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The News in Brief

Friday, May 19
Free Trade Agreement with China creates interesting possibilities for Georgia to attract investments

“The Free Trade Agreement with Russia is an important document that creates very interesting possibilities for Georgia to attract investments,” Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili said at a governmental session today.

According to the Prime Minister, Georgia is gradually bringing back the geo-strategic function it has historically enjoyed.

“We have signed free trade agreements with our neighbouring countries as well as the EU. It makes Georgia very interesting in terms of investment potential. We consider that the free trade agreement with China will be of the utmost significance for attracting new investments and developing export-oriented industries,” he said.

According to Kvirikashvili, this is a very important new door opened in terms of development of Georgia’s export potential.

“From our point of view this is an important step forward,” Kvirikashvili said. (IPN)

Georgian inmates stage theatre show in Tbilisi

Tbilisi's Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre hosted a play staged and performed by Georgian inmates, with officials, family members and other inmates in the audience of the venue earlier today.

The celebrated theatre's stage saw 18 convicts from the No 16 Low Risk Penitential Facility in the city of Rustavi present their performance of Twelve Angry Men, directed by Guram Bregadze.

Staged after a 1954 play by American writer Reginald Rose, the show featured script and score adapted for the show by the performing cast of inmates, and saw tributes by officials including the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Based on a script following a jury deliberating over a suspect in homicide trial, the performance was called "moving and emotional" by the head of Georgia's government, who wished the participating inmates a "prompt return" to their families.

The staging was presented to an audience that also included Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze and various members of the government. Among the guests were also Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II, representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps and around 120 inmates from penitential facilities.

Besides the play, the Rustaveli Theatre also hosted an exhibition of various items created by convicts who are still incarcerated. The display was held in the foyer of the venue and attended by Kvirikashvili along with the Minister of Corrections of Georgia, Kakha Kakhishvili. (

New South Ossetian Government head appointed

On May 16, the South Ossetian legislature approved Erik Pukhaev as the head of the region’s 12-member cabinet of ministers.

Pukhaev, who served as the deputy head in the previous government, was chosen for the post by the new South Ossetian leader Anatoly Bibilov, who presented his candidacy to the region’s 34-member assembly on May 5. Bibilov addressed the legislators before the confirmation vote on May 16, calling his nominee an “experienced manager” and a “decent person.”

“We are well-aware of his professional qualities, the qualities of an experienced manager, who knows how to achieve results, a decent and earnest person who devoted himself to serving his people,” Bibilov told the members of the region’s legislature.

The new Tskhinvali leader touched upon Pukhaev’s priorities as well, saying he needs to solve a wide range of issues concerning healthcare, housing, infrastructure, financial sector, economic development, unemployment, agriculture, etc.

During his confirmation speech, Pukhaev pledged to implement the pre-election program of Anatoly Bibilov and spoke about the need of conducting “active and targeted socio-economic policy.”

All 32 attending parliament members endorsed the nomination. Pukhaev’s appointment was later formalized by Anatoly Bibilov, who signed a decree approving him on the new position.

Bibilov was proclaimed victor of the presidential election that took place on April 9. The government resigned two weeks later, on April 24. Shortly after the election, on May 2, Bibilov met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia.

Erik Pukhaev (b. 1957, Znauri District) previously worked as the head of the region’s statistics department, and also served as the deputy head of government from 2014 to 2017. (