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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 29
Head of EU Monitoring Mission Leaves His Post

Kestutis Jankauskas, head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), is leaving his post to assume a new role as the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan, the EUMM announced in its August 25 press release.

Jankauskas, a Lithuanian career diplomat, was appointed as the Head of the EUMM in December 2014, after serving as Lithuania’s ambassador to NATO since 2011. He will assume his new post in Azerbaijan on September 1.

On August 22, Jankauskas met Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who awarded him with the Order of Honor of Georgia “in recognition of his personal contribution and efforts in providing peace and safety in Georgia,” reads the EUMM press release.

Danish diplomat Erik Hoeeg will serve as the Acting Head of Mission until a new permanent head is appointed.

The EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), which was mandated to oversee the implementation of the 2008 Russian-Georgian ceasefire agreement, has unarmed monitors on the ground, but has never been allowed access to either Abkhazia or South Ossetia/Tskhinvali Region.

Georgia, US sign memorandum for further development of Georgia’s defence system

The Georgian Defence Ministry and the United States European Command have signed a memorandum of understanding about strengthening the defence capabilities of Georgia.

The memorandum envisages cooperation in implementation of the Georgia Defence Readiness Program (GDPR), a program that is part of the framework agreement on security cooperation for 2016-2019 between the US Department of Defence and the Georgian Defence Ministry. The agreement is to promote the further development of Georgia’s defence system.

Defence Minister Levan Izoria said that the memorandum signed today will mainly focus on training aimed at advancing Georgia’s territorial defence capabilities.

"Together with our American counterparts, we are planning to form, equip and train nine battalions during the next three years in order to boost our defence and make Georgia a safer country in the future”, Izoria said after signing the ceremony.

From the American side, the document was signed by Major General David W. Allvin, the Director of the Strategy and Policy Headquarters at US European Command in Germany.

Izoria thanked him for the United States’ strong support for Georgia and stressed the importance of the Georgia Defence Readiness Program for the country’s defence sector.

Georgian singer Kakhaber Tsiskaridze to run for Batumi Mayoral elections

Georgian singer Kakhaber Tsiskaridze will reportedly run for Batumi’s mayoral elections. He will stand as an independent mayoral candidate.