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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 26
Georgia Spent Nearly Million for U.S. Lobbying in 2016

Georgia spent USD 847 099 for lobbying the U.S. government in 2016, the Government’s press office told on September 15.

According to the information, the Government paid fees to the following companies last year:
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP – GEL 1 375 884.58 (USD 553 017);
The Harbour Group LLC – GEL 631 021.04 (USD 253 630);
RES – Public Affairs Corporate Affairs GmbH – GEL 96 408.36 (USD 38 750).

In the first six months of 2017, the Georgian Government paid The Harbour Group LLC GEL 197 299.46 (USD 79 301).

The Government’s most recent contract, signed with StrateVarious LLC, a Virginia-based company, is active from July 1, 2017 and is to be terminated on July 1, 2018.

Under the contract, the Government is paying the company a monthly fee of USD 12,000, according to filings submitted by the firm to the U.S. Department of Justice under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

According to the agreement, StrateVarious will “survey the geopolitical landscape of the United States continuously, with the aim of alerting the client to both opportunities for and impediments to attaching Georgian objectives to articulate US interests and policies,” and help the Georgian government with “strategic narrative development.”

StrateVarious will prepare messaging for Georgia’s principals, including assisting in the “preparation of public addresses by the PM, FM, and Ambassador to the U.S.”

The lobbying company will also “identify themes that resonate most strongly with Trump administration,” and “explore how these themes can be effectively articulated and delivered to diverse consumers,” such as “policy elites, Congress, media, think tanks, business organizations, foreign governments.”

In May, Georgia also hired a Boston-based lobbying company, Rasky Partners.

Lawyers of Mikheil Saakashvili to appeal Lviv Court Decision

The Defense of former Georgian President and ex-Governor of Odessa MikheilSaakashvili plans to appeal the decision of the Lviv Regional Court, Ukrainian media reported.

“We will surely appeal this. We are preparing our complaint. We have been given ten days for it,” Saakashvili’s lawyer has said.

The Defense demands the decision on a fine for crossing the border to be fully retracted.

A court in Ukraine on Friday found ex-Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili guilty of illegally crossing the border and fined him 3,400 hryvnia (about $130), according to court video records, Russian media said on September 23.

Georgian PM congratulates German Chancellor on reelection

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has congratulated Angela Merkel on securing her fourth term as Chancellor of Germany.

According to the BBC, while addressing supporters, Merkel, who has been in the job for 12 years, said she had "hoped for a better result".

“Today we can say that we now have a mandate to assume responsibility and we're going to assume this responsibility calmly, talking with our partners of course,” Merkel said.

Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), received 32.5 percent of the votes in today’s election, based on the first exit polls issued at 6 pm German local time.