Civil Georgia-Nachrichtenticker - Archiv: 01.01.2011 - 31.03.2011 >>          

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31 Mar. '11 Schwedischer Außenminister Carl Bildt besucht Georgien
31 Mar. '11 Polizei erklärt, dass Terror-Anschläge in Kutaisi vereitelt wurden
31 Mar. '11 Stellvertretender Außenminister Davit Jalagania besucht Gambia und Senegal
31 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: 'Wir brauchen Luft- und Panzerabwehrwaffen von den USA'
30 Mar. '11 Gespräche um die Wahlreform nahe dem Abbruch
30 Mar. '11 Premierminister kommentiert den Fall der israelischen Geschäftsmänner
30 Mar. '11 Richterspruch zum Fall der israelischen Geschäftsmänner im Parliament debattiert
30 Mar. '11 General Petraeus lobt die georgischen Truppen in Afghanistan
30 Mar. '11 Richterspruch zum Fall der israelischen Geschäftsmänner verschoben
29 Mar. '11 Regierung schlägt Änderungen am Haushalt für 2011 vor
29 Mar. '11 Abkhazia veröffentlicht vorläufige Ergebnisse der Volkszählung
28 Mar. '11 Schwedischer Außenminister Carl Bildt wird besucht Georgien
28 Mar. '11 Richterspruch zum Fall der israelischen Geschäftsmänner für Mittwoch erwartet
28 Mar. '11 Irakli Alasania triftt den US-Diplomaten Philip H. Gordon
28 Mar. '11 Bulgarischer Parlamentssprecher Tsetska Tsacheva besucht Georgien
26 Mar. '11 Parteien rufen zur Fortsetzung der Gespräche um die Wahlreform auf
26 Mar. '11 Polizei und Protestierende liefern sich ein Handgemenge vor dem Ministerium für Haftanstalten
26 Mar. '11 Georgien spendet eine Mio. USD über das rote Kreuz an Japan für die Katastrofenhilfe
26 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: Es gebe einige Kräfte innerhalb Georgiens, die die Regierung durch eine ausländische Militärintervention stürzen möchten
25 Mar. '11 Parteichef der CDM Giorgi Targamadze warnt vor Konsequenzen, falls die Gespräche zur Wahlreform scheitern
25 Mar. '11 Aufruf zur die Entlassung des Ministers für intern Vertriebene überstimmt
25 Mar. '11 Wechselseitige Vorwürfe bezüglich der 'Behinderung' von Gesprächen zur Wahlreform
24 Mar. '11 US-Botschafter äußert sich zu Georgiens Weg in die NATO: man müsse alle beteiligten Regierungen überzeugen, dass man ein Beitragender zum Netz unserer nationalen Interessen und zu unserer Sicherheit in der Europäisch-Atlantischen Region sei
24 Mar. '11 Regierungspartei: 'Sprache der Opposition von einem Ultimatum inakzeptabel'
24 Mar. '11 Neuer Mitbesitzer bei Maestro TV als ein Ergebnis der Fusion mit Radiostation Ucnobi
24 Mar. '11 Regierungspartei überstimmt den Aufruf, Verfahren einzuleiten, um den Landwirtschaftsminister Bakur Kvezereli zu entlassen
24 Mar. '11 Opposition warnt Regierungspartei bezüglich der Gespräche um die Wahlreform
23 Mar. '11 Hansjörg Haber, Leiter der "EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia" (EUMM) äußert sich zum russisch-georgischen Konflikt
    * ‘Wir sitzen fest, machen keine Fortschritte in der Konfliktlösung’;
    * ‘Russland hat einen großen Teil seines Einflusses über Georgien verloren’;
    * ‘Russland weiß nicht, wie es seinen Einfluss wiedererlangen kann’;
    * ‘Russlands Politik gegenüber Georgien ist nicht kreativ’;
    * ‘Georgien’s Politik gegenüber Russland ist ziemlich einseitig';
    * ‘Will Georgien diplomatische Schlachten gewinnen oder will Reintegration?’
23 Mar. '11 Parlamentspräsident Bakradze: Russland führe ein 'kindisches' Argument an infördern der Weigerung, ein Gewaltverzichtsverrsprechen abzugeben
23 Mar. '11 Parlamentspräsident Bakradze sagt, dass eine 'Graduelle, auf Sektoren begrenzte Integration in die EU' zunächst das Ziel sei
22 Mar. '11 Abgeordneter Petre Tsiskarishvili zum Fall der verhafteten israelischen Geschäftsmännern
22 Mar. '11 Änderungen zum Staatshaushalt 2011 im Parlament bestätigt
22 Mar. '11 Georgien erklärt, dass russische Offiziere den Mord an Dimitri Kordzadze in Batumi 2010 bestellt hätten
Dimitri Kordzadze gehörte dem Innenministerium in Adscharien an und war vorher von 2004-2007 bei einer Spezialeinheit des Innenministeriums in Zugdidi.
22 Mar. '11 Premierminister Nika Gilauri blickt in seiner Parlamentsrede zurück auf die wirtschaftliche Lage
Der Schwerpunkt in den letzten zwei Jahren lag auf der Verhinderung eines Zusammenbruchs.
22 Mar. '11 Georgien plant eine Euroanleihe zur Refinanzierung des vorherigen, der 2013 ausläuft
22 Mar. '11 Abgeordnete werden von mehreren Gruppen aufgefordert, die Verabschiedung des Gesetzes zum Eigentum an Fernsehanstalten zu beschleunigen
21 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili äußert, dass der Aufbau des Staates für alle ethnischen Gruppen die größte Herausforderung sei
Having a sense among various ethnic groups, living in the country, of being a part of common Georgian state is the most important of all the achievements made in recent years, President Saakashvili said on March 21.
“What makes me proud most of all… is that we have created the unified body of Georgian state, where the people of all ethnicities, all cultural origins and religion will feel themselves children of the country, where they will never regret of having been born and which they will build together, for which they will struggle and die,” he said.
Saakashvili was speaking while addressing an outdoor gathering in the town of Marneuli in Kvemo Kartli region, predominately populated by ethnic Azerbaijani population, where he participated in Nowruz festivities. Nowruz, a holiday marking spring equinox, which is widely celebrated by a large Muslim community in Georgia, was declared as a national holiday in Georgia last year.
“It is very important to maintain our Azerbaijani culture, our Azerbaijani language, which is an integral part of the Georgian culture and of the Georgian state,” Saakashvili said. “At the same time, I am glad that you are learning the Georgian language better at schools because this is a guarantee for your success in our unified Georgian state.”
21 Mar. '11 2010: Reales Bruttoinlandsprodukt angewachsen um 6.4%
20 Mar. '11 Steuer-Ombudsman Giorgi Pertaia: Problem mit dem Geschäftsklima nicht so groß wie es scheint
19 Mar. '11 Rugby-Spiel Georgien-Russland inmitten politischer Anschuldigungen
19 Mar. '11 US-unterstütztetes 'Central Public Health Reference Laboratory (CPHRL)' eröffnet in Tbilisi
Das Institut, angesiedelt auf 8,000 qm und mit ca. 2,500 qm Laborflächen, wurde mit 100 Mio. USD aus den USA finaziert. Dort wird georgisches und US-Personal arbeiten unter der Leitung der Direktorin Anna Zhvania.
18 Mar. '11 Tbilisi verurteilt die 'Gesprächen zur Grenze' zwischen Sokhumi und Moskau
18 Mar. '11 Moskau und Sokhumi in 'Gesprächen zur Grenze'
18 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: 'Wir wollen vorbildliche Wahlen ahbhalten'
17 Mar. '11 Eröffnung einer 'NATO-Informationsecke' in einer öffentlichen Schule in Ergneti verärgert Moskau
17 Mar. '11 Die Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) des US-Außenministeriums erwägt neues Paket mit 100-150 Mio. USD Unterstützung für Georgia
17 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili trifft US-Senatoren
17 Mar. '11 Zentralbank hält den Leitzins bei 8%
16 Mar. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze äußert sich zum geplanten Israel-Besuch von Parlamentspräsident Bakradze
16 Mar. '11 Finnischer OSZE-Vorsitzender Audronius Ažubalis tiftt Vertreter der Opposition
16 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili trifft General Petraeus, Anführer der US- und NATO-Streitkräfte in Afghanistan
15 Mar. '11 Nino Burjanadze: 'Wir sind zu einer friedlichen Revolution bereit'
15 Mar. '11 Nächste Woche wird eine 4-tägige Anhörung der Regierung durch Abgeordnete im Parlament stattfinden
Die Regierung wird durch Premierminister Nika Gilauri und einige Minister hauptsächlich aus dem wirtschaftlichen Bereich vertreten.
15 Mar. '11 Int. Gerichthof wird um den 1.April über die russ. Einwände entscheiden, die von Georgien vorgetragen hatte
134 Georgier reichen Klagen am europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte ein; sie klagen gegen Russland wegen der Verletzung etlicher europäischer Menschenrechte wahrend des Krieges im August 2008 - 09.02.2010, Civil Georgia
15 Mar. '11 Außenminister Vashadze: Lavrov habe gegen die Abmachung verstossen, nicht mit den Medien über die andauernden WTO-Gespräche zu sprechen
15 Mar. '11 Finnischer OSZE-Vorsitzender Audronius Ažubalis besucht Georgien
14 Mar. '11 Außenministerium: Russland und Georgien versuchen "die Positionen anzunähern" bei den WTO-Gesprächen
14 Mar. '11 Staatsbudget für 2011 wird verabschiedet werden
14 Mar. '11 Georgischer Soldat erliegt den Verletzungen aus Afghanistan
14 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: mit den Reformen schuf Georgien eine 'Neue Ordnung' in der Region
14 Mar. '11 Georgien bittet dem erdbebengeschädigten Japan Hilfe an
13 Mar. '11 Russ. Außenminister Lavrov: Georgien's Forderungen nicht in Bezug zur WTO
12 Mar. '11 Gesetzesentwurf zum Eigentum an Fernsehanstalten nahe der Fertigstellung
11 Mar. '11 Auslandsinvestitionen 2010 um 16% gesunken auf 553 Mio. USD
11 Mar. '11 Nächstes Treffen zur WTO im April erwartet
Georgian and Russian negotiators are expected to hold next meeting to discuss Moscow’s WTO bid in April, although no exact date is yet known, the Georgian PM’s spokesman, Niko Mchedlishvili, told Civil.ge on Friday.
He declined to discuss details of the meeting, which was held between the negotiators in the Swiss capital Bern on March 10.
Georgian PM’s senior aide Tamar Kovziridze and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze participated in the meeting with the Russian negotiators in Bern.
The meeting was held with the facilitation of the Swiss side, which acts as a diplomatic mediator between the two countries after Georgia and Russia cut diplomatic ties following the August, 2008 war.
Washington was “very proactive in encouraging” Russia and Georgia to sit down for Swiss-mediated talks in Bern, but U.S. officials are playing no role in the talks, The New York Times reported quoting a senior U.S. administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
11 Mar. '11 Gesetzesentwurf, wie das Umweltministerium auf niedrigere Ebenen verlagert werden kann, im Parlament bestätigt
11 Mar. '11 Parlamentspräsident Bakradze verschiebt Israel-Besuch
11 Mar. '11 US-Vizepräsident Biden in Moskau: Russland und USA sind über Georgien anderer Meinung
"Es ist noch viel Arbeit zu erledigen, um unsere Sicherheitszusammenarbeut und Nähe zu verbessern."  "Wir meinen, dass ein größeres Prinzip auf dem Spiel steht. Wie in bereits München 2009 gesagt,  ... 'unsere Sichtweise wird bleiben, dass souveräne Staaten das Recht haben, ihre eigenen Entscheidungen zu treffen und ihre eigenen Allianzen zu wählen.' Und weiterhin: 'Wir werden anerkennen, dass irgendein Staat eine Einflusszone habe.' Und nahezu ohne Rücksicht auf die Schwierigkeit - wir unterstützen keinen Staat, welcher mit Gewalt veranlassen will, die Führschaft einer gewählten - demokratisch gewählten Einzelperson zu ändern."
“Genuine disagreement” remains between Russia and the United States over Georgia, U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, said while speaking at the State University in Moscow on March 10.
In his speech he spoke about the benefits Russia and the United States received in various areas two years after pressing “reset button”; he, however, also said that there “is still much work to be done to enhance our security cooperation and closeness”.
“We have a genuine disagreement not only with your [Russian] leadership but with the vast majority of the Russian people over Georgia,” Biden told the audience at the Moscow State University. “But there’s a larger principle at stake here in our view – and I want to be straightforward because if friends cannot be straightforward with friends, it really isn’t friendship based on mutual trust.”
“We think there’s a larger principle at stake here. As I said when I announced the reset at Munich [Security Conference in February, 2009] I said, ‘It will remain our view that sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and choose their own alliances.’ And further: ‘We will not recognize any state having a sphere of influence.’ And almost regardless of the difficulty, we don't support any state deciding through force changing the leadership of an elected – democratically elected individual,” Biden said.
He said the U.S. had been working closely with Russia and Georgia “to reduce the threat of further conflict.”
“As a result, Georgia recently restated its commitment non-use of force, and commercial flights have resumed between Moscow and Tbilisi. But we must do more to assist those displaced by the 2008 conflict and enable normal travel and commerce to occur,” the U.S. Vice President added.
11 Mar. '11 Inflation steigt auf 13.7%
11 Mar. '11 US-Investor Donald Trump unterzeichnet Vertrag zur Entwicklung von zwei Bürotürmen im Wert von 300 Mio. USD
U.S. real estate tycoon, Donald Trump, signed a deal at a ceremony in New York in presence of President Saakashvili, to develop two towers in Georgia with an estimated worth of up to USD 300 million.
Trump will license his name in Georgia and his company will manage the two properties, but so far he has no plans to put his own investment into the deal, The New York Times reported.
“We’ll decide whether or not we want to invest,” Trump said.
The Trump Organization, company in charge of Trump’s property development, will work in Georgia with the Silk Road Group, Georgian conglomerate with business interests in transportation, telecommunications, banking and real estate, to line up financing for the project and market the towers.
The planned projects involve the Trump Tower Tbilisi on Rose Revolution Square, a formerly Republic Square; another is the Trump Riviera in Batumi. Construction, which will be overseen by the Silk Road Group, is scheduled to start in 2013, The New York Times reported.
After the signing of the deal Donald Trump appeared at a joint news conference with President Saakashvili at the Trump Tower in Manhattan on a background of a large banner reading: “Trump Invests in Georgia”.
Trump praised Georgia and its leadership saying: “This is a country with amazing leadership.” Trump, who said was thinking about running for the U.S. President in 2012 more seriously now than ever, criticized the Obama administration and said he would decide whether to run or not by June.
10 Mar. '11 Sprecher des russischen Außenministers äußert sich zu den WTO-Gesprächen mit Georgien
Georgien’s Versuche, Russlands WTO-Zutrittsbedingungen “zu politisieren”, sind “kategorisch inakzeptabel” für Moskau.
According to Russian Prime Minister’s deputy chief of staff, Yuri Ushakov, the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told PM Vladimir Putin at a meeting on March 10 in Moscow that Washington had advised Tbilisi not to hinder Moscow’s WTO bid.
“Americans had a conversation with [Tbilisi], that there is no need to impede Russia’s [WTO] accession,” RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting Ushakov.
He, however, said that “there was no direct promise” from the U.S. officials that they would resolve the issue with Georgians.
A White House official said earlier this month that Georgia-Russia dispute over WTO entry terms “is a bilateral issue, not a trilateral issue.”
Russia’s PM’s deputy chief of staff also said that Russian PM Putin told the U.S. Vice President that problems related to Russia’s WTO entry were “political.”
“The Russian PM has candidly stressed, that it was a political problem… and expressed satisfaction that with the Americans all these issues are solved,” Ushakov said.
Ushakov was also quoted as saying that during the meeting between Biden and Putin talks in Switzerland, ongoing on Thursday, were also “mentioned” and a hope was expressed that the problem would be resolved.
Georgia and Russian negotiators were due to launch talks in the Swiss capital Bern on March 10.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, told reporters on March 10, that the issue was also discussed during the U.S. Vice President’s meeting with Russia’s President, Dmitri Medvedev, on March 9.
“The Russian President has stressed inadmissibility of politicizing this issue, as well as the unacceptability of the Georgian leadership’s attempts to introduce those elements into the discussions, which are not related with the terms of WTO membership,” Lukashevich was quoted by the Russian news agencies.
10 Mar. '11 Russlands WTO-Beitritt bei den Gesprächen von US-Vizepräsident Biden in Moskau angesprochen
Washington habe Georgien geraten, den russ. WTO-Beitritt nicht zu behindern.
10 Mar. '11 Georgien und Russland nehmen WTO-Gespräche wieder auf
10 Mar. '11 Finnischer OSZE-Vorsitzender Audronius Ažubalis wird Georgien besuchen
10 Mar. '11 Regierung verteilt 30 GEL 'Nahrungsmittelscheine'
10 Mar. '11 Georgien nimmt diplomatische Beziehungen mit Guinea-Bissau auf
9 Mar. '11 Gesetzesentwurf, wie das Umweltministerium auf niedrigere Ebenen verlagert werden kann, in zweiter Lesung verabschiedet
9 Mar. '11 Vorschläge der Regierungspartei bezüglich des Wahlsystems
9 Mar. '11 Regierungspartei: Biometrische Wählerregistrierung nur in Tbilisi möglich
9 Mar. '11 Georgien erklärt, dass die Position 'unverändert' sei bezüglich des russischen WTO-Beitritts
9 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili wird die USA besuchen, 'um Investitionen zu suchen'
8 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili ruft zur 'aktiven Mitwirkung des Staates' auf, um die Landwirtschaft anzukurbeln
8 Mar. '11 Kosten für biometrische Wählerregistrierung debattiert: maximal 102.5 Mio. GEL
7 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili äußert sich zur Umbestzung bei der Einkommenssteuer im Finanzamt
7 Mar. '11 Regierung plant Anhebung der Mindestpension auf 100 GEL
Minimal pension will be increased to GEL 100 starting from this September, President Saakashvili said at a televised meeting with pensioners in Rustavi on March 7.
Currently minimal monthly pension is GEL 80, plus GEL 2 or GEL 10 depending on length of service of each pensioner. Monthly pension is GEL 10 more for those pensioners residing in the capital city Tbilisi. GEL 10 pension increase for only those pensioners who live in the capital came ahead of the 2010 local elections.
President Saakashvili pledged in 2008 to increase minimal monthly pension up to USD 100. The authorities are frequently criticized by the opposition for the failure to keep this promise.
Saakashvili told a group of pensioners at the meeting in Rustavi on March 7, that in order to increase minimal pension to USD 100 “a major” and “a serious pension system reform” was needed. He said “hopefully” the government would be able to meet that target by the first half of next year.
7 Mar. '11 Georgien und Russland nehmen die WTO-Gespräche wieder auf
Negotiators from Georgia and Russia over Moscow’s WTO bid will meet this week in Bern, Nikoloz Vashakidze, the Georgian first deputy foreign minister, said on March 7.
“We have received an official initiative from the Russian side over launch of talks. As you are aware the Georgian side has always been expressing readiness for negotiations and the Georgian delegation will leave for Bern to participate in talks either on March 9 or March 10,” Vashakidze said, but declined to elaborate details of the upcoming talks, saying it would be inappropriate to do so ahead of negotiations.
6 Mar. '11 Russischer stellvertrender Außenminister: Tochka-U-Raketen nur "vorübergehend" in Südossetien stationiert
Russia deployed its tactical-operational missile unit with Tochka-U rockets in South Ossetia "temporarily" for training purposes, Grigory Karasin, Russia's deputy foreign minister, told RIA Novosti news agency on March 4.
"Tochka-U installations were deployed on the territory of South Ossetia for participation in the military exercises of our military base; they were deployed there temporarily," he said.
Karasin, however, did not specify when the rockets would be withdrawn.
He said that in the beginning of May Russia would submit to OSCE in frames of Global Exchange of Military Information (GEMI) mechanism detailed information about its military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. GEMI is an annual data exchange regime covering major weapons and personnel stationed outside the territory of OSCE participating state.
Deployment of Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab B) short-range tactical ballistic missiles, in South Ossetia was first reported in late January.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said at the time that the deployment of Tochka-U rockets, which have maximum range of 120 kilometers, “points clearly to the Russian Federation's plans to launch open military aggression against Georgia.”
5 Mar. '11 Michael McFaul, Assistent Obamas im Weißen Haus, äußert sich zu den WTO-Gesprächen zwischen Russland und Georgien
Das Weiße Haus habe keine Rolle. Ein Prozess sei im Gange. Man will nicht im Voraus dazu urteilen, da man nicht beteiligt sei. Moskau könne nicht auf uns warte, dass wir Georgien zu Handlungenbringen, da wir das nicht machen werden ...
5 Mar. '11 15. Runde der Genfer Gespräche beendet: Russland weigert sich weiterhin, sich selbst zum Gewaltverzicht zu verpflichten
Georgian negotiators said after fifteenth round of Geneva talks on March 4, that Russia continued refusing to engage in "substantial discussion" and to commit itself to non-use of force.
"Russia's position on fundamental issues remain unchanged," Sergi Kapanadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister told RFE/RL Georgian service after the talks. "They have no intention to undertake non-use of force commitment."
