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The News in Brief

Monday, April 27
Finland's President approves EU-Georgia Association deal

Finland has completed the ratification process of the Georgia-European Union (EU) Association Agreement (AA) thanks to the country's president signing the final document this week.

The Finish parliament ratified the document in late March but it needed to be signed by the president before it could come into force.

President Sauli Niinisto signed the EU-Georgia AA, alongside the AA deals made between the EU and Moldova and the EU and Ukraine on Friday.

The AA deal was signed by Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and the EU on June 27, 2014 in Brussels.

Georgia has already ratified its agreement. The ratification process is currently ongoing in EU member states.

EU Association deals must be ratified by all 28 EU member countries before they can be fully implemented.

Countries that have ratified the Georgia-EU deal are: Finland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

European Parliament approved the EU-Georgia deal on December 18, 2014.

The agreement deepens Georgia’s political and economic cooperation with the EU and its member states.

The aim of the agreement is to gradually integrate the associated country into the EU's internal market by establishing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the Union and Georgia.

The agreement supports stability and democracy in Georgia and creates a framework for further expansion of economic relations.

The budget does not affect the GEL exchange rate - Nodar Khaduri

According to Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri, the budget does not impact on the GEL exchange rate.

He said the government is working on the issue and “we’ll probably get results soon”.

‘’The budget does not affect the GEL exchange rate. We are working on the issue together with the National Bank. I hope we’ll soon see results. I want to say that the change of the GEL rate is a temporary event,” the Minister said

The governmental house of Kutaisi will probably be sold out - Irakli Gharibashvili

“I don’t have any position with regard to the governmental house of Kutaisi; the building must probably be sold out,” Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili told reporters.

He also talked about the parliamentary building of Kutaisi.

‘’We are trying to find some other function for the Kutaisi parliamentary building, which cost 350 million, and also for the governmental house, which cost 80 million. I don’t know why these buildings were needed in Kutaisi, while there were so many other important projects. I don’t have any position with regard to the governmental house of Kutaisi; the building should probably be sold," said the Prime Minister.

Georgia’s National Currency Significantly Devalued against Dollar

Georgia’s national currency has devalued against the Dollar.

The National Bank has set a new exchange rate, according to which, 1 USD will cost 2.2844 GEL from April 25. The previous rate was 2.2589.

According to NBG, the Lari has devalued against the Euro,too. One Euro will cost 2.4747 GEL from April 25; while, the previous exchange rate was 2.4279.

PM, Health Minister Open Medical Center in Kharagauli

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko have opened a medical center in the district Kharagauli, West Georgia.

The new ambulatory center is intended for regular and emergency medical services. The total cost of the project was GEL 548 045, and 9 locals were employed in the construction.

After the opening of the new medical center, the Prime Minister spoke with locals gathered in the surrounding area. The locals thanked the Premier for opening the ambulatory center and noted that they had to receive the primary medical care in the most difficult conditions so far.

The Prime Minister informed them that in the near future, two-story multi-profile clinic will be open next to the ambulatory.

Relations with the U.S. Orthodox Church stimulate cooperation between the two National Churches - Ilia II

Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, his Holiness Ilia II has hosted Metropolitan of all USA and Canada reverend Tikhon. Members of Georgia’s Holy Synod also attended the meeting.

Head of U.S. Orthodox Church thanked Ilia II for the invitation. In his turn, Georgia’s Patriarch remarked that establishing relationships between the churches of the United States and Georgia promote cooperation between the two countries.

“I am glad that our delegation is visiting this oldest church and country. Our Orthodox Church has never forgotten your support. I would like to remark that you were one of the first to recognize the independence of our church … thank you for hosting us and for your prayers,” head of Orthodox Church of the United States remarked.

Head of the U.S. Orthodox Church Tikhon (Mark. R. Morland) arrived in Georgia on April, 24.

As the Patriarchate of Georgia has informed InterPressNews, he will hold a service at Holy Trinity Cathedral on April 25-26 together with the Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness Ilia II.

The honorable guest left Georgia in the morning April 26.