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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 26
GEL Depreciates Further Against USD, EUR

Georgian national currency, Lari (GEL) fell to 2.5206 against U.S. Dollar and to 2.9635 against Euro on October 25.

The GEL was trading at 2.4894 against U.S. Dollar a day earlier, with the Euro-Lari exchange rate standing at 2.9240.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) announced on October 25 that the key refinancing rate would remain unchanged at 7%.

The GEL started depreciating in November, 2014, falling to its record low of 2.7846 against U.S. Dollar on December 22, 2016. It continued falling throughout most of January this year and started recovering from February.

The GEL was relatively stable for about five months before September, hovering around 2.39-2.44 per U.S. Dollar, about 40% weaker compared to November, 2014, when GEL first started depreciating. But from early September it started falling again. (

Saakashvili spends night in tent camp outside Ukrainian parliament

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian President turned fiery Ukrainian oppositionist who leads the Rukh Novikh Sil movement, spent the night in protesters' tent camp opposite the Verkhovna Rada national parliament, Vestnik Kavkaza reports.

Saakashvili said yesterday that he was planning to stay in one of the tents, for the purposes of which he had taken some warm clothes along with him.

He said Ukraine’s unicameral parliament will begin its weekly plenary session on November 7, during which it will have an opportunity to pass bills demanded by Saakashvili and his supporters. The protesters demand to strip Rada deputies of their parliamentary immunity, amend the election laws, and set up an anticorruption tribunal.

Saakashvili said that if those bills are passed, the protestors will withdraw from Kiev’s governmental district.

"People are waiting for November 7. The President has made his promise, Parliament has made its promise. If they fulfill them, the people will leave," TASS cited him as saying. (ipn)

Ukraine's Immigration Service to expel Saakashvili’s 20 Georgian co-fighters

Ukraine's Immigration Service has decided to expel 20 Georgian supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, despite the fact that all of them have the right to live in Ukraine.

Ukraine's General Prosecutor Yuri Lutsensko said that the people were illegally allowed to live in Ukraine during the period when Mikheil Saakashvili was the governor of Odessa district.

"These 20 individuals have no basis for being in Ukraine and they will be expelled. The Immigration Service is working on it now,” said Lutsenko. (ipn)

Council of Europe reacted to attack on journalist of Echo of Moscow

Strasbourg: Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland reacted to the attack on Tatyana Felgenhauer, deputy editor of the radio "Echo of Moscow", as a result of which the woman was seriously stabbed.

"Secretary-General Jagland is outraged by the brutal attack on the deputy editor of Echo of Moscow, Tatyana Felgenhauer, which took place on the territory of a well-known Russian radio station. The Secretary General would like to express his support to Mrs. Felgenhauer, who is now hospitalized, and to all those who work in Echo of Moscow, the Council of Europe press service said.

He said that journalists should be able to freely express themselves, to carry out their duties without hindrance, and this case should be investigated within the next few days.

Yesterday, October 23, a man broke into the Moscow office of the radio station Echo of Moscow and wounded the leading Tatyana Felgenhauer with a knife.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation on Moscow opened a criminal investigation into the man's attack on the leading radio station Echo of Moscow. (