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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 22
U.S. Congress soon to start deliberating on supplying weapons to Georgia – Former U.S. Ambassador

It seems that someone in the Kremlin has decided to fuel tensions not only in Ukraine, but in Georgia as well, claimed former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia William H. Courtney in his interview with the Voice of America’s Georgian Bureau.

"It is unclear why the Kremlin wants to do it. The government of Georgia is trying to cooperate with Russia in order to improve relations. It is possible that someone in the Russian authorities believes that it is now time to increase efforts aimed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the neighboring countries," Courtney stated.

The former Ambassador called upon the government of Georgia to further step up security at the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, since in his opinion, this pipeline is far more important than the Baku-Supsa one.

"Perhaps it is time for the West to start rendering more support - not necessarily military assistance - to Georgia in monitoring the pipelines. This goal may be reached though technical help or by making the process of monitoring more sophisticated. Due to the fact that the West refuses to supply arms to Ukraine, Russians may think that they can be more aggressive against Georgia and that the West will not supply arms to Georgia either. I think the U.S. Congress will start considering arms supply not only to Ukraine, but to Georgia as well in the near future. This will not happen very soon, but the debates will start in a few months,” he said. (IPN)

Georgian Parliament Speaker Visits NATO HQ

Georgian parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili will address diplomats from the NATO member states in Brussels in frames of the NATO-Georgia Commission on July 22.

During his visit to the NATO headquarters, Usupashvili will also meet NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow.

“We will talk about all those issues that represent area of our interest in respect of NATO – what we are interested in is speeding up of our integration into NATO and strengthening of our very specific defense capabilities from the political point of view and from other point of views,” Usupashvili told journalists in Tbilisi on July 20

He also said that he views this visit “to some extent as a follow up” of his address to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session in Budapest in May 2015.

In that address Usupashvili said that Georgia is now as ready for NATO membership as some of its members were at the time they were invited and NATO should either give Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) during the next NATO summit in Warsaw in 2016 or declare that MAP is no longer a precursor to eventual full membership. (

Georgia police seize 7 kilos of cocaine at Sarpi

Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday seized more than seven kilograms of cocaine.

According to the ministry, a 25 year old Lebanese man attempted to leave Georgia with the cocaine but was arrested at the checkpoint in Sarpi, at the border with Turkey.

An investigation has been launched for illegal purchase and possession of a large amount of drugs and attempt to bring it out of the country.

The ministry reports that the man held the drugs in a cache inside a handbag. The cache was hidden in a photo album. The total weight of the cocaine was 7,348 grams (259 ounces). (DF Watch)

Georgia will control importing genetically modified food

Georgia is setting import regulations and customs duties on genetically modified food, announced Georgia’s Finance Ministry.

A new law to prohibit importing genetically modified food into Georgia without customs control has entered into force. From now on genetically modified food will be processed under customs control.

Authorised officer from the Revenue Service will control the documents of the imported genetically modified food and will determine whether it meets the labeling rules or not.

Georgia has already set a new law on labeling the genetically modified food which entered into force on July 1, 2013. According to the new law all products that contain genetically modified components must have proper labels informing consumers and allowing them freedom of choice.

If the genetically modified food does not have the labeling it must have the supporting document that proves the products are in compliance with the setting requirements. But if the document does not include this information the special services will make a laboratory research. Until the laboratory research result is known, the product importing process will be suspended.

Those who break the law will be fined 5,000 GEL. If the wrongdoing repeats the fine will increase to 10,000 GEL. However, the importer will be able to fix the problem [label the product] within 30 days period of time. (