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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 8
GEL Appreciates Slightly Against USD, EUR

The Georgian national currency - the lari (GEL), appreciated to 3.0301 against the EUR on November 7, four days after falling to its all-time low of 3.0625.

The GEL appreciated against the U.S. dollar as well, reaching 2.6108. The dollar-lari exchange rate stood at 2.6297 on Friday, November 3.

The GEL started depreciating in November 2014, falling to its record low of 2.7846 against the 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 the GEL first started depreciating. However, from early September it started falling again, dropping dramatically in the last few days of October. (

South Ossetia plans to impose customs tax at checkpoint near Akhalgori

South Ossetia plans to charge customs tax for goods to the region’s lower east corner, to the detriment of the Georgians living there who depend on the trade.

A customs point will be opened at the Razdakhan checkpoint near Akhalgori, “to control the quality and volume of goods entering Georgia”, Murat Tskhovrebov, head of the Tskhinvali customs committee, said at a press conference on October 2.

Akhalgori is a predominantly ethnic Georgian enclave in the southeastern-most end of South Ossetia. Georgia controlled it until the war with Russia in 2008, after which it was renamed as “Leningor”.

Being located close to Tbilisi, Akhalgori residents carry mainly fruits and vegetables from Georgia proper for their own consumption and also for trade, as the price is much higher in South Ossetia that in Georgia proper. Moreover, these products may be seen as far as in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia.

The trade in fruit and vegetables continued after the new de facto border was established by Russian forces. Residents are permitted to carry a maximum of 50 kilograms of goods across the administrative border, a limit that has so far been enforced by superficial observation.

Although currently the products imported to Akhalgori don’t incur taxation, usually people have to pay informal fees to officials at the checkpoint. But after the customs starts operating the cargo will be checked and the owner will pay tax. The amount of tax is yet undecided. (DF watch)

I am a victim of violence – Supreme Court Head

“I am a victim of violence,” the head of the Supreme Council of Justice and Supreme Court of Georgia, Nino Gvenetadze, declared at a session that was conducted against the background of conflicts and controversy at Supreme Council of Justice of Georgia.

According to Gvenetadze, the Council members try to force the Council Head to make a decision she does not want to agree to.

The council members demanded Nino Gvenetadze to sign a decree on the appointment of 34 judges for life. Afterwards, another controversy occurred over scheduling an extra session.

Nino Gvenetadze said she was unable to continue working in similar conditions and will provide the council members with information on her viewpoints in a written form. (ipn)