Tbilisi is insisting on Russia to reciprocate Georgia's non-use of force pledge with a similar commitment, but Russia, arguing that it is not a party into the conflict, refuses and instead calls on Tbilisi to sign, what it calls, "legally binding non-use of force treaties" with Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.
"There is no progress either in respect of international security mechanisms." Kapanadze said. "At this stage they are against of international presence in the occupied regions. But we hope that progress will become possible in respect of international security mechanisms during the following rounds [of Geneva talks],"
He also expressed hope that some progress would be possible on "removing restrictions movement across the occupation lines" during the next rounds of talks.
The EU, OSCE and UN-mediated talks, involving negotiators from Tbilisi, Moscow, Washington, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali, were launched in Geneva two months after the August, 2008 war.
Pierre Morel, EU's special representative and co-chair of the talks, said that despite fundamental differences between participants, there was a shared desire to continue the Geneva discussions. He said that there was an improvement in the working methods with a more constructive and operational approach.
Morel said that he and two other co-chairs from OSCE and UN were determined to make progress on non-use force issue, which, he said, was the central point of discussions.
Geneva discussions are held in two working groups with the first one discussing security-related issues and the second one - humanitarian issues.
OSCE Lithuanian chairmanship's special representative, Giedrius Čekuolis, said after the talks that preparations were completed for the implementation of several projects to supply potable and irrigation water to the population in in the areas affected by the August war.
However, no progress had been made on gas supplies, said Čekuolis, who joined the co-chairs in January when his country took over OSCE chairmanship from Kazakhstan. Georgia shut down gas supply to the Akhalgori district in South Ossetia, which was under Tbilisi's control before the August war, as it does not want the gas it would provide to end up in the hands of Russian troops stationed in the region.
The next, sixteenth round of talks will be held on June 7.
4 Mar. '11 US- Diplomat Philip H. Gordon zum Begriff 'besetzt': die Verwendung dieses Begriffes durch Washington sei nicht als "Provokation" gemeint, sondern einfach als eine Beschreibung der Situation vor Ort
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip H. Gordon, said that use of term 'occupied' by Washington in reference to Abkhazia and South Ossetia was not meant to be a "provocation," but simply description of situation on the ground.
"Secretary Clinton referred to Russian occupation of Georgia. We don’t know what else to call it," he said while speaking at the Global Security 2011 Forum in Bratislava on March 3.
"We respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We believe that Russia used disproportionate force and remains present in what we consider to be sovereign Georgia. So it’s [use of term 'occupied'] not meant to be a particular provocation, it’s just a description of what we think the situation is," he said and added that the U.S. had been "very active in the Geneva talks and bilaterally with Russia to try to bring about an end to what we consider to be a military occupation."
He made the remarks while responding to a question about Georgia. Responding to the same question, Gordon said that there was no basis for Georgians to think that Washington abandoned its support to Georgia at the expense of its reset policy with Moscow.
"We have some differences with Russia. We’re not shy about expressing them. And one of them is Georgia, and I think we’ve managed to have a better relationship with Russia in lots of important ways but without, as I said here, sacrificing our principles or our friends. Georgia is one of our friends and there are some important principles involved in that relationship," Gordon said.
"We have an intensive and active bilateral relationship. We raise Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity directly with the Russians pretty much every time we see them. We don’t hesitate to do that. We’re clear that we view it as an occupation," he said.
4 Mar. '11 Jahresbericht der US-Drogenkontrolle: 'Georgisches Drogenkontrollsystem braucht Reformen'
3 Mar. '11 "Freie Demokraten Georgiens" rufen dazu auf, einen "öffentlichen Rat" zur Überwachung der Polizei einzurichten
Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) opposition party, led by Irakli Alasania, has called for setting up a public council at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to provide democratic control of the police.
Alasania said on March 3, that “de-politicization” of the police was one of the key issues for creating fair and democratic electoral environment.
OGFD said in a statement that public council was needed in order to react and prevent cases of abuse of powers by the police, especially after last year’s amendments to the law on police introducing stop-and-frisk practice. OGFD has appealed to the Constitutional Court against the new practice, giving police officers right to stop a person on the street and to frisk the outer clothing if officer has “a reasonable suspicion” that criminal activity is afoot.
OGFD said that public council would help to effectively respond on citizens’ complains, as well as to react on cases of police wrongdoings revealed by the media outlets more effective and transparent.
3 Mar. '11 15. Runde der Genfer Gespräche: Bekenntnis zum Gewaltverzicht wieder auf der Agenda
Non-use of force commitment will again top the agenda of Geneva talks, fifteenth round of which will be held on March 4.
The issue of non-use of force commitment and its modalities has long been the major point of contention in the EU, OSCE and UN-mediated talks, involving negotiators from Tbilisi, Moscow, Washington, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on March 2, that at the fifteenth round of talks it would call on Russia to reciprocate Tbilisi’s non-use of force pledge, voiced by President Saakashvili in November and reiterated in written in letters to EU, OSCE, UN, NATO and the United States.
“With this step Russia will demonstrate that its intentions towards Georgia are peaceful and no further military aggression is planned against its sovereign neighbor,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
Russia says that it has no intention to make such pledge as it does not consider itself as a party into conflict and instead calls on Tbilisi to agree on signing a non-use of force treaty with Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on February 24, that although Tbilisi made unilateral pledge on non-use of force in November, President Saakashvili’s “belligerent statements” since then “significantly devalued” Georgia’s commitments and triggered concern of Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.
“Leadership of these republics [Abkhazia, South Ossetia] have stated, that they would seek in Geneva concluding legally binding document on non-use of force,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said and added that Moscow supported this position.
Georgia says that Moscow’s insistence on non-use of force treaty between Tbilisi and Sokhumi, as well as between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali “has a sole aim of legitimizing the proxy regimes” and “is a clumsy excuse to avoid its own responsibility of non-use of force.”
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on March 2, that the second issue it would prioritize at the fifteenth round of Geneva discussions was establishment of “international security arrangements in the occupied Georgian regions.” Tbilisi wants to see presence of, what it calls, “international peacekeeping and police forces” in the breakaway regions. Return of displaced persons in safety and dignity will also be discussed, the Foreign Ministry said, adding that “Russia has been blocking the return process through various artificial reasons.”
“This time, we hope that Moscow will unlock the process and substantial discussions will take place on the modalities of return,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
3 Mar. '11 Nino Burjanadze: Revolution unausweichlich
Nino Burjanadze, former parliamentary speaker and leader of opposition Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, said she was “absolutely sure that events in Georgia will, unfortunately, develop through the revolutionary scenario.”
“Saakashvili simply does not leave a chance for other scenarios,” she said in an interview with the Georgian news agency, InterPressNews, on March 2.
“We should spare no efforts in order to make this revolution peaceful. More people in the streets will create more guarantees that this revolution will really be peaceful and Saakashvili will not dare” to use force against people, she added.
2 Mar. '11 Studie des "Zentrums für europ. polit. Studien" verurteilt den Ansatz der EU bei den Freihandelsgesprächen mit Georgien
EU should reshape its current “bad” approach towards free trade agreement with Georgia and open negotiations “without further delay” since Georgia has “more than satisfied” the relevant preconditions, a study released on March 1 by the Brussels-based think-tank Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) says.
The 105-page study, conducted by researchers from CEPS; Paris-based Groupe d’Economie Mondiale and Tbilisi-based libertarian think-tank New Economic School-Georgia, says that the European Commission is insisting on “a hugely demanding set of preconditions” before agreeing to open negotiations with Georgia on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA).
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Tornike Gordadze, complained recently that discussions on launch of DCFTA talks were “the most difficult” part of Association Agreement negotiations between Georgia and the EU. He told the Brussels-based EUobserver.com last month that during talks with European Commission officials in charge of trade, he got the "impression that they have changed the preconditions.”
“Now the ones that were set for concluding the negotiations are the same for starting the negotiations,” Gordadze, who is Georgia’s chief negotiator with EU, said.
According to the study released by CEPS, in March 2009 the European Commission sent to Georgia list of preconditions with some of them to be fulfilled before the start of DCFTA talks and others – after the formal launch of negotiations.
The study criticizes the European Commission for use of, as it put it, “fuzzy” language without defining what “sufficient”, “adequate”, “effective” or “proper implementation” exactly means.
“The preconditions are written in an ‘open-ended’ language which gives to the Commission the absolute power to decide whether the preconditions are met or not,” the study says.
According to the study, in December 2010, the European Commission sent to Georgia a new, separate document, which shifted some of the preconditions, which initially were intended for implementation after the launch of the negotiations, into the list of those preconditions, which have to be met before formal launch of talks.
The study argues that the European Commission’s approach is “bad” from number of perspectives, including for development policy for Georgia, from commercial policy point of view, as well as from the foreign policy perspective.
In terms of development policy, the study says, “the burdensome regulatory changes imposed on Georgia are equivalent to taxing Georgian production – endangering her growth, the sustainability of her reforms and of her successful fight against corruption which is so crucial for her long term development.”
The study says that preconditions in sanitary and phytosanitary measures would trigger an average price increase of 90% for the key food products, which “would greatly endanger the political stability and fuel an anti-European sentiment in Georgia.”
The study criticizes the European Commission’s approach in terms of commerce arguing that it would fail to promote trade between Georgia and EU.
“In order to survive the vast majority of Georgian producers, which would not be able to sell their products anymore on Georgian markets under EU norms, would try to sell them to foreign markets using non-EU norms, boosting artificially Georgia’s exports to non-EU countries,” according to the study.
It also says that the approach is “bad” from the foreign policy perspective, because the European Commission’s preconditions “show the EU as being hegemonic towards its very much smaller neighbour, not an enlightened and trustable anchor.”
In the section where the study discusses potential motives behind the European Commission’s approach, it says that one of the reasons behind putting such preconditions before Georgia might be “a tactical maneuver” of the Commission in order to control the timing of DCFTA negotiations.
“One possible reason for such a motive is Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the study reads. “The Commission may want to start the negotiations on the DCFTA only after Russia’s WTO accession in order to put pressure on Georgia’s position in the WTO,” the study says, but it also adds that it was a “speculation” and does not discusses it further.   
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Tornike Gordadze, also raised this point in February interview with EUobserver.com and said: “Some people also say the change [in European Commission’s position by putting new preconditions for launching talks] could be some sort of indirect pressure from the EU to drop our objections in Russia's WTO bid.”
“I hope this is not the case,” Gordadze added.
The study released by CEPS was authored by Prof. Patrick Messerlin and Alexandre Le Vernoy from Groupe d’Economie Mondiale at Sciences Po; Michael Emerson from CEPS and Gia Jandieri, the vice-president of New Economic School-Georgia.
2 Mar. '11 Präsident Saakashvili hält an Georgien's Afghanistan-Einsatz fest
2 Mar. '11 "Georgische Partei": 'Revolution unausweichlich, wenn Präsident Saakashvili Nein zu Veränderungen sagt'
Leaders of the opposition Georgian Party, launched in October and led by former public defender Sozar Subari, say that revolution will be inevitable in Georgia if President Saakashvili refuses to soften his grip on power.
“Will we have to carry out a revolution or will we be able to carry out [changes] through elections? That is a question on which Saakashvili has to give an answer, meaning will Saakashvili give up [control over] justice system, media, political police and stop terrorizing business and will he set electoral environment free? If his answer is ‘No’, then only one mean becomes available for us – mounting political and people’s pressure on this regime in order to make it go as soon as possible,” Erosi Kitsmarishvili, the Georgian Party’s political secretary, told the party activists on March 1.
Apart of Sozar Subari and Erosi Kitsmarishvili, who is Georgia’s former ambassador to Russia, the party was co-founded by several high-profile opposition figures, including exiled ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili and Levan Gachechiladze, an opposition presidential candidate in 2008 elections.
Speaking at the same meeting with the party activists on March 1, Levan Gachechiladze said that revolution would be inevitable if the authorities fail to carry out real changes and the Georgian Party would be in the forefront of this process. He also said that the process similar to those in Egypt might take place “very soon” in Georgia too.
Koka Guntsadze, one of co-founder of the party and its secretary general, said at the same meeting: “People are waiting for changes and we should fall this regime into pieces at any cost and we should put this country on the path of irreversible progress.”
In recent months the Georgian Party has been establishing its regional branches throughout the country. Levan Gachechiladze described this process of building party infrastructure as “building of political army to win the battle.”
Kitsmarishvili said that the party was moving on next stage of its development involving holding of congresses of regional branches “to foster active engagement with the party activists.”
1 Mar. '11 Russische Berichte: 'vorschnell, mit dem Finger auf Georgien zu zeigen wegen des Domodedovo-Anschlags'
Russian news agency, Interfax, reported on March 1 quoting an unnamed representative of Russia's National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NAK), that it was premature to blame anyone, including Georgian leadership, for masterminding January terrorist attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow.
"Before the investigation into this case is ongoing, any version about who ordered it or about accomplices can be considered as a personal opinion and nothing more," a representative of National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NAK) was quoted.
Alexander Torshin, deputy speaker of Russia's Federal Council and a member of NAK - Russia's government body coordinating anti-terrorism policies, said in February 25 newspaper interview, that he was sure the terrorist act at Domodedovo was ordered by the Georgian leadership.
Georgian President's spokesperson, Manan Manjgaladze, said on March 1 that this allegation such "absurd" that it was not even worth of commenting.
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, said on February 28, that the it was a “purposeful provocation” and “absolutely groundless allegation."
1 Mar. '11 Kirchenoberhaupt Ilia II ruft die russische und georgische Führung auf, "Weißheit zu zeigen" und Gespräche auf verschiedensten Ebenen zwischen den beiden Ländern zu starten
Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, called on the Georgian and Russian leaders "to show wisdom" and launch talks "on various levels" between the two countries.
The Georgian President administration said on March 1, that the call was in line with the Georgian authorities' willingness to start talks "anytime, anywhere and on any issue".
“I call on the leaders of the both countries to show wisdom, courage and start dialogue at various levels in order to discuss and resolve accumulated difficult issues,” Ilia II said in a written statement.
“We should spare no efforts in order to avoid continued negative trends and their deepening... We should take into consideration lessons of the past and look into the future with taking into consideration interests of our people and countries… Enmity between the neighbors is inadmissible,” the statement reads.
It also says that current negative rhetoric does not contribute to the rapprochement between the sides.  
The statement was released before a planned visit of the Georgian Orthodox Church's delegation to Moscow. The delegation will be led by head of foreign relations service of the Georgian church, Metropolitan Gerasime.
Manana Manjgaladze, the Georgian President's spokesperson, said on March 1, that Ilia II's statement "fully voices aspiration, which the Georgian authorities have."
"Position of the Georgian President is well-known both for the Georgian population and the international community. We reiterate our full readiness to launch a full-scale dialogue with the Russian Federation anytime, anyplace on any issue," she said.
After President Saakashvili reiterated in his state of nation address on February 11 his willingness to engage in a dialogue with Russia, Moscow reacted by saying that Saakashvili's statement was “a PR move" and "a new clumsy attempt to portray himself as a constructive and peace-loving politician.”
“It is hardly possible to perceive these statements seriously, at least because they are accompanied by rude anti-Russian rhetoric, confrontational and insulting attacks in address of the Russian Federation,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said on February 17.
1 Mar. '11 Maestro TV nimmt wieder die Ausstrahlung über Satellit auf
1 Mar. '11 Alasania sagt, er sei 'verhalten optimistisch' bezüglich der Bereitschaft der Regierung, Veränderungen durchzuführen
28 Feb. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze besucht Ägypten
28 Feb. '11 'Bleibt in engem Kontakt mit den Wählern' - Präsident Saakashvili zu den Abgeordneten der Regierungspartei
28 Feb. '11 Tbilisi erklärt, die Anschuldigung des russischen Senator's sei eine 'Provokation'
Alexander Torshin, stellvertretender Sprecher des russ. Oberhauses, hatte in einem Interview behauptet, der Anschlag sei von Georgien "bestellt" worden als "zielgerichtete Provokation".
28 Feb. '11 US-Botschafter äußert sich zur Transparenz der Besitzverhältnisse des Rundfunks
U.S. ambassador to Georgia, John Bass, said the draft law on transparency of owners of broadcasters, currently under consideration in the Parliament, was a step forward to improving media environment in the country.
He said in an interview with Georgian Public Broadcaster’s weekly talk-show Accents on February 27, that one of the problems, but not the only one, was “ambiguity who exactly owns” media outlets, as well as “who is making decisions about what stories are covered and what stories are not covered.”
“I think that one of the first steps, it is important to see, is additional transparency of media ownership. The draft law that is in the Parliament obviously will be an important step forward if it is approved,” Bass said.
