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The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 20
Georgia and Belarus Ink Classified Information Sharing Agreement

(MINSK) –Georgia’s State Security Service head Vakhtang Gomelauri signed a bilateral agreement with his Belarusian counterpart Valery Vakulchik on the exchange classified information.

The Belarusian intelligence service, still known by their Soviet acronym – the KGB, issued a press release saying the agreement would create “a legal framework for the protection and exchange of highly sensitive state secrets for both countries.”

Georgia has already signed similar agreements twenty NATO and EU member states, as well as the United States.” (

The risks that jeopardize private media are real – IDFI Director

(TBILISI) – In public statements to journalists on Monday, the director of Georgia’s Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information, Levan Avalishvili, slammed a decision by the country’s parliament to allow commercial advertisements on the country’s public broadcaster.

"These changes are unacceptable for us. It's good that some positive changes have been made to this law, but for the most part we oppose the changes and believe that they pose a serious risk to private media outlets," said Avalishvili.

According to the amendments to the Law on Broadcasting, it will be allowed to circulate commercial advertisements on the Public Broadcaster on weekdays for three minutes per hour, outside of prime time. Duration of the advertisement should not exceed 3 minutes per hour.

The duration of commercial advertisements during sports reports, international festivals and other programs will be increased from 30 to 60 minutes and from 6 to 12 minutes per hour.

The draft law also separates the powers of the Public Broadcaster's management and the Board of Trustees. (DF watch)