was able to confirm that the UK will be contributing to the NATO Core Team to be established in the Georgian Ministry of Defence as part of the NATO package agreed at the Wales Summit. Actually, the UK will be making a very large financial contribution to the Trust Funds which has been set up to fund this defence capacity building operation. We also talked about the other defence cooperation that is going on between us. We have several Georgian students on British military courses in the UK, as well as a number of defence visits. We have a director of international security policy visiting this June, and we will discuss further defence cooperation”.

Mamaladze Claims Khidasheli Removed His Name from List of Political Prisoners

“Tina Khidasheli fulfilled the instructions of former President Mikheil Saakashvili to remove my name from the list of political prisoners,” the President’s former envoy to the Kvemo Kartli region Levan Mamaladze said in the talk show Reaction on Imedi TV.

Mamaladze claims that Khidasheli does not want him to return to Georgia, as she failed to win in Bolnisi elections.

Davit Sakvarelidze claims he was offered a bribe in Ukraine

According to Ukraine's Deputy Prosecutor General Davit Sakvarelidze, some people tried to bribe him in Ukraine.

"Yes, they attempted to bribe me – I was offered 10 million dollars a month, but I refused,” said Sakvarelidze in his interview with TV.

He talked about the situation in Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office and said that honest professionals make up only 30 percent of the staff. That is why he said he is going to fire a lot of people and raise salaries for the remaining employees, as well as introduce a bonus system.

"In Georgia we created a system where we were rewarding investigators for uncovering corruption worth millions of dollars,”- said the Deputy Prosecutor.

He also commented on the recent TV arrests in Ukraine. Sakvarelidze said the system was effective in curbing corruption.

"We declared zero tolerance towards corruption. All need to understand that our goal is serious. Corrupt officials need to understand that the public is on our side. I think they've already understood and seen it," said Sakvarelidze.

According to him, the Ministry’s reorganization will be completed on July 20.

Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Davit Sakvarelidze held the same post in Georgia during Saakashvili’s government.

Georgia, EaP countries sign EU-document to boost rural development

The country’s Minister of Agriculture, Otar Danelia, and his colleagues from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries have signed a joint declaration in support of agriculture and rural development advisory systems.

Danelia and agricultural ministers from four of the five other EaP countries (Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine) signed the agreement in Riga, Latvia, yesterday at the international conference ‘Rural and Agricultural Advisory Systems (RAAS): Best Practices and Experiences in the Eastern Partnership’. EaP country Azerbaijan did not sign the agreement.

The Georgian Minister noted the declaration foresaw further deepening of cooperation between the European Union (EU) and EaP countries in the agricultural sector, including supporting the development of small and medium businesses and advisory centres.

"Today a declaration was signed which will strengthen relations between Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia even more. It is essential that Latvia, as the chair country of the EU, is the contributor to this process,” Danelia said.

The declaration stated that the agriculture ministers of EaP countries agreed that the development of agricultural advisory systems was "a priority”, because it contributed to the training of qualified personnel, continuous education and professional expertise, which would lead to economic growth of each country.

Meanwhile the Eastern Partnership programme was a priority of Latvia’s foreign policy.

The morning session of the conference was dedicated to the panel discussions by the ministers of EaP states on the role of rural advisory systems in sustainable rural development. The conference aimed to address prerequisites and analyse examples of effective performances of rural and agricultural advisory systems and discuss the opportunities for cooperation between EU member states and EaP states.