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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 15
President Initiates Security Strategy Update

The National Security Council’s Secretariat announced on February 13 the launch of nationwide discussions for developing the country’s “unified” National Security Strategy.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili first spoke on the matter in his opening speech at the inaugural session of the newly-elected Parliament on November 18.

“The global political context, the challenges facing the country and the transformig security environment in the Black Sea region require an update of the national security policy,” President Margvelashvili told parliamentarians.

Responding to these challenges, Margvelashvili outlined, necessitated updating the national and agency-level strategic documents and developing the “unified” security document based on them, and with the participation of civil society representatives and the country’s senior officials.

NSC Secretary Davit Rakviashvili, who voiced the initiative again in a conversation with Rustavi 2 on February 11, stated that “new approaches” need to be elaborated, citing “changes in the global security architecture and the diversification of threats”.

Rakviashvili explained that “broad public participation” is necessary in the process. “Without unified national approach, it will be difficult to generate the resolve, that the nation will need to cope with these hybrid threats,” Rakviashvili added.

He also expressed hope that Georgia’s security-related agencies would support and participate in the process, which, in the words of Rakviashvili, will start in the second half of February.

The NSC released a statement on February 13 saying that the NSC Secretariat and the President’s administration will launch “the process of strategic discussions and dialogue, the purpose of which, is to develop Georgia’s National Security Strategy through consultations with Georgian citizens”.

Here again, the NSC spoke on the changes in the global security environment, as well as the diversity of threats, and argued for “updating approaches, so that adequate responses are given to existing challenges”.

“The strategy should respond to security-related challenges and define the implementation mechanisms of common national priorities – national sovereignty, territorial integrity, freedom, stability and Euro-Atlantic integration,” the statement clarified.

The NSC emphasized that “the involvement and awareness of the public” strengthens “one of the core pillars of contemporary security system – national willpower and resolve”, which it considers “crucial” in countering contemporary threats.

The NSC expressed hope that “an open and non-bureaucratic process” will be pursued with the participation of security-related state institutions, the security community, national and particularly, regional media and other societal groups.

The role of the NSC, which is chaired by the President - whose authority has been significantly downsized by amends made to the constitution in November 2013 - was sidelined by the security and crisis management council, which was established late 2013 and is chaired by the Prime Minister. (

Moscow’s Patriarchate member says attempt to poison Georgia’s Patriarch is politically motivated

As the head of Moscow’s Patriarchate Social Relations Department Vsevold Chaplin has declared, the attempt to poison Georgia’s Patriarch is politically motivated.

“I’m afraid this is all part of a game of Georgian politicians’ games. Some of them may be related to the attempt of getting rid of the patriarch. This story has been used to affect the church,” he has remarked.

“Patriarch Ilia II is a respected person. He represents a symbol of Orthodox conservatism in the world. No politicians are comfortable with a man having such influence, so it may be a matter of jealousy or fear. This news is very concerning. In my point of view, all this has been politically motivated,” Chaplin has said. (IPN)

Meteorologists say snow in forecast till Febuary 17 in western Georgia

National Environment Agency has reported on the weather forecast.

As IPN has been informed by Georgia’s Environment Protection Ministry, the western part of Georgia will see snow from the evening of February 14 till February 17.

Several locations will experience heavy snowfall, with a threat of avalanches in high mountainous regions also being expected.

There will be black ice on roads, and a strong westerly wind will blow. In addition, coastal regions may see 4-5 magnitude storms. (ipn)