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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 17
By Mariam Chanishvili President Says Georgia Moves towards the EU

The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili stated at an event at Tbilisi State Medical University on Wednesday that Georgia is taking genuine steps to the European integration despite the fact that 20 percent of the country is occupied by Russia.

Margvelashvili stated that that one of the formats of the EU integration is the Eastern Partnership platform, composed of six nations, in which Georgia is a leader country for democratic reforms.

At the event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Georgia, Margvelashvili also spoke about the Georgia-Russia relations and stated that he dreams about the day when he has a rational dialogue with the Russian counterpart.

The president said that “rational dialogue” referred to the dialogue which is based on care for people and not interests of state leaders.

“The occupation of Georgia is not in the Russian interests as the occupation provides no benefits to its people. As soon as Russia is ready to act based on the interests of its people, when the country withdraws its forces from the Georgian territory and we sit down to discuss the issue which can benefit the people of our countries, we will be ready for neighborly relations ,” Margvelashvili said.

The president stated that before that day comes, Georgia will have to withstand difficulties.

Tobacco Control Alliance Demands Ban on Smoking in Casinos and Cigar Bars

The Tobacco Control Alliance of Georgia has demanded the ban of smoking in casinos and cigar bars and appealed to the parliament to add restrictions to the existing law, which bans smoking indoors.

“We demand the parliament of Georgia to make amendments to law immediately and prohibit smoking in casinos and cigar bars. A year ago, when the parliament was drafting the law on tobacco control, we failed to lobby for the change,” the Tobacco Alliance stated.

Tobacco regulations have entered into force on May 1st in Georgia, according to which, smoking is prohibited in public areas and all kinds of buildings except houses, psychiatric clinics, penitentiary facilities and casinos.

Smoking ban applies to electronic cigarettes and Hookah as well.

The new law prohibits smoking in closed areas, with the exception of casinos and cigar bars (only cigars).