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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 7
PM Bakhtadze: Supreme Court chair candidate should be apolitical

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze says that the nominee for the Georgian Supreme Court chairperson should be "apolitical and have a good reputation among professional circles and wider society.”

"This is my position, and I am sure that the majority of the population shares my point of view,” PM Bakhtadze told journalists in Batumi yesterday.

Nino Gvenetadze, 54, the first female chairperson of the Georgian Supreme Court, has announced her resignation on August 2, citing health reasons.

Gvenetadze, who was selected for the role by President Giorgi Margvelashvili and approved by the parliament in 2015, said in a special statement that her treatment requires a several-month stay abroad.

President Margvelashvili has started consultations to select a new candidate with the involvement of the public and is holding the first meeting with his advisers and academics at the presidential palace today.

Russian General Appointed as Abkhaz Army Chief

Major General Vasily Lunev, a career Russian military officer, has been appointed as chief of the general staff of the armed forces of Abkhazia, replacing General Anatoly Khrulev, who held the post from May 2015.

The announcement was made on August 2, following Lunev’s meeting with Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba.

“I hope you will manage to adjust to the team smoothly, to join the work of the Defense Ministry in ensuring security and strengthening cooperation with the Russian military units stationed here,” Khajimba told Lunev. “We will continue advancing our strategic, defense cooperation [with Russia],” he added.

Lunev, on his part, stressed his major task would be to secure peace “in difficult times that we have to work in.”

“At a meeting with defense minister [Merab Kishmaria] today we discussed the exercises that are taking place in the neighboring territory, and of course this show of force requires corresponding actions,” the Russian General said, apparently referring to the ongoing U.S.-led Noble Partner exercise.

Major General Vasily Lunev (born 1956, Chelyabinsk), a career military officer with no ties to Georgia and its occupied regions, served as the defense minister of South Ossetia in 2008, during the Russo-Georgian war. According to Russian media, Lunev took over the command of the invading Russian army after General Anatoly Khrulev, the 58th Army commander at that time, was wounded by the Georgian artillery fire.