He also said that he was “encouraged” to hear from the Georgian officials that they were ready to also consider a separate proposal pushed for by a group of legal and media experts. The proposal addresses not only media ownership transparency, but also broader media-related issues, including such as measure to ease access to public information.
The U.S. ambassador said that both of these components were important for developing media and journalism in Georgia.
“Media environment… is one of the most important elements to creating the [electoral] campaign environment we all want to see next year to ensure the parliamentary elections [in 2012] are competitive,” Bass said.
In the same interview he criticized the rule according to which broadcast licenses are issued based on content.
“That, to my mind, runs counter to how media regulation works in a democratic society,” the U.S. ambassador said.
Granting of new broadcast licenses is currently suspended by the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) citing that it has not yet concluded a public opinion survey to define in what type of media content the public is interested so that to then decide on broadcast license seekers’ applications shelved in GNCC.
27 Feb. '11 Russischer Senator Alexander Torshin: 'Georgien bestellte den Domodedovo-Anschlag'
Senior Russian senator’s statement that Georgia ordered Domodedovo airport attack was a “purposeful provocation” and “absolutely groundless allegation,” Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said at a news conference on February 28.
Alexander Torshin, deputy speaker of Russia's upper house of the Parliament, Federal Council, said in an interview with the Russian newspaper, that he did not believe Islamist militants were behind the January terrorist act at the Moscow airport and blamed Georgia for ordering the attack. Torshin is a member of National Counter-terrorism Committee (NAK), which is Russia's government body coordinating anti-terrorism policies.
“Even the Russian law enforcement agencies have made not a single indication about the Georgian trace,” the Georgian Foreign Minister said.
She said that the allegation probably aimed at “serious intentions” going beyond just voicing an opinion of an individual Russian official.  Allegations of this type, she said, were worth of attention both of Tbilisi and the international community.
“These [allegations] seem to be the part of Russian special service’s policy,” Kalandadze said and added that instead of protecting its citizens the Russian special services were “more skilled in organizing terrorist acts on the sovereign territory of the neighbor.”
A senior Georgian lawmaker from the ruling party, Giorgi Gabashvili, said that Torshin’s allegation was “an impudent delirium.”
26 Feb. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze: 'nicht interessiert' an dem, was US-Geheimdienstchef James Clapper sagt
Er möchte die Aussagen erst im gesamten Kontext getrachten. Es ging um eine Beschreibung der Situation im Kaukaus.
26 Feb. '11 Innenminister Vano Merabishvili trifft auf Präsident Ilham Aliyev bei Beuch in Azerbaijan
25 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili anläßlich des "Tages der sowjetischen Okkupation": ‘sterbendes Reich träumt immer noch’ davon, Georgien zu besetzen
Russia is still “dreaming” about taking over Georgia like the Bolshevik Red Army did it on February 25 ninety years ago, President Saakashvili said.
He was speaking in the Museum of Occupation in Tbilisi before students from school of cadets, marking the day when the Bolshevik’s Red Army took over Tbilisi in 1921. Last July, the Georgian Parliament declared February 25 as the Day of Soviet Occupation.
“Significant parts of Georgia are still occupied,” Saakashvili said. “The same empire, which carried out February 25 of 1921, is dreaming about abolishing Georgia’s sovereignty; how to repeat the February 25 is still discussed in those same rooms, where that tragic day [February 25, 1921] was planned. I remember that during our first meeting Putin proudly told me he was sitting in Stalin’s room in the Kremlin.”
“The only difference is that at that time [in 1921] this empire was being born and now it is dying and is on the stage of waning; at that time it was starting moving towards the world domination and on this road Georgia was one small obstacle… now it has lost influence; its positions are weakening on daily basis and Georgia is its last chance to maintain its positions or at least some sort of illusive status of empire. So now we have to be especially careful and mobilized,” Saakashvili said.
He said that Georgia’s major achievement of recent years was establishment of statehood with a political class for which Georgia was no longer regarded as a province of any empire. He also said that in 1990s Georgia would have avoided all those “traps”, which Russia placed, if the country had the same political class.
“Today we have the state, state institutions, citizens realize responsibility before the state and the state fulfills its major commitments towards its citizens. That’s our major achievement, which makes it impossible to reverse the history and to repeat the February 25 of 1921,” Saakashvili said.
February 25 Declared Day of Soviet Occupation
25 Feb. '11 Agentur für Naturschutzgebiete verbleibt im Umweltministerium
25 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili zum Fall der verhafteten israelischen Geschäftsleute
25 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili zu Unruhen im Mittleren Osten und Nordafrika
25 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: 'Georgien stelle eine Gefährdung gleich Null für die olympischen Spiele in Sotschi dar'
25 Feb. '11 Marshrutka-Fahrer in Streik getreten in Tbilisi
24 Feb. '11 Vorsitzender des Obersten Gerichtshofs: Georgien habe 'riesige Schritte' in Richtung richterlicher Unahbhängigkeit gemacht
24 Feb. '11Stellvertrentender US-Außenminister James B. Steinbergof besucht Georgien
24 Feb. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze besucht Tschechien
24 Feb. '11 Polizei erklärt, dass draußen vor der Imedi-TV-Station in Digomi-Tbilisi drei Sprengsätze gefunden und entschärft wurden
23 Feb. '11 Einige Abgerdnete der Regierungspartei kritisieren Teile der Planung, wie das Umweltministerium auf niedrigere Ebenen verlagert werden kann
23 Feb. '11 Sokhumi fordert von Tbilisi die Freilassung von Merab Kolbaia, der wegen geplanter Anschläge verhaftet worden war
The Abkhaz side indicated that Merab Kolbaia, who Tbilisi says is “one of the key suspects” behind series of explosions last autumn, was arrested by the Georgian police in the Gali district of the breakaway region.
Georgian Interior Ministry announced about the arrest of Kolbaia on February 17 as a result of “special operation”, but declined to give a location where he was arrested citing sensitivity of the operation.
Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported that the Abkhaz side raised the issue at the twenty fifth meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali on February 22.
“During the meeting the Abkhaz side has again raised the issue of kidnapping of Abkhaz citizens by the Georgian special services, in particular the arrest of a resident of Gali district, Merab Kolbaia, on February 15 was discussed,” Apsnipress reported. According to the same report the Georgian side undertook two failed attempts in December, 2010 and in January, 2011 “to kidnap so called suspects from the territory of Abkhazia.”
“The Abkhaz side demanded release citizen of Abkhazia, Merab Kolbaia, and stated that such subversive acts by Georgia lead to destabilization of situation, which do not contribute constructive dialogue between the sides,” Apsnipress reported.
23 Feb. '11 Stellvertrentender US-Außenminister James B. Steinbergof wird Georgien besuchen
23 Feb. '11 Regierung überreicht dem Parlament ein Paket von Gesetzesentwürfen, wie das Umweltministerium auf niedrigere Ebenen verlagert werden kann
22 Feb. '11 Abgeordnete rufen dazu auf, den Tode des Präsidenten Sviad Gamsakhurdia's erneut zu untersuchen
Parliament passed a resolution on February 22 asking the chief prosecutor’s office “to react appropriately” on new facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Georgia’s ousted President Zviad Gamsakhurdia seventeen years ago.
The resolution was passed based on a report tabled by an ad hoc parliamentary commission, chaired by MP Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, son of the late President.
For more than a year the commission was studying circumstances of Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s death in December, 1993 in a remote village of western Georgian region of Samegrelo, less than two years after he was ousted in a military coup. He died from a gunshot to the head.
The official investigation, carried out in 1990s, found that Gamsakhurdia committed suicide – the clam disputed by many of his supporters.
The ad hoc commission was mandated with a task to find out whether the suicide version was in line with actual facts and circumstances; the commission had a mandate “to study” and not the mandate “to investigate” – the latter gives more powers to ad hoc parliamentary commissions.
According to the commission’s report the investigation into Gamsakhurdia’s death was carried out with negligence of crucial circumstances and through ignorance of major evidence. It says that key evidence, including gun and also a bullet, from which Gamsakhurdia allegedly committed suicide disappeared. According to the report there are multiple inconsistencies in the official investigation, which give a reason to cast doubt over its conclusions that Gamsakhurdia committed suicide.
22 Feb. '11 Abgeordnete bestätigen, dass Ausbilder für Artillerie nach Afghanistan geschickt werden
22 Feb. '11 Ausscheidender EU-Gesandter Peter Semneby äußert sich zu Georgien: die nächsten Wahlen 2012/13 seien für die Reife der Demokratie in Georgien äußerst wichtig
# 'Next elections crucial';
# 'Georgia is a better place now';
# 'Ruling party’s overwhelming dominance';
# Georgia’s regional role;
# Needs for 'qualitative change' in Russo-Georgian ties;
# On term 'occupied' – 'labeling not the most important'
Next elections, including parliamentary in 2012 and presidential in 2013, would be “crucial for the maturity of the Georgian democracy,” Peter Semneby, an outgoing EU’s Special Representative for South Caucasus, said on February 22 in Tbilisi.
“It is very important that the electoral legislature is agreed well beforehand [so] that it does not become part of the electoral campaign itself. Georgia needs to establish clear and stable rules of the game for the political competition between the parties,” Semneby said.
It was the Swedish diplomat’s last visit to Georgia in his capacity of the EU’s Special Representative, as his mandate on the post, which he held since 2006, expires on February 28.
The fate of the post is unclear yet as the discussions about the mandate of Special Representatives were still underway within EU, he said. “There certainly [will] be a gap before this discussion is concluded,” Semneby said.
Semneby, whose tenure coincided with Georgia’s several domestic political crises and the August war, said that it had been “a very challenging period” for Georgia.
“But I think Georgia is a better place now for many reasons, than it was in the beginning of my term in this job and not least thanks to the new stage that we have entered in relations between Georgia and the European Union with the start of negotiations on Association Agreement,” he said.
“I very strongly hope Georgia will take these negotiations [on Association Agreement] seriously and Georgia will approach these negotiations with diligence that they deserve, because it is in a close relations with EU that Georgia can find the best guarantees that are available for its sovereignty and security,” Semneby said.
Semneby, who acted for number of times as a facilitator between the Georgian authorities and the opposition during the internal political tensions, involving series of mass street protests in 2007-2009, said that those events “had ultimately healthy influence on the political discourse in general in Georgia.”
“They demonstrated by balancing on the brink, on many occasions, what limits are on the use of force as means in politics and I think Georgia is much healthier place after these events were successfully dealt with,” he said.
'Overwhelming Dominance of Ruling Party'
Semneby said that overwhelming dominance of the ruling National Movement Party in government branches was putting on the authorities a large degree of responsibility.
“The current governing party also needs to consider how it uses the overwhelming domination that it has at the moment – with the constitutional majority in the Parliament and control of all municipal councils in the country – in a responsible way in order to provide the oxygen for alternative political voices to be heard,” he said.
Asked to elaborate further on the issue, Semneby said that he was only making an observation that there was “quite an extraordinary situation” in Georgia with one political force being “in a very, very, exceptionally strong position” and “it puts a large degree of responsibility on the political force that has this kind of dominance.”
Georgia’s Regional Role and Russia
Semneby said that Georgia in many ways achieved progress that “goes beyond what has been achieved by other countries in the region.”
“It’s important to consider that for its international partners Georgia is important in regional context, not just by itself and Georgia therefore needs to make its own contribution to stability in this region,” he said.
“This also includes relations with Russia where we need to find way - Georgia’s partners are willing and I think able to help here – to do more in terms of improving those relations without compromising on existential positions, but nevertheless there needs to be a qualitative change in these relationships.”
“Realistically speaking it will take time to address all the conflict-related issues and in the meantime it will be necessary and important to improve and develop relations between Georgia and Russia even with such fundamental differences remaining,” Semneby said.
He said that apart of human aspect and restoring contacts between Russia and Georgia on “personal level”, there were “lots of practical issues” that needed to be dealt, including the one related to trade.
“If there is development of Georgian-Russian relations in a broader sense it may – I say ‘may’, it’s not absolutely certain that it would be the case – also improve conditions for resolving very difficult political issues that still remain between the two countries,” he said.
Abkhazia, S.Ossetia
Semneby, who has been involved in developing EU’s “engagement without recognition” approach towards Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, said that EU had “much more extensive and much more intensive” interaction with Sokhumi, than with Tskhinvali.
He said he had extensive discussions both in Tbilisi and Sokhumi about where the greatest opportunities for engagement were and “I would say that the area of healthcare would provide important opportunities for further engagement.”
Semneby said that many of the aspects of Tbilisi’s approach were mirroring those of the EU.
“We have welcomed many of the initiatives taken by the Georgian government and in particular the Action Plan” for Engagement, Semneby said referring to a document which was approved by the Georgian government in July, 2010 and which lays out steps for implementing goals outlined in Tbilisi’s Strategy on Occupied Territories.
“We believe it [the Action Plan for Engagement] contains very many interesting intentions that clearly mirror priorities and views of the European Union… We are obviously ready to make a contribution to supporting those parts of Georgian plan that are in line with our own policies and convictions,” Semneby said.
He said that Georgia needed international partners in order to facilitate reconciliation. “Georgia also needs to trust its international partners in this endeavor,” Semneby added.
Asked about his shunning away from using term “occupied territories” in reference to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Semneby said: “Labeling here is not the most important issue.”
“The fact is that we have conflict situation that needs to be dealt with in such a way that we ensure that certain objectives are fulfilled. We should focus on tasks here to rebuild contacts across the confrontation lines, we should address the humanitarian issues, security-related issues including fulfillment of the agreements that entered in August and September 2008,” he said.
22 Feb. '11 Georgischer Soldat in Afghanistan getötet
21 Feb. '11 Abchasien startet eine Volkszählung, wobei u.a. auch die ethnische Zugehörigkeit erfaßt wird
Breakaway Abkhazia launched on February 21 census of population, which more than halved since the armed conflict in early 90s.
Mainly teachers have been recruited as census-takers in the process, which is scheduled to last till February 28. Respondents are asked 16 questions from Russian-language questionnaires, including details about education, ethnic groups and employment, chairperson of the Abkhaz statistics office, Zoia Avidzba, was quoted by the Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress. She also said that persons who had been away for more than 12 months would not be included. It was not clear when the results would be announced.
According to the latest census, held in Abkhazia in 2003, about 214,000 people lived in the breakaway region. The figures, however, are source of controversy with various estimates ranging from 180,000 to 220,000.
Based on number of voters registered in Abkhazia for 2005 elections, the Brussels-based think-tank International Crisis Group suggested that population in Abkhazia was between 157,000 and 190,000.
According to the pre-war census held in 1989 population of the region was 525,061, including 239,872 ethnic Georgians (45.7%), 93,267 Abkhaz (17.8%), 76,541 ethnic Armenians (14.6%) and 74,914 ethnic Russians (14.3%).
21 Feb. '11 Tbilisi und Tskhinvali tauschen sieben Festgehaltene aus
21 Feb. '11 Georgien unterzeichnet Vertrag mit der türkischen Agaoglu-Gruppe über den Bau von drei Wasserkraftwergen am Paravani-Fluss in Südgeorgien
20 Feb. '11 Medvedev warnte vor Bedrohungen der olympischen Winterspiele 2014 in Sotschi und erwähnte dabei Georgien
Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, warned of threats to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and mentioned Georgia in this context on February 18.
"Forces that would impede holding of the Olympic Games must be identified and brought to justice if we are talking about the citizens of our country. You all understand, that there also are certain problems related with our neighbor - Georgia; so everything that requires heightened attention should be done by the Foreign Minister, law enforcement agencies, security structures. Appropriate barriers should be put on the way of any provocations," Medvedev said.
He was speaking in Sochi at a meeting of Russia's National Security Council.
Head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Russia's Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia in the northwest of North Caucasus region, said in December 16, that Georgia was trying to destabilize situation in the border areas with Russia in order to thwart Sochi Olympics.
A group of Georgian lawmakers from parliamentary committees on foreign affairs and compatriots living abroad, as well as the parliamentary ad hoc commission on territorial integrity discussed in November what should be Georgia's position over holding of Olympics in Sochi. Although no formal decision has yet been taken, after that meeting, ruling party lawmakers said that it was necessary "to convince the international Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees and the international community in the necessity of holding 2014 Winter Olympics in a different country.”
Apart of the factor of occupation of Abkhazia, a ruling party lawmaker Nugzar Tsiklauri said after that meeting in November, Sochi Olympic Games “are planned to be held on the territory considered to be a place of genocide of Circassians.”
“According to the Olympic Charter, it is impossible to hold Olympic Games on the territory where the genocide of a nation took place,” MP Tsiklauri said.
Also in November Giorgi Baramidze, Georgia’s deputy prime minister and state minister for Euro-Atlantic integration, said that he personally "shares sentiments” of a group of Georgian lawmakers who expressed their opposition to holding of the Olympics in Sochi.
“I personally express solidarity with the members of parliament, because I understand sentiments, I understand why they think that Russia does not deserve to be the host of the Olympic Games - because the Olympic movement is something different that Russia demonstrates," Baramidze said in November.
Georgia was itself competing for hosting 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Borjomi and Bakuriani. But after Georgia’s bid was eliminated, President Saakashvili said in February, 2007, that Georgia would support Russia’s bid to hold the Olympics in Sochi.
“Olympic games in Sochi would foster peaceful processes in this region that has always been associated with conflicts. So in this regard, [Olympic Games in Sochi] will be a positive incentive for regional cooperation.” Saakashvili said in 2007.
19 Feb. '11 Diskussion um Gesetzesentwurf von Georgien’s neuem Nationalen Sicherheitskonzept im Parlament begonnen
19 Feb. '11 Beleidigungsanklage gegen abchasischem Politiker fallengelassen
18 Feb. '11 US-Geheimdienstchef James Clapper: Georgien’s Nordkaukasus-Anstrengungen würden zu Spannungen beitragen

