The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, January 5
Serbia prepares to lift visa requirements for Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan

While Georgian citizens are waiting for the final decision about a visa waiver system with the European Union, Serbia prepares to waive its visa rules for citizens of not only Georgia, but also its two neighbors in the South Caucasus.

“It was decided to initiate a procedure to abolish visas for holders of ordinary passports with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, and to initiate the abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports with a certain group of countries,” Serbia’s Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.

According to Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, staff at its embassy in Greece are working to specify details regarding dates and procedures for suspending visa requirements.

Georgians wanting to visit Serbia currently have to obtain a visa from the Serbian consulate in Kiev, Ukraine, but can enter visa-free if they have residency permit in either the United States, a country within the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland or an EU country.

Serbia will become the 26th country to allow Georgians entry without a visa. (

Man dressed up as Santa Claus robs store in Batumi

A man dressed up as Santa Claus has robbed a store in Batumi, western Georgia. The man knocked on the door of the Yalchin Supermarket saying he wanted to congratulate them on the New Year.

The incident happened on New Year’s Eve.

When the store employees opened the door, the man threatened them with a gun and demanded money.

According to local residents, the employees were afraid and gave him up to 40,000 Gel.

An investigation has been launched according to the article #179 of Georgia’s Criminal Code. The perpetrator is still at large. (IPN)

Sherlock’s back: Why Georgian fans are both happy and sad at the same time

Sherlock has returned after a three-year gap between episodes, bringing excitement to its fans from all over the world, but it’s the TV series Georgian fans that are most thrilled by. Why? Because the new episode features several scenes where the action takes place in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi.

The newest episode of Sherlock, The Six Thatchers, was aired on BBC on January 1 2017. Sherlock’s Georgian fans immediately went to Facebook to express their excitement over the release of the long-awaited episode and also over the fact that the episode featured Tbilisi.

Shortly about the episode

Sherlock is asked to investigate the mysterious death of a young man, which he solves quickly but is then led into another mystery when a bust of Margaret Thatcher owned by the dead man's father is smashed. Further busts are smashed, and Sherlock discovers that the mystery is linked to John Watson’s wife Mary and her past as a government agent. A figure from her past is bent on revenge in the belief that Mary betrayed him, but Sherlock discovers that someone else was really the traitor.

What do all of these have to do with Georgia? It’s revealed that all the Thatcher statues were made in Tbilisi. The episode contains scenes that describe the four British agents’ mission in Georgia’s capital six years ago.

Misleading details about Tbilisi?

After the first wave of excitement, Georgians started noticing that Tbilisi was shown in not-so-attractive context. The city was presented as a place of violence where terrorists use brutal torture techniques against foreign agents.

"It’s a pity that finally your country and city is mentioned somewhere but it’s put in the context of the dark 90s with terrorism and Kalashnikovs [a type of rifle made in Russia] all round. Seems like we are portrayed in the minds of Europeans as bearded, prehistoric men,” one user wrote.

Others argued and said that despite the action took place in Tbilisi, terrorists weren’t Georgian because they spoke in Russian and they looked like Russian. However, they agreed that the episode contained a number of misleading details, like: if the terrorists were Georgian why did they speak Russian? And if they were not Georgian, why was there no hint of this for the global audience so that they don’t think negatively about Georgians?

The good news is that in five days, on January 7 another new episode is expected to be released and Georgian fans are among those who are looking forward to it. (Agenda)