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The News in Brief

Friday, April 21
Nicholas Berliner: So-called Russian Embassy in Abkhazia will not have many neighbor embassies

“Support from the EU and U.S. is as strong and firm as it was before. Georgia has not lost our support,” acting U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Nicholas Berliner has told IPN.

He condemned the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to Abkhazia, and responded to the opening of the so-called Russian Embassy.

According to Berliner, the so-called embassy will have no neighbouring embassies, as the international community considers Abkhazia as a part of Georgia.

“We continue supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity,” he added. (IPN)

De-facto Tskhinvali government to close crossing-point for illegal inauguration

Locals of the Russian-occupied Georgian region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) cannot use the crossing-point between the breakaway region and the rest of Georgia for three days.

The de-facto administration of Tskhinvali is closing the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) tomorrow due to the "inauguration” of de-facto president-elect Anatoly Bibilov scheduled this Saturday, April 21.

From tomorrow evening till Saturday morning, people will be temporarily deprived of the right to use the crossing-point "due to strengthened security measures".

Illegal presidential elections were held in Russian occupied Tskhinvali on April 9 accompanied by a referendum on changing Tskhinvali region’s name to ‘the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania”.

Both acts have been denounced by Tbilisi and its international partners.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said earlier that any so-called elections or referendums in the occupied territories of Georgia are illegal and cannot have any legal effect. (

Georgian MP injured after colleague throws ashtray, hits wrong person

A member of the Georgian parliament was lightly injured on Wednesday, after a verbal and physical confrontation that led to an ashtray being hurled at his face.

Otar Kakhidze was accidentally hit by an ashtray during a confrontation between two other MPs inside one of the MPs’ offices.

Giorgi Kandelaki, a member of European Georgia, threw an ashtray towards Vano Zardiashvili, a Georgian Dream member, but missed. Instead, he hit Kakhidze, who was a bystander to the quarrel.

Kakhidze, who is in the same party as Kandelaki, was filmed by the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s Channel 1 leaving the parliament building in Kutaisi Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by his fellow party member Giorgi Tughushi.

This ashtray hurling incident was preceded by loud shouting between members of two opposition parties in the main hall of parliament, during a debate about whether a planned address by the head of the State Security Service should be open or closed to the public.

Emzar Kvitsiani of the Alliance of Patriots accused European Georgia leader Giga Bokeria of being a foreign spy.

“It doesn’t matter if the session will be open or closed when that foreign spy Giga Bokeria is sitting here,” Kvitsiani said.

This remark was derided by members of European Georgia, whose noisy reaction provoked Kvitsiani’s indignation. He took off his jacket, splashed water towards his opponents and rushed to the corner of EG MPs, but was timely stopped by parliament’s security personnel.

European Georgia was formed when members of United National Movement broke away from the party in a bitter feud over the role of leader Mikheil Saakashvili after the 2016 parliamentary elections.

Kvitsiani has a background as a former warlord in Kodori Gorge in the northwest of the country. Kodori was the only part of Abkhazia that remained under Tbilisi’s control prior to the 2008 August War. He displayed disobedience to the central authorities, which led to a special operation by the army and interior ministry troops in the Kodori Gorge in 2006. Kvitisiani escaped to Russia, from where he returned in 2014, and was arrested upon arrival at Tbilisi airport.

Kvitsiani was put on trial and found guilty of sedition and forming an illegal armed militia. The court sentenced him to 12 years in jail, but he was released in 2015 after the prosecution struck a deal. Since then he has been a member of the conservative Alliance of Patriots party. (

Georgian Defense Minister meets with his French colleague

Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria met with his French colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian. During the meeting, the ministers discussed bilateral defence cooperation aspects.

The sides also focused on France`s engagement in the implementation of one of the elements of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package.

Within the framework of the working visit, the Minister of Defence of Georgia will also take part in the fire sparkling ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe dedicated to the memory of soldiers killed in combat operations. (