18 Feb. '11 "Bank von Georgien" verkauft 80% der Anteile an der ukrainischen, Verluste einfahrenden "BG Bank", um dort keine weiteren Investitionen tätigen zu müssen
18 Feb. '11 Moskau sagt, Saakashvili's Aufruf zum Dialog sei ein 'PR-Zug'
18 Feb. '11 Premierminister Bakradze äußert sich zur finanziellen Transparenz des Rundfunks
18 Feb. '11 Georgien wird 11 Artellerieausbilder nach Afghanistan schicken
18 Feb. '11 US-Außenmnisterin Clinton trifft Außenminister Grigol Vashadze in Washington
17 Feb. '11 Tbilisi und Tskhinvali diskutieren den Austausch von Festgehaltenen
17 Feb. '11 Innenministerium sagt, dass eine 'Schlüsselfigur' hinter den Anschlägen, Merab Kolbaia, am 16.2. verhaftet wurde
17 Feb. '11 Nicht-Regierungsgruppen kritisieren die Stellungnahme des UNHCR vom 2.2. zur Zwangsräumung intern Vertriebener
UNHCR hatte festgestellt, dass es außer einigen Mängeln "keine größeren Verletzungen internationalen Rechts oder Standards" bei der Zwangsräumung in Tbilisi gab.
17 Feb. '11 Premierminister Putin trifft Kokoity in Moskau
17 Feb. '11 Biometrische Daten in den Gesprächen zur Wahlreform erörtert
16 Feb. '11 Zentralbank hebt den Leitzins auf 8% an
16 Feb. '11 Premierminister Gilauri: es gibt keine Pläne, die Kontrollanteile an der Nord-Süd-Kaukasus-Gaspipeline zu verkaufen
16 Feb. '11 Stellvertretendender Außenminister Tornike Gordadze: Gespräche zum Freihandelsabkommen mit der EU bleiben 'schwierig'
Preliminary talks on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) are the "most difficult" part of Association Agreement negotiations between Georgia and the EU, Tornike Gordadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with Brussels-based EUobserver.com on February 12.
Gordadze, who was appointed on the post of deputy foreign minister last summer, is Georgia’s chief negotiator in talks on Association Agreement with EU.
"We had quite serious preconditions in 2008, which we considered we've fulfilled and even went beyond,” Gordadze was quoted by EUobserver.com. “For instance, we've unilaterally abolished import taxes on 86 percent of the goods from the EU and made progress on food safety and intellectual property rights."
In July, 2010 when Georgia and EU launched Association Agreement, Saakashvili said that he hoped to have deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with EU in two years as a result of Association Agreement talks. But in his annual state of the nation address on February 11, Saakashvili said Georgia’s goal was to have free trade agreement with EU by 2015.
Gordadze also said that during talks with European Commission officials in charge of trade, he got the "impression that they have changed the preconditions: Now the ones that were set for concluding the negotiations are the same for starting the negotiations.”
“Some people also say the change could be some sort of indirect pressure from the EU to drop our objections in Russia's WTO bid. I hope this is not the case,” Gordadze said.
Georgian officials have said for number of times recently that Tbilisi’s position over Russia’s WTO entry remained unchanged. Georgia says that it is not against of Russia's WTO entry, but under the condition that Moscow makes border crossing points in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia “transparent”.
“We still do not see much will from Russia to reach out to us,” Saakashvili told Reuters in October, 2010. "We are ready for serious, meaningful talks about the issues but we have certain issues that cannot be overlooked and cannot be overcome by neglect.”
16 Feb. '11 Premierminister Gilauri besucht Armenien
16 Feb. '11 Georgien und Qatar unterzeichnen ein Luftverkehrsabkommen
15 Feb. '11 Georgien modernisiert nationales Sicherheitskonzept
15 Feb. '11 NATO-Gesandter James Appathurai nennt einige Details zu den georgischen Reformzielen
    * 'Long and winding road';
    * 'No arms embargo';
    * 'Enduring, fundamental difference'
Increasing democratic control of military and police are among those reform targets, which Georgia submitted to NATO in frames of its Annual National Programme, James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station on February 14.
Asked which of the NATO standards Georgia was not yet meeting, James Appathurai responded, that all of the partners working with NATO, including Georgia, “have reforms they wish to make.”
“Georgia has just submitted to NATO the annual plan for further reforms,” he said. “It includes upgrading and increasing democratic control of the military, same is true about the police; it means improving the management of them through government ministries. It includes fighting corruption – that’s the area where Georgia is doing very, very well. So there is lot to do and we continue to help them to do that.”
Annual National Programme, introduced in December 2008, is set of reform targets, which is drawn by the Georgian government and reviewed annually by NATO. The recent plan was approved by the Georgian government on February 4 and submitted to the alliance on February 11.
'Long and Winding Road'
James Appathurai also said in the same radio interview, that Georgia had “a long and winding road” to go before joining NATO.
“If I could give a date [when Georgia joins the alliance], it would go against the principle of NATO enlargement and that is conditions-based – the country has to meet the standards of the alliance. We have political standards, military standards and economic liberty standards,” he said.
“The NATO allies decided that Ukraine and Georgia… will become NATO members when they meet those standards and if they so desire of course.”
He said that NATO “respects 100%” Ukraine’s decision not to join NATO. “Georgia is still working for membership and we’re supporting them. But honestly speaking there is a long and winding road to follow,” Appathurai said.
'No Arms Embargo'
Responding to a listener’s question “why NATO is still arming Georgia,” NATO’s special envoy said that “NATO does not arm anybody.”
“NATO as an organization does not sell arms,” Appathurai said. “Individual allies of course are free to sell arms to whom they wish as long as those sales meet international law and norms. And there is no arms embargo, as far as I am aware, on sales to Georgia. I must say I also don’t have information about arms sales to Georgia, but if it is happening it is legal.”
'Fundamental Difference'
Asked why NATO refused to listen to a report by EU-funded fact-finding mission into the causes of the August war, Appathurai responded that the report drew some conclusions about what events had triggered the conflict in 2008.
“I’ve read the report and of course the [NATO] Secretary General has read the report as well,” he said. “It says a lot of things and I can’t say from my reading that it comes down clearly one way or another.”
“But frankly speaking what now is becoming the most enduring problem, when it comes to these two regions of Georgia [Abkhazia and South Ossetia] is not who started it [the war], but the fact of Russian recognition of these two republics, which no NATO ally can agree to and which, we believe firmly, undermines the territorial integrity of Georgia, which is going to be and is already enduring, fundamental difference of view between allies and Russia,” Appathurai said.
14 Feb. '11 Tbilisi verurteilt lokale Wahlen im abtrünnigen Abchasien
Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Tbilisi “condemns” local elections held by “the proxy regime operating in Russian occupied region of Abkhazia” on February 12.
"Considering the fact, that as a result of ethnic cleansing executed in Abkhazia, Georgia the overwhelming majority of local population was expelled from the places of original residence, this pseudo-democratic political act represents yet another cynical attempt to mislead the international community," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on February 14.
It also said that “so called elections” were another step towards “legitimization of the outcome of the ethnic cleansing” and called on the international community “to give an adequate assessment to the illegal elections.”
Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported that 38.8% of voters turned out at the polling stations on February 12. Local councils are elected for four-year terms. De facto president of the breakaway region appoints the heads of towns and districts from members of the elected local councils.
14 Feb. '11 Verschiedene Nichtregierungs-Organisationen rufen die Regierung dazu auf, den Vorschlag, das Umweltministerium auf niedrigere Ebenen zu verlagern, nicht im Parlament einzureichen
14 Feb. '11 Georgien begrüßt den 'demokratischen Prozess' in Ägypten
14 Feb. '11 Finanzministerium: sieben Beamte vom Gesundheits- und Sozialministerium sowie acht Angestellte von sechs Versicherungsunternehmen wegen Amtsmissbrauchs und Veruntreung von Staatsmitteln verhaftet
14 Feb. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze besucht die USA
12 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili spricht vom 'Vereinigten Kaukasus' in Gesprächen mit dem türkischen Außenminister
12 Feb. '11 In der Regierungserklärung bestimmt Präsident Saakashvili 2015 als neues Ziel zur Vollendung verschiedener Aufgaben
11 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili strebt ein Freihandelsabkommen mit der EU für 2015 an
11 Feb. '11 Regierung setzt 150 Mio. GEL zusätzliche Mittel ein, um die "sehr unbefriediegende Lage" in der Landwirtschaft zu verbessern
11 Feb. '11 Regierung plant '30 GEL-Nahrungsmittelkoupons'
11 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili lädt Diplomaten ein, Debatte nach der Regierungserklärung anzuhören
11 Feb. '11 Türkischer Außenminister besucht Georgien
10 Feb. '11 EU-Diplomat Peter Semneby: Konflikte sind 'primäre Bedrohung' für die Stabilität des Südkaukasus
10 Feb. '11 Umweltgruppen besorgt über den Vorschlag, das Umweltministerium auf niedrigere Ebenen zu verlagern
10 Feb. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze besucht Rumänien
10 Feb. '11 Regierung beginnt mit dem 20 Mio. GEL-Orogramm zur Unterstützung bei Stromrechnungen
9 Feb. '11 Regierungspartei abgeneigt gegenüber dem Einsatz biometrischer Daten bei Wahlen, da dies voller Probleme stecke
9 Feb. '11 Arbeitsgruppe zur Wahlreform, aus mehreren Parteien zusammengesetzt, nimmt Gespräche wieder auf
9 Feb. '11 Innenministerium gibt ein Computerspiel mit dem Namen "Polizei" heraus, in dem die Spieler als Polizisten agieren
8 Feb. '11 Georgien ratifiziert Luftverkehrsabkommen mit der EU
Dadurch können alle europäischen Fluglinien mit Direktflügen nach Georgien und umgekehrt georgische Fluglinien nach der EU tätig werden.
8 Feb. '11 Monument zur Erinnerung an die Opfer des Augustkrieges und der Säuberungen Stalins enthüllt anstelle der früheren Stalinstatue in Gori
8 Feb. '11 Umweltministerium wird auf eine niedrigere Ebene verlagert
8 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili’s Regierungserklärung für Freitag geplant
8 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: Georgien sei bereit, mehr Truppen nach Afghanistan zu senden
7 Feb. '11 Jungendliche hinter Überfall auf evangelische Baptistenkirche
7 Feb. '11 Tbilisi sagt es sei vorschnell, die Aufrufe nach einer Stationierung eines Raketenabwehrradarsystems in Georgien zu kommentieren
7 Feb. '11 Regierung erwägt einen Börsengang mit ihren Anteilen an Telasi, ein Einergieversorger in Tbilisi
7 Feb. '11 Georgische und iraniasche Diplomaten diskutieren über Zusammenarbeit
7 Feb. '11 Kirche sagt, sie sei bei den türkisch-georgischen Gesprächen zu fistorischen Stätten übergangen worden
6 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili ruft den Westen auf, Moskau zurück an den Verhandlungstisch zu bringen
President Saakashvili told the Munich Security Conference on Sunday that his call for a dialogue was responded by Moscow with further military build-up in Georgia’s “regions illegally occupied by the Russian troops.”
In his speech at the conference he reiterated Georgia’s non-use of force pledge and called on the EU and the United States “to bring those who believe in military supremacy back to the table of negotiations.”
“I came here today to repeat this simple message: Peace is the only solution, and a comprehensive political dialogue is the only way to achieve it,” Saakashvili said.
“But until now, how did the Russian leaders respond to our call? Not only they refused to reciprocate the non-use of force, they responded by accelerating the military build-up in the occupied regions, announcing lastly the deployment of offensive missiles 50 miles from our capital.”
He warned that ignoring the ongoing military build-ups “fueled by well-known foreign hands can lead to future disasters.”
“European and American involvement is essential,” Saakashvili said. “With your help, I am confident that we can transform this region marked by old-fashioned logics of domination into an area of cooperation and progress.”
Speaking at the same conference in Munich a day earlier, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that resolving “chronic conflicts” was a common interest. “To this end, we will need to discard double standards and be objective about each situation taking into full account positions of all parties,” Lavrov said.
On the sideline of the Munich Security Conference, President Saakashvili met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on February 5, as well as with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.
In Munich Saakashvili also met with Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey. Switzerland represents Russia's diplomatic interests in Georgia and Georgia's interests in Russia after the two countries cut diplomatic ties following the August, 2008 war.
The Georgian President’s administration said that “one of the key issues” discussed during the meeting with Micheline Calmy-Rey was intensification of Switzerland’s role as a mediator between Georgia and Russia.
6 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili's Rede auf der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz
February 6
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished guests of the conference,
In the past 20 years, the world has learnt that history did not end in 1989 and that it remains tragic.
The eclipse of the Cold War left behind a series of so-called “low intensity conflicts”—an euphemism for “conflicts of little importance to the international community.”
It is clear now to all of us in this room that these conflicts can have global effects and that stable states cannot preserve their own security while overlooking instability abroad.
Having experienced and survived very uncertain times, we, Georgians, believe not only that all people have the right to aspire to stability, but also that it is our collective responsibility to project this stability in areas where it does not exist.
This is why Georgia has sent almost 1,000 troops to support some of the most dangerous missions of the ISAF deployment in Afghanistan—to help the Afghan people achieve a sustainable peace and to prevent terrorists from again using that country as a base.
For Georgia, a country of just 4.7 millions souls, whose territory is still partly occupied, such an effort underscores our determination to be a provider—and not just a consumer—of international security.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to stress today that we are facing a decisive moment for the future of our region.
The arc of countries at the margin of what was not so long ago the Soviet Empire can be defined both as an arc of crisis—or so-called “frozen conflicts” - and as an area of opportunity for international cooperation.
We, Georgians, have seen in 2008 how quickly a “frozen conflict” can turn into a hot war and I cannot emphasize enough today the danger of overlooking ongoing tensions in the South Caucasus and beyond.
I came here to deliver one simple message: ignoring the ongoing military build-ups fueled by well-known foreign hands can lead to future disasters.
Ladies and gentlemen,
South Caucasus is the only alternative road to bring the Central Asian energy to Europe, a supply route for the ISAF mission, a region in which people are striving for transatlantic integration and for European transformation.
But a region, also, where the law of weapons has prevailed too many times in the recent past, where some leaders of a former Empire still apply a well known policy: “divide to rule”.
In order to avoid new confrontations, we should all take our responsibilities.
My government is committed to take every possible step in order to defuse tensions and pave the way to a just and lasting peace in the region.
In the 80% of Georgia that we control, we have made in the last 7 years considerable progress in building a multi-ethnic state where all citizens have access to the government and the economy.
Towards the regions illegally occupied by the Russian troops, we have adopted a comprehensive strategy of peaceful engagement of all populations, trying to rebuild the bridges between communities that the Soviet leaders and their heirs have systematically destroyed.
We never took the Russian refusal to comply with the August 12th 2008 cease-fire agreement as a pretext and we went beyond our commitments as defined in the cease-fire agreement, as well as in our cooperation with the essential European Monitoring Mission.
The head of the EUMM, Hansjorg Haber, defined our policy as a “constructive unilateralism”.
This “constructive unilateralism” has lead me to solemnly pledge last November before the European Parliament that Georgia will never use force in order to restore its territorial integrity, neither against the occupation forces nor against their proxies.
This pledge - a legal obligation for Georgia - was accompanied by a call for dialogue.
I came here today to repeat this simple message: Peace is the only solution, and a comprehensive political dialogue is the only way to achieve it.
But until now, how did the Russian leaders respond to our call?
Not only they refused to reciprocate the non-use of force, they responded by accelerating the military build-up in the occupied regions, announcing lastly the deployment of offensive missiles 50 miles from our capital.
Ladies and gentlemen,
European and American involvement is essential, in Georgia and beyond our borders, to bring those who believe in military supremacy back to the table of negotiations.
With your help, I am confident that we can transform this region marked by old-fashioned logics of domination into an area of cooperation and progress.
What is at stake is more than just a nation of 4,7 millions people dreaming of independence and transatlantic integration, and even more that the South Caucasus at large.
What is at stake is this Europe whole and free that the end of the Cold War should have allowed to exist already.
It is time to debunk the idea that so-called “frozen conflicts” are a stalemate and that advantage can only be gained by using force.
It is time for peace,
Thank you very much.
Source: Munich Security Conference website.
5 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili trifft Kanzlerin Angela Merkel in München
Gesprächsthemen: bilaterale Bezieheungen und regionale Sicherheitsfragen sowie Russlands Aufstocken der militärischen Kräfte in den besetzten Regionen.
