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The News in Brief

Friday, April 8
Lithuania supports the adequate reflection of the progress achieved by Georgia on its path towards Euro-Atlantic integration

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze is paying an official visit to the Republic of Lithuania.

The first meeting was held with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius. Mikheil Janelidze and his Lithuanian counterpart highlighted the close relations between their countries.

The Georgian Foreign Minister thanked Lithuania for its unequivocal support of Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The Ministers underlined the recent increasing dynamics of bilateral co-operation in the spheres of trade, education and culture, noting that the trade turnover between Georgia and Lithuania increases every year.

Special attention was paid to the ongoing co-operation in the education sector and Lithuania’s contributions towards the tuition fees of Georgian students.

One of the other main talking points was Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration agenda. Linas Linkevicius reaffirmed Lithuania’s support in this direction and underlined the progress achieved by Georgia in the integration process.

Linas Linkevicius also underlined that Georgia is already mature and ready for embracing visa-free travel to the EU and expressed the hope that the visa liberalization process will be concluded in the summer of this year. Linas Linkevicius reaffirmed his support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and expressed hope that the Warsaw Summit will adequately reflect Georgia's prospects for integration into the Alliance.

Discussions also focused on the current situation in the region, including the recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and on the need to ensure peace in the region.

The Ministers also spoke about the ongoing developments in Georgia’s occupied regions. Lithuania reaffirmed its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Ministers underlined the role of the Georgian-Lithuanian Commission for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and welcomed the conduction of the meeting of the Commission as part of the visit of Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze to Vilnius.

In the frames of the visit, Mikheil Janelidze will also meet representatives of the Lithuanian legislative and executive branches and will deliver a speech on “Georgia's European Way” at Vilnius University. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia)

Talk show host fired, reason unclear

Shalva Ramishvili, a talk show host and producer at Imedi TV, was fired on Tuesday.

In an interview with DFWatch, the journalist ruled out the possibility that he was fired because of government pressure. There was no warning from the owners or the director of Imedi, he said.

“Today, the company which prepares Ilo Beroshvili’s Show, Once in Georgia, the TV series Ori Gogo (which hasn’t been aired yet) and provides my participation in the talk show Politics, received a letter from Imedi TV that the contracts have been terminated. The reason is not explained, and accordingly, I won’t be hosting Politics this Friday with Teona. Sunday there won’t be Ilo Beroshvili’s show and the new TV episodes are also terminated. I am planning to find out what is happening,” Ramishvili wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday evening.

Ramishvili writes that the TV company violated the contract conditions and fired him and 50 other people without giving any reason. Imedi TV has not yet commented on the matter.

Ramishvili says that there have been some reasons, but he will wait until everything is clear before talking about it. He explained that the contract says the parties must inform about termination of contract 30 days in advance, which Imedi hasn’t done.

“The only thing I can say now is that pressure from the government is ruled out,” he told us.

In 2013, Shalva Ramishvili was head of the election headquarters of President Giorgi Margvelashvili, and went on to work at Imedi TV and the president’s administration. Earlier, he was host of the the talk show Subiekturi Azri at Maestro TV. He has also worked at Radio 105 and TV 202, a company which he was co-owner of.

In 2005, Ramishvili was arrested and charged with extorting USD 100,000 from United National Movement MP Koba Bekauri. He spent four years in jail.

Ramishvili is not the first person accusing Imedi of being unfairly sacked. In September 2015, the TV company fired journalist Inga Grigolia and shut down her talk shows. Ramishvili used to be a co-host, along with Grigolia, of the talk show Imedis Kvira, which was also shut down. Imedi explained that the TV company was reorganizing its social and political shows.

The Politics show was a replacement for Inga Grigolia’s political show Reaktsia. It was hosted by Ramishvili and Teona Gogelia.

Gogelia and Imedi TV remain unavailable for comment. (

Caucasus Nature Fund Officially Welcomes New US-Born Director

German non-profit organization theCaucasus Nature Fund (CNF) on Wednesday officially welcomed its new regional executive director George Giacomini via a message posted on its official Web site.

A dual citizen of the United States and Italy, Giacomini - who goes by the name of Geof - previously worked as the country director for Save the Children in Azerbaijan and Egypt. According to the organization’s website, Giacomini is a Russian speaker who graduated from the University of Berkeley in California, one of the US’ top ranked centres for higher education.

“Geof is ideally suited to lead CNF’s next phase. An experienced director of programs and people, he spent much of the last 15 years directing regional and country programs for Save the Children in the Caucasus and, most recently, in Egypt… CNF is planning a strategic shift in its center of gravity which makes Geof’s experience in and commitment to the region crucial,” board member and outgoing director David Morrison said in his message on CNF’s Web site.

Morrison had served as the organization’s director since its inception in 2008. He officially stepped down in March, but intends to remain on CNF’s advisory board.

Though not officially announced until Wednesday, Giacomini was hired as Morrison’s replacement in 2015.

The CNF’s stated mission is to guarantee the conservation of the Caucasus’ unique flora, fauna and ecosystems by providing funding for operational costs and sustainable development in the region’s numerous protected areas. (