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The News in Brief

Friday, March 3
Synod to be convened

The Holy Synod to be convened approximately by March 7. It is most probable that father Giorgi Mamaladze’s case would be considered as well as the controversial position of reverend Petre bishop of Chkondidi. (The Messenger)

Vano Merabishvili against Georgia

Former Interior Minister of UNM government Vano Merabishvili appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He is complaining that his rights were abused by the Georgian Court. Human rights ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili fixed his position, which is considered by Eka Beselia, a leading Georgian Dream member as a support of Merabishvili by Nanuashvili. (The Messenger)

Rustavi 2 returns to Kibar Khalvashi

The Supreme Court received a verdict late evening on Thursday, that Rustavi 2 TV to be returned to Kibar Khalvashi. Details to be coming. (The Messenger)

Karasin: Russia Won’t Retract Abkhazia, S. Ossetia Recognition

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, the country’s chief negotiator in the Geneva International Discussions, rejected the possibility of retracting the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in an attempt to reassure Georgia’s two breakaway provinces.

Commenting the remarks of Zurab Abashidze, Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, that Moscow will “ultimately” withdraw its recognition of the two regions, Grigory Karasin noted that “such speculations emerge occasionally” and added that “this may be a clumsy attempt to encourage mistrust” towards the Russian Federation.

“It is difficult to see where they come from… The Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia are independent sovereign states with which the Russian Federation enjoys neighbourly, friendly and allied relations. This is our firm and unshakeable position. We would like everyone to remember this once and for all," he stated.

Speaking on the restoration of diplomatic ties between Moscow and Tbilisi, in his October 31 interview with STARVISION, Tbilisi-based multimedia platform, Zurab Abashidze noted that “it can not be on the agenda unless there is a progress in settling the problems related to our conflict regions.”

He, however, added that “if the situation changes for better” and there will be “new realities” and “meaningful progress” in conflict settlement, Tbilisi would reconsider its positions.

Asked whether he deems the withdrawal of recognition possible, Zurab Abashidze responded that “it is possible and it will be so ultimately.”

“I do not know if this will happen this year or five years from now, but I am sure it will happen sooner or later … I think that many people in Russia are now coming to terms that the decision on the recognition of these regions as independent states was a big mistake. I can see it, I feel it and I hear it,” Abashidze stated.

Abashidze’s October remarks resurfaced in the Russian-language media on February 26, prompting statements from the de facto Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities.

The de facto Abkhaz Foreign Ministry said in its February 27 statement that Abashidze’s “attempts to try on the prophet’s mantle and … reverse the strategic nature of the Abkhaz-Russian relations” is “ludicrous” and “surprising.”

“Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed the irreversibility of the decision and it is absolutely senseless for the Georgian leadership to expect any "u-turn" … The recognition of Abkhazia is not subject to revision,” the de facto Abkhaz Foreign Ministry stated.

“We call on the Georgian authorities again to stop indulging in the illusions and take a sober look at the existing realities,” the statement added.

Similar to the Abkhaz MFA, the de facto South Ossetian Foreign Ministry denounced Abashidze’s remarks in its February 28 statement as “prophesy” and said that the recognition of South Ossetia was “well-thought and justified politically.”

“Georgia’s position to reject the geopolitical realities, does not allow its politicians to take a sober look at the progress in the regional stability and security, which has been achieved since Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia,” the de facto South Ossetian Foreign Ministry stated.

The de facto Ministry also touched upon President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s recent remarks on the radioactive transit from Abkhazia and South Ossetia calling it a “nonsense.” (

Tennis player Oksana Kalashnikova takes WTA open doubles win

Georgian tennis player Oksana Kalashnikova claimed her fourth Women's Tennis Association (WTA) doubles win on Sunday as she triumphed in the final of the Hungarian Ladies Open in Budapest.

Kalashnikova paired with Taiwan’s former World No. 1 Su-Wei Hsieh in the doubles category of the WTA competition that ran from February 19-26. The pair was seeded fourth for the Budapest competition.

After winning three playoff rounds from February 22-24, the pair reached Sunday’s final to face Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva and Australia’s Arina Rodionova.

The match on the Kormoczy Court was won by the Georgian-Taiwanese pair in three sets 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.

Kalashnikova gained 280 WTA ranking points with the win and is now placed as World No. 44 in WTA doubles ranking.

Played on hard surface, the Hungarian Ladies Open was held for the first time since its reinstatement as a WTA competition earlier this year.

The singles category of the tournament was won by local favourite Timea Babos who defeated Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova 6:7, 6:4, 6:3. (

Georgia’s Interior Minister Meets Head of State of Border service of Azerbaijan

The Ministry of Internal Affairs hosted a delegation of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan within the frames of a working visit.

Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili met with the head of the State Border Service of Azerbaijan, Elchin Guliyev, and other members of the delegation.

At the meeting, both sides discussed issues connected with the strengthening of the Georgian-Azerbaijani state border and further enhancement of the existing cooperation which will contribute to defending borders more effectively and ensuring security of the whole region.

Giorgi Mgebrishvili and Elchin Gulyiev also reviewed the terms of the memorandum envisaging the establishment of the Border Representative’s Institute, which will be signed in the near future.

The Minister discussed reforms implemented in the Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as ongoing and future projects. As was stated by Giorgi Mgebrishvili, large-scale projects are planned to be implemented this year in full compliance with western standards, envisaging infrastructure rehabilitation on the Georgian-Azerbaijani state border, equipping BCPs with the latest technologies, and training for border guards to boost professional skills.

Within the frames of the visit, members of the delegation also met with the head of the Georgian Border Police, Dato Nikoleishvili, and director of the Patrol Police Department, Goga Razmadze.

The guests also visited the Azerbaijani museum and laid a wreath on Heydar Aliyev’s memorial. (MIA)