President Saakashvili met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Munich on February 5 on the sideline of the 47th Security Conference on February 4-6.
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze told reporters before the meeting that the sides would discuss bilateral relations and regional security issues, as well as Russia’s military build-up in the occupied regions.
“We will ask the German side once again to call on the Russian Federation to fulfill its commitments,” Kalandadze said.
President Saakashvili will address the Munich Security Conference on February 6.
4 Feb. '11 Arbeiter der Kohlenmine in Tkibuli beenden Streik
4 Feb. '11 Premierminister Gilauri: 150-250 Mio. USD Unterstützung von den USA über die Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) erwartet
4 Feb. '11 Vier US-Senatoren nennen Georgien den idealen Platz - besser als in der Türkei - für ein Raketenabwehrradarsystem, ausgerichtet auf den Iran
Four Republican Senators have called for considering Georgia as an alternative site for placing NATO missile defense system-related radar, instead of Turkey if the latter conditions deployment of the radar on its soil to a refusal to share information gathered by the system with Israel.
“We believe the Republic of Georgia's geographic location would make it an ideal site for missile defense radar aimed at Iran, and would offer clear advantages for the protection of the United States from a long range missile launched from the nation as compared to Turkey, or other potential locations in southeastern Europe,” a letter by the four Senators to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reads.
The letter dated February 3 and signed by Senators Jon Kyl, James Risch, Mark Kirk and James Inhofe, was first reported by “The Cable” – a blog of The Foreign Policy magazine.
The letter asks the U.S. Defense Secretary if the Obama Administration was considering Georgia as a potential host of the radar.
“The Republic of Georgia should be a significant partner for future defense cooperation with the U.S., whether as a future member of NATO or in another capacity; it is already one of our nation's most loyal allies in the NATO mission in Afghanistan,” the letter reads.
4 Feb. '11 Jährliche Inflation reicht 12.3% im Januar
3 Feb. '11 UNHCR äußert sich zur Zwangsräumung der intern vertriebenen Georgier
N refugee agency (UNHCR) said on February 3, that despite some shortcomings,  "there have not been noted major violations of international law or standards" during series of evictions of IDP families from about two dozen of temporary shelters in Tbilisi in January.
UNHCR said that it had marked "improvement of the relocation process as compared to the situation in summer 2010", when eviction of IDPs from several state-owned buildings was criticized by the UN refugee agency. After the criticisms the authorities had to suspend the process and agreed to develop together with UNHCR set of procedures to govern the relocation process, which resumed in January.
UNHCR said that shortcomings were related to the monitoring process, "in particular to the observers free and unimpeded access to affected IDPs, and some specific challenges related to communication."
Hundreds of IDP families were evicted from temporary shelters in January; many of them are displaced from Abkhazia as a result of conflict in early 1990s; they occupied those buildings without the government's permission since the August, 2008 war. There were families among them, who were displaced as a result of the August war as well. These latter category was eligible to financial compensation of USD 10,000 in case of refusal to accept an alternative housing in the provincial regions. IDPs were against of relocation in the provinces because of lack of job opportunities there.
UNHCR said that any relocation or eviction from a place, which often had become second home, "may have caused significant hardship".  The refugee agency, however, also said that international norms "does not give any citizen, including IDPs, a right to be provided with housing at a specific place of preference."
According to the Ministry for IDPs from Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees about 10,000 families displaced from Abkhazia have been provided with houses in private ownership in Tbilisi.
Unlike series of evictions in summer, 2010, UNHCR said, that in January "disproportionate use of force was avoided", apart from one incident and IDPs were "in principle informed" about the eviction.
"No one was left on the street. Financial assistance was paid to those who are eligible and had completed their application timely. Locations offered for relocation – to the extent UNHCR and partner monitors had visited them – were  prepared and suitable to accommodate IDPs," the agency said.
"It is understandable that all these mitigating measures, as effective they may alleviate suffering, cannot make happy any IDP who prefers to stay in Tbilisi."
On January 28 Amnesty International expressed concern that recent evictions "failed to meet international standards". The statement was rejected by the Georgian authorities as "biased and unfair".
On February 3 a group of fifteen Georgian human rights and legal advocacy organizations released a joint statement backing the Amnesty International's conclusions. The group said that the authorities should provide "adequate prior notice" informing IDPs about the planned eviction and should protect "honor, dignity and ownership rights" of IDPs during the eviction; it also called on the authorities to provide all the eligible IDPs with timely compensation and relocated IDPs with "adequate housing" options in the areas with job opportunities.
In the statement UNHCR acknowledged that there "are still conflicting views among Georgian lawyers on the full compatibility of the eviction process with applicable national norms, and acknowledges that there is room for different interpretations of norms and certain tensions and inconsistencies between different relevant norms."
The UN refugee agency also said that the day to day and "highly politicized debate" on the evictions overshadowed bigger dimension of the problem related to
the living conditions and integration of thousands of IDPs, in particular those residing in rural areas. UNHCR said that those IDPs "still live under terrible conditions" and for them "a durable solution is not yet in sight."
"UNHCR is concerned over the high level of polarization of the present debate. The plight of IDPs is too important to be abused for quick political gain. We call on all political actors, government, opposition and NGOs to engage in a constructive dialogue inspired by humanitarian spirit in order to find best but also fundable and realistic solutions for IDPs," it said.
UNHCR statement also involves list of recommendations to the authorities, including to provide relocated IDPs with vocational training opportunities and income generation projects; to develop "a clear vision" on the future of the remaining collective centers where IDPs are remaining. The agency also recommended to minimize relocations and, where unavoidable, give IDPs the choice between different alternative housing options.
3 Feb. '11 Staatliche Prüfungsstelle kritisiert 'unehrliche' Versicherungsgesellschaften heftig
2 Feb. '11 Regierung stellt 20 Mio. GEL bereit, um private Haushalte bei der Bezahlung der Stromrechnungen zu unterstützen; dies ist als Maßnahme gegen die Belastung durch Inflation gedacht
2 Feb. '11 Arbeiter der Kohlenmine in Tkibuli im Streik
2 Feb. '11 Moskau spricht abfällig überr Präsident Saakashvili’s Bemerkungen über Russland
President Saakashvili’s recent remarks on Russia cast doubt over sincerity of his non-use of force pledge and make it difficult to continue serious discussions on confidence-building measures, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on February 1.
The reference was made on statements made by President Saakashvili during his lengthy live televised question and answer session with the public on January 25. He said he would use a term “enemy” while referring to Russia and added that he was looking forward to the time when he would no longer use this term in reference to Russia. “You know there is a principle of boomerang and you know a great tragedy happened yesterday in Moscow [terrorist act in Domodedovo airport]; there is no justification for terrorism,” Saakashvili said. He also said that Russia had “a political mentality, which is on the level of reptile; like a crocodile ready to swallow you up.” He said the war was not yet over and Georgia would win this war if the country remained consolidated and continued its development. He described Russia’s North Caucasus as “ghetto”, where, he said, local population was repressed.
“It has been confirmed, that the Georgian authorities insistently continue line of further deterioration of relations with Russia. At the same time concerns of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian sides about their security in the face of direct threat from the Georgian side are justified,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“After this kind of remarks by the Georgian President it is difficult to continue serious discussions on the issues related with confidence building and return of refugees, as it is envisaged by the agenda of the Geneva Discussions on Trans-Caucasus. Real stance of Tbilisi is not in line with the solemn pledge [on non-use of force] made before the international audience in Strasbourg [at the European Parliament] and in other Western cities. With the efforts of the Georgian leadership Geneva [discussions] are again being thrown back. With this in mind, it is clear that issue of providing firm security to Abkhazia and South Ossetia and providing them with guarantees of non-use of force from Georgia remain major priorities for the Geneva Discussions. We will take it into consideration in the process of preparation of 15th round of [Geneva talks] scheduled for March 4. We hope that the international community and first and foremost UN, OSCE and EU, as co-chairs of the Geneva meetings, will give adequate assessment to the existing situation and will support the Russian Federation’s efforts directed towards strengthening still fragile security and stability in the region,” the Russian Foreign ministry said.
1 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: 'Singapur und Estland - Beispiele für Georgien'
President Saakashvili reiterated on February 1 that Georgia should follow Singapore's path of development and added that Estonia was also an example.
"I am often saying that Georgia should follow suit of Singapore and Georgia follows Estonia's suit in many things," he said in televised speech at vocational education and training center in eastern region of Kakheti.
"We are often told by the Europeans: 'Why are you fixated on Singapore; there is totally different situation, there was absolutely different regime; your country is moving on the path of the European democracy' - and that's true, but democracy does not mean instability," Saakashvili said.
"We say we learn from Singapore and Estonia. Singapore was the country, or to say more precisely, a small town. It lived much poorly than we do. It is smaller than Tbilisi by size or maybe of the same size. It has seven square kilometers of access to the sea - much less than we have and It was surrounded by hostile environment – by big states, which were all ready to swallow up this small country, which had neither agricultural lands, nor potable and irrigation water and generally, its situation was absolutely hopeless, it had no natural resources either. But this country managed to become one of the richest countries in the world. Then what the hell is happening with Georgia? We have such land, such natural resources, such nature and such talented people," he said.
1 Feb. '11 Chef des Nachrichtendienstes Gela Bezhuashvili in der USA zur 'weiteren Qualifikation' 
1 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili wird die 47. Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz besuchen
1 Feb. '11 Premierminister Nika Gilauri besucht die USA
1 Feb. '11 Präsident Saakashvili wird in naher Zukunft die jährliche Regierungserklärung dem Parlament übergeben
1 Feb. '11 Gewinn der Banken 2010 bei 86.8 Mio. USD
31 Jan. '11 Russische Truppen in Südossetien halten fünftägige Übungen zusammen mit südossetischen Milizen ab
31 Jan. '11 Decision on How PACE will Follow August War-Related File
31 Jan. '11 Tbilisi zu den Unruhen in Ägypten: Hoffnung auf Lösung zugunsten der Bürger und der Demokratie
30 Jan. '11 Georgiern wird abgeraten, nach Ägypten zu reisen
29 Jan. '11 Amnesty äußert Besorgnis über die Zwangsräumung intern Vertriebener: Behörden hätten versäumt, im Voraus eine entsprechende Ankündigung herauszugeben, wie finanzielle Unterstützung erfolgen wird und Beobachtern den ungehinderten vollen Zugang zu geben
Nach Transparency International-Georgia, die die Zwangsräumungen beobachteten, sei das Versäumnis der Regierung gewesen, öffentlich die Komplexität dieser Angelegenheit einzugestehen.
Amnesty International expressed concerned that recent evictions of internally displaced families "failed to meet international standards."
"In particular, Amnesty International is concerned that the authorities failed to give adequate prior notice to those evicted, to ensure that all those eligible were provided with financial assistance prior to their removal, and to give full and unhindered access to monitors. Amnesty International is also concerned by reports that not all the alternative housing offered to those evicted by the government fully meets the standards of adequate housing," the rights group said on January 28.
About six hundred IDP families were evicted from some twenty two buildings in Tbilisi since January 20. These families, many of them displaced from Abkhazia as a result of conflict in early 1990s, occupied those buildings without the government's permission since the August, 2008 war. There were families among them, who were displaced as a result of the August war as well.
According to the Transparency International-Georgia, which is monitoring IDPs housing process, this complex problem involving eviction, resettlement and providing monetary compensation "are politicized, generalized and misunderstood." According to this watchdog group one of "the biggest shortcomings" has been government’s failure to publicly acknowledge complexity of the issue and to explain how and why it makes decisions on issues such as eviction.
"More effective public communication about decisions would go a long way towards allaying the public’s concerns," it said.
28 Jan. '11 Premierminister Nika Gilauri sagt, dass Giorgi Pertaia, bisher Berater des Premierministes, Steuer-Ombudsman werden soll
27 Jan. '11 Georgien’s Außenhandel 2010 um 21% angewachsen auf 6.67 Mrd. USD
27 Jan. '11 Georgien führt diplomatische Beziehungen mit Somalia ein
26 Jan. '11 Tbilisi protestiert gegen die Aufstellung von russischen Eisenbahn-Spezialisten Abchasien
26 Jan. '11 Sokhumi, Tskhinvali besorgt bezüglich einer Aussage von Präsident Saakashvili in der TV-Sendung mit Hörerfragen: er benutzte die Wendung, der Krieg sei noch nicht vorbei.
26 Jan. '11 Zwei Personen verhaftet wegen der Explosion in einer Kohlenmine in Tkibuli
26 Jan. '11 Premierminister wird diese Woche einen Steuer-Ombudsman ernennen gemäß der neuen Steuerordnung, die im Januar in Kraft getreten ist
25 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili im Fernsehen mit Live-Hörerfragen
25 Jan. '11 Georgien 'skeptisch' bezüglich des franz.-russ. Mistral-Geschäftes
25 Jan. '11 Russland repariert die abchasische Eisenbahn für 67 Mio. USD auf Kreditbasis
24 Jan. '11 Tbilisi verurteilt den Anschlag auf den Moskauer Flughafen
24 Jan. '11 Tbilisi verurteilt die Aufstellung von Tochka-U Raketen im abtrünnigen Südossetien
Georgian Foreign Ministry said reported deployment of short-range ballistic missiles, Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab B) and other offensive weapons in breakaway South Ossetia “points clearly to the Russian Federation's plans to launch open military aggression against Georgia.”
“The deployment of the Tactical Operational Missile Complex "Tochka - U" and the artillery battalion equipped with Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems poses a direct and overt threat to the peaceful population and territory of Georgia. By taking such actions Russia follows through with its aggressive policy directed towards the destruction of the Georgian statehood and elimination of the peaceful population of Georgia, as well as towards causing large-scale instability in the Caucasus and throughout the Black Sea Region,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 24.
Interfax news agency reported earlier on January 24, quoting unnamed source from Russia’s Southern Military District, that tactical-operational missile unit with Tochka-U rockets with maximum range of 120 kilometers had been deployed in the Russian military base in South Ossetia. The same news agency reported in December, also quoting unnamed Russian military source, that Russia had deployed Smerch (Tornado) multiple-launch rocket systems in vicinity of Tskhinvali.
“It needs to be emphasized that it was with the use of "Tochka - U" systems that the Russian Federation completely destroyed the city of Bamut (Republic of Chechnya) and eliminated its peaceful population. The Ballistic missiles of this system can be equipped with cluster (consisting of 50 bomblets) and nuclear warheads,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
“The deployment of the offensive rocket systems in the occupied region points clearly to the Russian Federation's plans to launch open military aggression against Georgia.”
“[Georgia] demands strongly from the international community, international organizations and partner countries to adopt active and effective measures in order to pressure Russia to end its aggressive policy against Georgia, fulfill its international commitments, including 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement, undertake a commitment on the non-use of force and ensure the full and immediate de-occupation of the Georgian territory,” it said.
24 Jan. '11 Presseberichte: Russland stellt im abtrünnigen Südosseteien taktisch-operative Raketen vom Typ Tochka-U mit einer max. Reichweite von 120 km auf
Interfax news agency reported on January 24, quoting unnamed source from Russia’s Southern Military District, that tactical-operational missile unit with Tochka-U rockets had been deployed in the Russian military base in South Ossetia.
Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab B) is a short-range tactical ballistic missile with maximum range of 120 kilometers.
The source was quoted that “the Georgian special services have been informed about the presence of the rockets in South Ossetia, which are capable to effectively repel any aggression from Tbilisi.”
The same news agency reported in December, also quoting unnamed Russian military source, that Russia had deployed Smerch (Tornado) multiple-launch rocket systems in vicinity of Tskhinvali. Tbilisi said at the time that it was part of Moscow’s “aggressive policy” against Georgia, posing threat to the entire region.

