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The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 22
Four More Countries Reject Abkhazia Polls

Canada, Estonia, Finland and Lithuania joined in denouncing the March 12 Parliamentary Elections in breakaway Abkhazia.

“Canada condemns latest Russian actions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These measures undermine the sovereignty of Georgia,” Global Affairs Canada, the country’s department for foreign policy activities, stated on March 17.

“Finland does not recognize the so called parliamentary elections in Abkhazia on 12 March 2017. Support to Georgia’s territorial integrity,” Paivi Peltokoski, Director of the Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, wrote on March 15.

“So called parliamentary elections in occupied Abkhazia, Georgia are illegal. Support to Georgia’s territitorial integrity,” the Estonian Foreign Ministry stated on March 13.

“So called elections in Abkhazia, Georgia, have no legal effect. Full support for Georgia’s territorial integrity!” the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry wrote on March 14.

Voters in Abkhazia cast their ballots on March 12 to elect the region’s 35-member National Assembly.

Elections in the region were denounced as illegitimate by Tbilisi and the international community, including the United States, Poland, NATO and Azerbaijan. (

Spanish police detain 48 in raids against Georgian robbery gangs

Spanish police have arrested dozens of Georgian nationals suspected of home burglaries in an elaborate operation said to be targeting ‘the Georgian mafia’.

The police released information on Thursday but operations were carried out earlier, in February.

Altogether, police detained 48 people in several simultaneous raids in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities, most of them Georgians with extensive criminal records.

Police searched their apartments and found stolen jewellery and tools suspected to have been used for the robberies.

The robberies were carried out in 2016 and 2017, mostly in Madrid and Murcia.

All the recovered items are currently on exhibit in the main police headquarters in Madrid. This month, any citizen who has been a victim of robbery may visit the exhibition to recover his or her stolen items.

The operation was carried out in cooperation with Georgian police, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia told Interpressnews news agency.

A suspected Georgian mafia boss and 35 others were arrested in Spain in July, 2015. (DF watch)

Tbilisi City Hall releases statement denying reports on Mayor driving drunk

Tbilisi City Hall has released an official statement denying reports on Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania driving when being under influence of alcohol and causing a road accident.

The Agency assesses the reports as an attempt to discredit Narmania and Tbilisi City Hall.

“According to social media reports, yesterday, March 19, Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania was driving a car while drunk and caused a road accident.

“We would like to declare with full responsibility that this information is false and no such incident has occurred. The vehicle mentioned in the reports is neither the property of Tbilisi City Hall nor of Davit Narmania.

“We believe that such reports are aimed at discrediting Davit Narmania and City Hall,” reads the statement. (IPN)

Three years since annexation of Crimea: Georgia supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity

“Georgia supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine and condemns the so-called referendum conducted in Crimea three years ago,” said the Foreign Ministry of Georgia in a statement released on the third anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea.

"The so-called referendum conducted in the Crimea three years ago under the pressure of the Russian armed forces led to the illegal occupation and annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. These acts were committed in complete disregard for the Constitution and legislation of Ukraine, as well as for the fundamental norms and principles of international law,” the statement read.

It added that the Georgian Foreign Ministry condemns again the aggression committed against Ukraine and the attempts to forcefully modify its borders. The ministry notes that this is an experience that Georgia has also gone through.

"This practice of occupation and annexation undermines the established international order posing a serious threat to international security and stability. Today as never before, the firm and consolidated position of the international community is of utmost importance in order to resist the ongoing aggression against sovereign states and to ensure peace and stability through the establishment of meaningful international security mechanisms on the ground,” the ministry said. (