24 Jan. '11 Am 25.1. Wiederstart von Georgien’s russischsprachigem TV-Sender als "PIK" (Perviy Informatsionniy Kavkazsky, the First Caucasus News), früher "First Caucasian"
24 Jan. '11 Abchasicher Oppositionspolitiker Iakub Lakoba, der der Beleidigung angeklagt worden war, wurde freigelassen
24 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili plant zweite TV-Sendung mit Live-Hörerfragen
23 Jan. '11 Minister Koba Subeliani: Opposition versuche, aus der Zwangsräumung der intern Vertreibenen "politisch zu punkten"
22 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili wirft wegen der Explosion den Minenbesitzern in Tkibuli vor, Sicherheitsnormen vernachlässigt zu haben
22 Jan. '11 Ministerium für intern Vertriebene: alle Zwangsgeräumte werden mit 'adäquaten Hauslösungen' versorgt werden
22 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili besucht Armenien
22 Jan. '11 Ein Minenarbeiter stirbt, vier werden verletzt bei einer Explosion in einer Kohlenmine in Tkibuli
22 Jan. '11 Abchasischer Politiker der Opposition Iakub Lakoba verhaftet wegen 'Beleidigung' des russischen state audit chamber-Vorsitzenden Sergei Stepashin
21 Jan. '11 Ombudsmann Giorgi Tugushi ruft dazu auf, die zwangsgeräumten intern Vertriebenen ‘adäquat’ zu entschädigen
21 Jan. '11 Tbilisi begrüßt die Verabschiedung einer Resolution im Europaparlament zu einer EU-Strategie in der Schwarzmeer-Region
Tbilisi welcomed European Parliament's resolution passed on January 20 calling on the EU to draw up a strategy on the Black Sea region to define its "comprehensive approach" to address challenges in the area.
The resolution on an EU Strategy for the Black Sea, among other things, calls on the EU for "more direct engagement" and for taking "a leading role in the negotiations and peace-making processes".
In respect of Georgia, the resolution calls on EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton "to step up efforts to encourage Russia to comply with the six-point Sarkozy Plan to stabilise and resolve the conflict in Georgia."
It says that "human rights violations are a daily occurrence in occupied South Ossetia and Abkhazia" and calls on the EU "to respond actively to all kinds of human rights violations in the Black Sea region."
In a statement released shortly after the resolution was passed, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said that it "highly appreciates the initiative to elaborate the Black Sea Strategy."
"It is noteworthy that the European Parliament referred to the Georgian regions as the 'occupied territories'," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
In respect of conflicts, the resolution, prepared based on a report by Romanian MEP Traian Ungureanu from the European People's Party, also calls on the EU to strengthen its monitoring systems and to develop an early-warning system as a conflict-prevention and confidence-building tool in the Black Sea region.
On energy security issues, the resolution stresses on the importance of the Southern Corridor and "the significance" of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transportation to Europe in the form of the AGRI project.
AGRI - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania Interconnection - refers to the project, according to which Azerbaijani gas will be delivered via pipelines to a terminal in Kulevi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, where it will be liquefied. Tankers would then ship the liquefied gas to the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanţa and after regasification it will be transported via pipelines further into Europe.
20 Jan. '11 Zwei Männer verhaftet bei Handgemenge während der Zwangsräumung von intern Vertriebenen in Tbilisi
20 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili sagt, dass Georgien die Rolle der Landwirtschaft in der Gesamtwirtschaft fördern sollte
20 Jan. '11 Zwangsräumung von intern Vertriebenen aus Wohnungen in Tbilisi, die sie spontan ohne Erlaubnis besetzt hatten, wieder aufgenommen
19 Jan. '11 Leichtes Erdbeben der Stärke 5.7 in Imeretien, keine Opfer
19 Jan. '11 Außenminister Grigol Vashadze trifft den aserbaidschnischen Präsidenten Ilham Aliyevzu Gesprächen über wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und regionale Sicherheit
19 Jan. '11 Existenzminimum erreicht Siebenjahreshoch
19 Jan. '11 Visa-Erleichterungen und Neuzulassungsabkommen zwischen der EU und Georgien werden im März in Kraft treten
18 Jan. '11 Zentralbank hält den Leitzins bei 7.5%
18 Jan. '11 Georgischer Premierminister Nika Gilauri trifft den UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon in Abu Dhabi neben dem "World Future Energy Summit"
18 Jan. '11 Georgiens Delegation wies bei der Diskussion von PACE zu den "Folgen des Augustkrieges" am 17.1. in Paris darauf hin, dass sie das Treffen für einen Versuch halte, die Nicheinhaltung der Verpflichtungen aus der Serie von Resolution zum Augustkrieg zu überspielen
A closed hearing, organized by Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE), was held in Paris on January 17 to discuss the issue of, as it is called, “the consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia”.

The hearing was snubbed by the Georgian delegation in PACE, as Georgian lawmakers viewed the meeting as an attempt by Russia to paper over its non-compliance of obligations under the series of resolutions passed by the PACE in respect of the August war.

‘We Should Not Argue About Past Anymore’

President of PACE, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, representatives from EU and UN, as well as from the Russian delegation in PACE participated in the meeting, which was held upon the initiative of Swiss lawmaker, Dick Marty, chairman of PACE’s monitoring committee.

The hearing behind the closed door was held to discuss, as PACE reported, humanitarian situation, as well as perspectives of addressing the consequences of the war and implementation of the Parliament Assembly’s three resolutions in this regard.

Next day a statement by PACE President Mevlüt Çavusoglu was released. He said: “We should not argue about the past anymore - we need to discuss the future.”

“The cornerstone of building the future is of course a lasting political settlement of the conflict in conformity with international law and guaranteeing security and freedoms and rights of the populations concerned. Until this lasting settlement is found the conflict will continue to compromise both stability and economic development of the whole region,” he said.

"We must, first of all, deal with the living conditions, human rights and perspectives of the populations directly affected by these conflicts. I am persuaded that, if we are really determined and concerted, we can and must achieve concrete results on this ‘humanitarian dimension’ of the consequences of the war without further delay,” PACE President added.

The issue known as “the consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia” is debated time after time in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly since October, 2008, when PACE adopted a resolution on the consequences of the war, which, among other things, also calling on Russia to withdraw its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Since then PACE monitoring committee has been following implementation of the obligations in respect of Georgia and Russia originating from that resolution. Two other resolutions were taken by PACE since then on the same issue - one in January, 2009 and another one in September, 2009. This latter resolution was calling on Russia to fulfil obligations under the resolution by the end of 2009.

The Georgian delegation in PACE tried to keep the issue high on the Assembly’s agenda, using the forum for pressing Russia over its unfulfilled obligations, which Moscow was describing as politicized, which were impossible to fulfill.

Dick Marty, chairman of PACE’s monitoring committee, who visited Moscow and Tbilisi in December, proposed to hold a separate meeting to discuss how to proceed further with the issue of “the consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia”.

Georgia's Position

MP Davit Darchiashvili, a member of the Georgian delegation in PACE and chairman of European integration committee in the Georgian Parliament, spoke about the reasons why Georgian refused to take part in the hearings in Paris in an interview with Tbilisi-based Maestro TV on January 17.

He said that the Georgian side was skeptical about such meeting from very beginning and told about it to Dick Marty when was in Tbilisi. But despite skepticism, MP Darchiashvili said, at the time the Georgian side agreed to participate on the condition that the hearing in Paris would discuss how PACE was planning to address Russia’s failure to follow its obligations under the PACE’s three resolutions.

“Impression was left that his [Dick Marty] intention was to focus hearings mainly on the humanitarian aspects of the issue,” MP Darchiashvili said adding that discussing humanitarian issues without political aspects, involving PACE’s three resolutions, would not bring results.

Georgian lawmakers say that “one suspicious” element also emerged shortly after Dick Marty concluded his visit in Tbilisi in December, which further increased Tbilisi’s skepticism about the Paris meeting. MP Darchiashvili said that Dick Marty did not inform Georgian interlocutors in Tbilisi that while visiting Moscow, prior to arriving in Tbilisi, Russians arranged unscheduled meeting of senior lawmakers from Abkhazia and South Ossetia with Marty over lunch. He said that the Georgian officials only learned about it from the Russian media reports shortly after Dick Marty concluded his visit in Tbilisi.

“In general Russians were interpreting this format [hearings in Paris] as a tool for paving way for these entities [referring to breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia] to gradually take seats in the process as if they are part of international law,” MP Darchiashvili said.

“There is a reasonable suspicion, that Russians want to use it for a single purpose – to shift focus from the already adopted resolutions and from the issue of non-compliance with those resolutions to such issues like allowing its proxy regimes to be involved into the process as if they represent any legitimate structures,” he said.

He also said “at this stage it seems that PACE’s resources” in respect of the issue of consequences of the August war “are exhausted”.

“PACE has no levels to force Russia to follow its obligations… But we should continue using the Parliamentary Assembly in order to constantly remind Russia about its unfulfilled obligations. But at the same time we should work in frames of other existing formats – Geneva discussions, as well as in our relations with EU and the United States,” Darchiashvili said.

MP Petre Tsiskarishvili, leader of parliamentary majority and a member of Georgian delegation in PACE said on January 17: “If some individual lawmakers or groups want to start some kind of a parallel process beyond the Parliamentary Assembly [sessions], which does not serve to the cause of demanding implementation of the obligations laid out in those resolutions, it is not in our interests; to some extent it gives Russia possibility to shun away from implementation of its obligations.”

Russia’s Position

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, State Duma, and said in an interview with the Russian state newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, published on January 18, that the meeting in Paris showed that there was “sense of tiredness” in PACE about discussing the issue of consequences of the war over and over again.

“It is hard for many PACE members to acknowledge erroneousness of their initial conclusions laying responsibility for the conflict on Russia. No one is trying to do that today. But on the other hand, unfortunately, there are few people here who would openly agree that it was a mistake and that Georgia is fully responsible. So many parliamentarians prefer to leave that to the history and that there is now need to talk about the present and future of the region,” Kosachev said, adding that he disagreed with such approach because without proper conclusions about what had happened in the past it would not be possible to move forward.

He said that the meeting in Paris was issue-based and substantive.

“Tone of conversation was different from the previous ones; it was much more constructive,” Kosachev said. “Probably it was for the first time since the conflict I felt some kind of optimism that PACE will be able to find its place in relevant discussions and that PACE will be able to bring real benefit.”

He also said that PACE resolutions in respect of the consequences of the war contained provisions “unrealistic” to be fulfilled and added that those resolution would “lead to deadlock.”

“More and more sober-minded members of the organization understand it,” Kosachev said.


18 Jan. '11 Premierminister Gilauri besucht Visits Vereinigte Arabische Emirate
18 Jan. '11 Sokhumi kritisiert EU's Abchasien-Politik
17 Jan. '11 Tbilisi kommentiert russische Presseberichte über 'Gespräche zu Waffengeschäften' mit den USA
17 Jan. '11 Georgien nimmt diplomatische Beziehungen mit der Demokratischen Repubilk Kongo auf
17 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili besucht Armenia
17 Jan. '11 Georgischer Außenminister besucht Azerbaijan
15 Jan. '11 US-Präsident Obama und US-Vizepräsident Biden treffen sich mit Präsident Saakashvili zu einem mehr als 25-minütigen Gespräch in Washington
Gesprächsthemen waren Georgiens Anstrengen, in seiner wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung fortzuschreiten und den Handel zu steigern, Sicherheitsherausforderungen im Kaukasus und die Zusammenarbeit der ISAF-Streitkräfte beider Länder in Afghanistan.
Präsident Saakashvili traf auch die Kongresspolitiker David Dreier und Bill Shuster sowie den Senator Joe Lieberman, den er mit dem "St. George’s Victory Order" auszeichnete. Weiterrhin traf er auf Senator Richard G. Lugar, den Spitzenvertreter der Republikaner im Komitee für Auslandsbeziehungen und Carl Levin, den Vorsitzenden des Senatsausschusses für die parlamentarische Kontrolle des US-Verteidigungsministeriums.
U.S. President Barack Obama met his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili in Washington on January 14 after the two leaders attended a memorial service for a veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who died in December.
“Vice President Biden joined him for the conversation,” the White House said in a statement.
“The leaders discussed Georgia’s efforts to advance its economic development and increase trade.  They also discussed security challenges in the Caucasus and the work of ISAF forces in Afghanistan, where brave Georgians stand shoulder to shoulder with American forces,” it said.
The White House also said that President Obama thanked Saakashvili for making the trip to Washington for the memorial service and for the award that the Georgian President had bestowed on Richard Holbrooke.
The U.S. diplomat was awarded with Saint George's Victory Order posthumously for “promoting peace and democracy throughout the world, for his personal shares in strengthening Georgian-American relations, for his special support provided for Georgia.” Shortly after Holbrooke’s death President Saakashvili also announced about renaming one of the streets in Tbilisi after Holbrooke, calling him his “trusted friend and confidant.”
The Georgian President’s administration said in a statement, that the meeting, which lasted “more than 25 minutes”, was held “upon the initiative of the White House.”
“Barack Obama reiterated steadfast political support towards Georgia,” the Georgian President’s administration said. “During the meeting, the leaders of two countries have agreed on a meeting in frames of a broader format.”
“The U.S. President tasked the National Security Council to continue cooperation to report on every concrete issue raised by the Georgian leader,” it said.
The first face-to-face meeting between Obama and Saakashvili was held on the sideline of NATO summit in Lisbon in November.
In Washington President Saakashvili also met with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, John Boehner, on January 12.
Saakashvili also met with Republican Congressmen David Dreier and Bill Shuster, as well as Senator Joe Lieberman, who he awarded with St. George’s Victory Order. Saakashvili also met with Senator Richard G. Lugar, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin.
14 Jan. '11 Russischer Armeeoffizier David Aliyev vom südlichen Militärdistrikt und seine Mutter vom FSB wegen 'Spionageverdachts für Georgien' verhaftet
Sie sollen geheime Informationen über den Militärdistrikt für Georgien gesammelt haben.
Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said a Russian army officer and his mother were arrested on suspicion of spying for Georgia, the Russian media sources reported on January 14.
“A serviceman of one of the military unites in the Southern Military District, Senior Lieutenant David Aliyev, was arrested on suspicion of treason in a form of espionage; he was tasked by the Georgian special services to gather secret information about the military district,” an official from the Russian FSB was quoted by the Russian news agencies.
According to the same reports Aliyev’s mother, Irina Aliyeva, was also arrested as “she was intending to deliver information, gathered by her son, to Georgia.”
During last two years Russia imprisoned at least six persons charged with spying in favor of Georgia.
In March 2010 Russia’s North Caucasus Military Court found one Georgian and two Russian citizens guilty of spying in favor of Georgia through gathering information about military facilities in North Caucasus.
In December 2009 the court in Russia’s North Ossetian Republic found a Russian citizen of Georgian origin guilty of spying in favor of Tbilisi and sentenced him to eight years in prison.
In October 2009 a Russian military court found a serviceman of the Russian armed forces guilty of spying in favor of Georgia and sentenced him to nine years in prison, while in August 2009 the same military court sentenced former deputy commander of one of Russia’s military units of North Caucasus Military District, Lt.-Col Mikhail Khachidze, to six years in prison.
14 Jan. '11 Von der eigenen Partei gefeuert; Ex-Premierminister Zurab Nogaideli plant, eine neue Partei zu gründen
Ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli, who has been demoted from the leadership of the opposition party he founded two years ago, said on January 14 he would launch a new party.
Last year a group of activists from the Movement for Fair Georgia, which was chaired by Nogaideli, accused the party leader of a failure to pay salaries for the work carried out by them during the campaign ahead of the May, 2010 local elections.
The group convened the party congress in December, 2010 in which it was reported that 3,500 activists participated and voted to sack Nogaideli from the post of the party chairmanship, although leaving him as one of the members of the party’s governing body.
On January 11 the Georgian Justice Ministry said that the congress was legally eligible to take such decision as it was held in line with procedures and officially registered the decision, meaning that Nogaideli was no longer entitled to lead the party.
Speaking at a news conference on January 14, Nogaideli said that the group, which confronted him and their campaign, which eventually led to his sacking was orchestrated by the authorities, in particular by Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili and Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili.
He said that “the illegal decision” by the Justice Ministry to formalize decision by “illegal party congress” would not stop him from political activities.
“We will set up a movement, which will be old by its content, but formally it will be a new on in order to overthrow, destroy and dismantle [President] Saakashvili’s regime,” Nogaideli said.
Movement for Fair Georgia was established by Nogaideli in December, 2008.
The party participated in the 2010 local elections in a coalition with Conservatives and Party of People; the bloc garnered 8.26% of votes in the capital city.
Nogaideli, who served as prime minister in Saakashvili's administration from 2005 till November 2007, signed on behalf of Movement for Fair Georgia a cooperation agreement with the Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, in February 2010. He met with Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin for at least twice since December, 2009. He was strongly criticized for his links with the Russian leadership by the authorities and by some opposition parties as well.
14 Jan. '11 46 Mio. EUR Unterstützung für Georgien für 2011 durch EU-Kommission vorgeschlagen als Teil des 500 Mio. EUR-Paketes, das nach dem Augustkrieg versprochen wurde
The European Commission proposed on January 13 to provide Georgia with another EUR 46 million in macro-financial assistance for this year as part of EUR 500 million aid package pledged by EU after the August war.
The assistance, with EUR 23 million in grants and another half in loan, “follows the successful implementation during 2009-10 of a macro-financial assistance of the same amount” and “will contribute to cover Georgia's external financing needs in 2011,” the European Commission said.
It said that the assistance was conditional on satisfactory progress under Georgia’s ongoing economic programme supported by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and “on the implementation of a number of reform measures to be agreed between the EU and Georgia.”
“While the economic recovery is taking hold, the country's external situation remains vulnerable as the financing of the large current account deficit remains uncertain. Georgia's exports continue to suffer from the trade embargo imposed by Russia, while FDI inflows, negatively affected by the crisis, remain low,” the European Commission said.
The assistance would be provided in two installments, tentatively in the second and the fourth quarter of 2011.
14 Jan. '11 US-Organisation "Freedom House": Georgien bleibt bei 'teilweise frei' eingestuft, aber bei den Demokratie-Indikatoren sei 2010 eine leichte Verbesserung zu sehen'
Georgia remains "partly free", but its democracy indicators saw a slight improvement last year, according to an annual survey by the U.S.-based rights group, Freedom House, released on January 13.
Freedom in the World 2011 examines the political and civil rights in 194 countries and 14 territories around the world and covers developments in 2010. Each country or territory is given a status “free”, “partly free” or “not free” based on points in political rights and civil liberties categories on a scale from 1 to 7 with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free.
Georgia's score in political rights category remains unchanged and like in previous report it still stands at 4; but in the recent survey Georgia's score in the category of civil liberties is improved from 4 to 3.
Freedom House attributed this improvement to "a reduction in the political instability the country confronted in the aftermath of the 2008 Russian invasion."
Another reason behind the improvement, according to the survey, is "greater media diversity, including the launch of satellite broadcasts by the opposition television station Maestro."
Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) granted Maestro TV a satellite broadcast license for a ten-year term in mid-2009. Maestro TV launched satellite broadcasting in May, 2010; but it had to suspend it, remaining available through cable, several months later, citing financial problems.
Similar survey by the Freedom House, covering 2008, disqualified Georgia from the list of electoral democracies “due to flaws in the presidential and parliamentary election process.” In the recent survey Georgia still remains out of electoral democracies.
The annual report by Freedom House also ranks breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia under the category of “disputed territories." Like in previous reports South Ossetia is ranked as “not free” and Abkhazia as “partly free.”
According to the survey’s findings, Freedom House said, 2010 was the fifth consecutive year in which global freedom suffered a decline.
13 Jan. '11 Internationaler Währungsfonds IWF zahlt 153 Mio. USD Hilfe an Georgien aus
Weiterhin begrüßt der IWF die Zusage der Regiereung, die Staatsausgaben für 2011 zu deckeln.
Georgia’s economic recovery has strengthened as evidenced by “better-than-expected growth”, but “significant downside medium-term external risks remain” related to the uncertainty in foreign direct investment inflows, International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.
IMF executive board completed the seventh and eighth reviews of Georgia's economic performance and allocated USD 153 million as part of Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved in September, 2008 with initial amount of USD 750 million and increased to about USD 1 billion in 2009 and extended to June, 2011.
IMF said that the Georgian government indicated they were not intending to draw the amount.
“We can use these funds anytime we need it; we do not need it yet,” PM Nika Gilauri said at a government session on January 13.
IMF welcomed decision by the Georgian authorities to introduce, as it put it, “an escape clause” in the constitutional amendment subjecting tax increase to a referendum.
The Parliament passed the constitutional amendment with its third and final reading on December 15, requiring a referendum in case the government decides to increase taxes (except of excise and local taxes).
But unlike initial draft, the final version contains a reservation according to which a separate, organic law should define those cases in which the government will still be able to increase taxes without calling a referendum. The amendment will go into force in late 2013.
“This clause will provide the authorities with more flexibility in implementing the consolidation efforts necessary over the medium term,” IMF said.
IMF also hailed the Georgian authorities commitment to cap expenditure in 2011; it also said that 2011 state budget, which provides for a further reduction of the deficit of about 2.5% of GDP, was consistent with the government’s objective of reestablishing fiscal sustainability.
IMF warned that while the recent increase in the policy rate and the decision to tighten reserve requirements would help to bring down inflation in 2011, “the authorities should stand ready to tighten monetary policy further should inflationary pressures persist.”
13 Jan. '11 Tbilisi sagt, dass Sokhumi’s und Moscow’s Herangehensweise bei dem Eigentumsdisput sei 'Faschismus'
13 Jan. '11 Litauischer OSZE-Vorsitzender Audronius Ažubalis ruft auf der permanten Ratsversammlung in Wien zu einem gemeinsamen Bekenntnis zur Lösung von sich hinziehenden Konflikten auf
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, who is OSCE’s new chairman-in-office, called on the 56-member state organization for a joint commitment to resolve protracted conflicts.
Speaking at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on January 13, Ažubalis, who outlined the Lithuanian chairmanship’s priorities, said: “Resolving existing conflicts in the OSCE area in a peaceful and negotiated manner must be our highest joint commitment.”
He said that the Lithuanian OSCE chairmanship would use the Geneva process – talks launched after the August war and co-chaired by EU, OSCE and UN – “to rebuild trust and will work to restore a meaningful OSCE presence in Georgia.”
In reference to conflict in Georgia, as well as in Moldova and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said that “conflicts being addressed at the Geneva discussions, in the OSCE Minsk conference and ‘5+2’ negotiations remain unresolved” and the OSCE member states “must resolve to meet these challenges, not shy away from them.”
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister said that by December, 2011, when OSCE ministerial will be held in Vilnius, the organization has “to register tangible progress in addressing protracted conflicts.”
13 Jan. '11 Sprecher des US-Repräsentantenhaus John Boehner trifft Präsident Saakashvili
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, John Boehner, met on January 12 with President Saakashvili in Washington and said he had a constructive conversation with him “about the importance of ensuring Georgia’s commitment to freedom and democracy is not undermined.”
The Republican John Boehner was elected the new Speaker of the House on January 5.
“The American people will continue to stand with others struggling for democracy over the forces of despotism, dignity over degradation, and freedom over subjugation,” the House Speaker said in a statement released after the meeting.
He thanked Georgia for being “an important ally in our campaign against terrorism and radical extremism” and for contributing troops in Afghanistan.
“In our discussion we also reaffirmed other cherished values, including the role and involvement of citizens in petitioning their government, and the necessity of peaceful resolutions to political conflict,” John Boehner said.
President Saakashvili is in Washington to attend a memorial service for a veteran U.S. diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, who died in December. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and rotating presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borjana Kristo will be among the participants of the event at the Kennedy Center on Friday. Among the foreign ministers attending is Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expected to speak at the memorial service.
Shortly after Holbrooke’s death President Saakashvili announced about the plans to rename one of the streets in Tbilisi after the late U.S. diplomat calling him his “trusted friend and confidant.”
In Washington Saakashvili also met with Republican Congressmen David Dreier and Bill Shuster, as well as Senator Joe Lieberman, according to the Georgian President’s press office. Saakashvili, according to this report, awarded Sen. Lieberman with St. George’s Victory Order.
12 Jan. '11 Regelmäßige "Versammlung mit Geschäftleuten" im Parliament geplant, um die Kommunikation untereinander zu fördern
It was announced after a meeting between parliamentary chairman Davit Bakradze and representatives from the Business Association of Georgian on January 12, that Business Council would be established to foster better communication between the lawmakers, government and business.
Participants said that the council, which will consist of senior lawmakers and business representatives, would address problems, including in legislature, facing business people.
“The Parliament plays an important role in what kind of tax and business environment we will have. Therefore, we want such meetings to be held periodically in order to listen to your recommendations, your remarks, your advices and you will hear from us what is happening in the country, what are our assessments and what particular plans we have,” Bakradze told businessmen.
A new tax code, which went into force from January, was also discussed during the meeting, the participants said.
President of Business Association of Georgian (BAG) and CEO of IT company, UGT, Giorgi Chirakadze, said after the meeting that the new tax code was a step forward, but shortcomings still remained. He said BAG would continue close cooperation with the Parliament and government to address those shortcomings.
President Saakashvili acknowledged in December, that the state still had “lots of shortcomings” in the relations with businesses. “The entrepreneurs often fairly have a perception that the state does not do enough to make business environment better," he said.
12 Jan. '11 Regelungen zur Visa-Freiheit mit dem Iran vom 26.1. an geplant
12 Jan. '11 Sokhumi erwartet Russland's 140 Mio. USD - Hilfe im Jahr 2011
12 Jan. '11 Premierminister sei kein sachdienlicher Zeuge, der im Fall der israelischen Geschäftsmänner befragt werden müßte, entscheidet der Richter
11 Jan. '11 Verteidigungsministerium: drei Offiziere, beauftragt mit der Sicherheit während der Übungen, wurden wegen der Explosion in der Krtsanisi-Basis verhaftet
11 Jan. '11 Opposition ruft zu einer 'objektiven' Untersuchung der Explosion in der Krtsanisi-Basis auf
11 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili in Washington zu einer Zeremonie zu Ehren des verstorbenen US-Diplomaten Richard Holbrooke
11 Jan. '11 Tbilisi begrüßt die ablehnende Entscheidung des europäischen Gerichtshofs zu den 1,549 Anträgen gegen Georgien
11 Jan. '11 Drei Soldaten bei einer Explosion in der Krtsanisi-Basis getötet
An explosion at the Ministry of Defense’s Krtsanisi National Training Center outside Tbilisi on January 11 killed three and injured thirteen soldiers.
120mm mortar shell exploded at about 11am local time, when the soldiers from the mortar battalion company of the first artillery brigade were undergoing training in Krtsanisi.
“Blast of 120 mm mortar was supposedly caused by the technical mistake during the exercises,” the Defense Ministry said. “Military Police and General Inspection of Ministry of Defence have already started investigation of the case.”
11 Jan. '11 Maestro TV behäjt den Vertrag mit seiner Managment-Firma bei
10 Jan. '11 Europäischer Gerichtshof ECHR läßt 1,549 Anträge gegen Georgien im Zusammenhang mit dem August-Krieg fallen
10 Jan. '11 Maestro TV nimmet Nachrichtensendungen wieder auf
8 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili: '500-600 Mio. GEL sind in Mestia investiert'
7 Jan. '11 Europäische Investitionsbank EIB leiht Georgien 20 Mio. Euro für die Erneuerung des Enguri-Wasskerkraftwerks und der Vardnili-Wasserkraftkaskade
7 Jan. '11 Russischer Patriarch Kirill läßt bei einer Weihnachtsbotschaft an Patriarch Ilia II seinen neuen Titel als "Metropolit von Tskhum-Abkhazia und Bichvinta" aus
The Russian Patriarch Kirill skipped over “Abkhazia” from an official title of the Georgian Orthodox Church leader in a Christmas congratulation message.
In an apparent move to emphasize that Abkhazia is part of the Georgian Orthodox Church’s canonical borders, its main decision-making body, the Holy Synod, decided on December 21 to also make the Patriarch Ilia II Metropolitan of Tskhum-Abkhazia and Bichvinta (Pitsunda).
But in the letter sent to Ilia II to congratulate the Christmas, Russian Patriarch refers to the Georgian Church leader with his previous title: “Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, the Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II”.
The same was when Kirill sent a message to Ilia II on December 25, congratulating the head of Georgian Orthodox Church on 33-year anniversary of his enthronement. At the time a spokesman for the Georgian Orthodox Church tried to downplay that omission of “Abkhazia” in the title as “a technical mistake.” The Georgian Patriarchate’s spokesman was not immediately available on January 7 for the comment.
Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, raised his new title in his written Christmas message released on January 7 and said that the decision of the Holy Synod to make him Metropolitan bishop of Tskhum-Abkhazia and Bichvinta (Pitsunda) “is reiteration of the historic reality and declaration that Abkhaz has always been integral part of Georgia and the population of Abkhaz – spiritual children of the Georgian Church... The same is about the Tskhinvali region.”
“We should also note that during the whole course of our history, regardless of infringement of the country’s territorial integrity, borders of Georgian Church’s jurisdiction have not changed,” the message reads.
“What has happened between us and the Abkhazians, between us and the Ossetians from Samachablo (Tskhinvali region) is the result of political intrigues and it has nothing to do with the relationships between our peoples” the message says, adding that multi-century close ties between the peoples is source of hope that “old friendship with Abkhazians and Ossetians will be restored.”
The Georgian Orthodox Church leader also said in the same message that the policy of “divide and rule” applied by the Russian empire towards Georgia in 19th century “still continues more or less covertly and it certainly serves to the interests of foreign countries.”
Formally the Russian Orthodox Church recognizes canonical borders of the Georgian Orthodox Church, which also includes Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But when the Russian Patriarch congratulated South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, with the region's "independence day" in September, the Georgian Church said it was "surprised" with this move.
6 Jan. '11 Menschenrechtsgruppen rufen zur Untersuchung der Auflösung des Vetranenprotests auf
6 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili äußert sich zu den georgisch-armenischen Beziehungen
6 Jan. '11 Jährliche Inflation erreicht im December 11.2%
6 Jan. '11 Georgien wieder förderfähig für das U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-Programm
5 Jan. '11 Öffentliches Fernsehen GPB äußert sich zu dem Vorwurf, nicht über die Auflösung des Veerteranenprotest berichtet zu haben: fehlendes Videomaterial
5 Jan. '11 US-Botschafter John Bass zu den Protesten am Heldenplatz: "Wir hoffen auf und erwarten eine vollständige Untersuchung der Vorwürfe", die der Ombudsmann Giorgi Tugushi geäußert hatte
5 Jan. '11 Polizist aus dem Dienst entlassen, weil er bei der Auflösung der Protestaktionen der Verteranen eine Aktivistin ins Gesicht geschlagen hatte
5 Jan. '11 Fall der beiden israelischen Geschäftsleute, die verdächtigt werden, dem stellvert. Finanzminister Bestechungsgeld angeboten zu haben, wird zum Gerichtsverfahren
4 Jan. '11 Ombudsmann Giorgi Tugushi: 'Verhaftung der Protestierenden war Illegal'
4 Jan. '11 Verhaftete des Protests von Veteranen zu Geldstrafen verurteilt und freigelassen
4 Jan. '11 Polizei gibt Erklärung zur Auflösung des Hungerstreiks einiger Veteranen heraus
The Georgian Interior Ministry released a statement on Tuesday saying that the police had to arrest 11 participants of the protest rally on Heroes’ Square on January 3 after the protesters resisted police orders.
“[Detainees] were holding a rally and installed self-made tents at the memorial of heroes fallen for the unity of Georgia. Participants of the rally refused to obey requests of Patrol Police to remove tents, offered resistance and verbally insulted police officers. Some of the rally participants were extremely active, who were under obvious alcohol influence,” the Interior Ministry’s statement reads, adding that tests showed two of the detainees were under the influence of alcohol.
Detainees are charged with petty hooliganism and disobedience to police orders, facing either fine or maximum 90-day jail term. The Tbilisi City Court will hear their case on January 4.
Tbilisi-based legal advocacy group, Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) said in a statement on Tuesday that break up of hunger strike by the police “with use of excessive force” on January 3 amounted “to illegal restriction” of constitutionally guaranteed right of assembly. It said, that said that there was no legal ground whatsoever to disperse the rally, which was held fully in line with the law.
4 Jan. '11 Gruppe junger Anwälte verurteilt die Auflösung des Hungerstreiks einiger Veteranen
4 Jan. '11 Wichigste TV-Sender ignorieren die Auflösung des Hungerstreiks einiger Veteranen
3 Jan. '11 Georgien unter den Prioritäten, die der litauische OSZE-Vorsitz herausgegeben hat
3 Jan. '11 Polizei löst Hungerstreik von einigen Veteranen auf
3 Jan. '11 Gruppe von Veteranen der bewaffneten Konflikte in Abchasien und Südossetien im Hungerstreik seit dem 27.12., um gegen ihre schwierige soziale Lage zu protestieren
Mehr als ein Dutzend Veteranen kampieren vor dem Monument zum Gedenken an die gefallen Soldaten in Tbilisi. Sie wollen bis Ende der Woche den Streik fortsetzen. Das Verteidigungsministerium lehnte es ab, den Hungerstreik zu kommentieren. Es verwies auf die Zuständigkeit des Gesundheits- und Sozialministeriums für soziale Programme für Veteranen.
2 Jan. '11 2010 in Bildern
1 Jan. '11 Präsident Saakashvili's Ansprache zum Neuen Jahr: "2010 ernsthafter Wendepenkt für die georgische Politik, da sie sich von der Straße in das Parlament und die TV Studios bewegt habe"
President Saakashvili said in his New Year address to the nation that 2010 was "a turning point" for the country and wished the citizens "to continue moving forward united like a fist towards victorious Georgia" in following years.
Saakashvili said, that despite high rate of inflation and unemployment, "serious growth of economy, as well as investments in the Georgian economy has resumed" in 2010.
"This trend will definitely be continued in 2011 with even larger pace," he said in the recorded televised address on New Year’s Eve.
He said that 2010 was "a serious turning point" for the Georgian politics as it "moved from streets into the parliamentary chamber and into TV studios". He said the politics "became more civilized" and it became "based on dialogue."
"One part of politicians started doing openly what they have been doing previously covertly and it is very useful, because people have seen everything which was covert previously and everything has been unveiled and this is a very healthy process for the Georgian politics," he said.
"There was a serious turning point in the foreign policy. If in 2009 there still were some question marks, the term 'occupation' has eventually been established on the international arena [in 2010], which is a firm foundation for Georgia's future de-occupation and for Georgia's reunification. Our enemies' unimaginable attempts to put Georgia into isolation has suffered an absolute failure and we can boldly state that we have never had such unanimous support - despite this huge pressure - like we we had it in 2010. Of course we should further strengthen this support in following years."
He said the May 30 local elections were "very important" and added that the elections were "recognized by the entire world as a step forward in democracy" and "our people expressed support towards the course of the Rose Revolution."
He said that 2010 brought Georgia "many moments of pride" and listed, among others, winning a bid by Tbilisi to host European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in 2015. In what appeared to be a reference to allegations that Russia won its bid to host 2018 World Cup through bribery, Saakashvili said Tbilisi won its bid to host EYOF "really without fixing".
"Georgia managed to respond occupation and destruction with construction and development - not every nation is cable of doing it," Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili, who was standing on the background of medieval tower-houses in Mestia, highlighted importance of tourism infrastructure development projects, in particular one of combining ski resort in Mestia in high-mountainous region of Svaneti and resort on Black Sea coast in Anaklia.
"We should make the turning point launched in 2010 into larger success in 2011. We expect 6% economic growth next year, which means more investments, better business environment and more employment and what is the most important, it means continuation of our modernization - the path which will lead us to civilized world and turn us into its full-fledged members," Saakashvili said.