• Suspending free trade agreement by Russia `not a tragedy`:PM

    Georgia`s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili considers Russia’s plan to suspend free trade agreement with Georgia “not a tragedy”.

    “We will have consultations over this issue. Yesterday I spoke with my special representative [for relations with Russia] and will have talks with the Russian side and I think we will achieve an agreement. Anyway, I want to say that this is not something tragic, a big tragedy. We will have talks and comment later on it,” he said.

  • Russia intends to suspend free trade agreement with Georgia

    Russia’s Ministry for Economic Development has drafted a government regulation suspending the agreement between Russia and Georgia on free trade.

    The draft has been backed by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry.

    The move comes after Georgia signed late last month deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU; provisional application of large part of this treaty, which is part of the Association Agreement, will start from September 1.

    A draft of the Russian government’s decree, which is going through final stages of procedures before being adopted, reads: “Accept a proposal by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has been agreed with the Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of Justice, on suspension of the February 3, 1994 free trade agreement between governments of the Russian Federation and Georgia.”

    Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, said Russia`s move was not unexpected.

    "Our suggestion was to have this trade regime maintained. If Russia adopts other decision and revises the agreement, it means that we will have to trade with Russia within the rules and regulations of WTO like the greatest number of the worldcountries does. This is not a tragedy. If export was free from customs duties until now, now we will have customs duties which probably will to some extent make the production more expensive", he said.

    The parliament of Georgia unanimously ratified the association agreement with the European Union on July 18.The association deal consists of three parts: political cooperation, cooperation in various sectors of economy and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).

    Most of the agreement’s provisions will come into force on September 1.

    Georgia is not a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, but is still party to several CIS trade agreements.

    Russia and Georgia signed the agreement on free trade in February 1994.

  • EU `takes note with concern` of filing criminal charges against Saakashvili

    EU said it “takes note with concern” that Georgian prosecutor’s office filed criminal charges against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili.

    “While none is above the law, prosecutions in Georgia should be transparent, proportionate, free of political motivation, and adhering strictly to due process. The EU will closely monitor these and other legal proceedings against members of the former government and current opposition in Georgia,” reads a statement, released by spokesperson of EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on July 31.

    “The EU recalls that the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, ratified only two weeks ago by the Georgian Parliament, commits Georgia to adhere to common values including respect for the principles of the rule of law and good governance.”

    “We urge all sides in Georgian politics to move beyond past conflicts and to focus on the country`s future. Georgia faces great challenges and these require forward-looking leadership ready to break the mould of polarised politics,” reads the statement.

  • Georgian consulates collect data on Georgian crew arrested in Nigeria

    The diplomatic missions of Georgia in Ukraine, Turkey and Ethiopia are collecting data regarding the Georgian sailors, who were arrested in Nigeria on the ship sailing with Panama flag. They are collecting the information to provide the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia for successful investigation of why the ship has been arrested for the past five months.
    According to the captain of the ship, they will return to Turkey soon, from where the Georgian sailors will be able to return home. In his turn, the ship owner company has explained that the reason of the arrest of the ship was the illegal weapons discovered on the board.


  • Prime Minister hosts NATO PA President

    The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Hugh Bayley has been hosted by the Prime Minister of Georgia today. The delegation of the NATO parliamentary assembly arrived in Georgia today.
    The sides discussed the process of Georgia`s integration into the alliance. The formats of intensification of bilateral relations and the progress achieved in this respect were reviewed by the parties. The regional issues were also touched.
    The Prime Minister of Georgia reaffirmed Georgia`s steadfast aspiration to integrate into the NATO, saying it was one of the top priorities of the government.


  • Georgian soldiers return from Afghanistan

    Yet another group of the Georgian soldiers serving within the American contingent in Afghanistan arrived in Georgia this morning. The 23rd Battalion is the last Georgian unit that has served at the military camp along with other Georgian units who served under the Georgian flag in Helmand province during four years. Under the U.S. Command the Georgian military servicemen were carrying out the full spectrum of operations during four months. All personnel of the battalion will return to Georgia stage by stage in few days.

  • Man arrested for drug crime

    The Criminal Police Department has arrested a man for illegal purchase-keeping of drug in Tbilisi. As the Ministry of Internal Affairs has reported, the man was previously convicted for different crimes.
    The police officers found 5,895 grams of drug powder, which according to the expertise conclusion, contains 1, 15542 grams of heroine drug. The detainee has already pleaded guilty. The investigation is conducted by the MIA Central Department of Criminal Cases.


  • Hugh Bayley pays a visit to Georgia

    The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly pays official visit to Georgia - Hugh Bayley and the accompanying delegation will hold meetings with the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Georgia. Meetings with the Parliament chairperson and the NATO Liaison Office head are also on the agenda.
    The top issues discussed at the meetings will be the reforms that are necessary in the process of Georgia`s integration into the North Atlantic Alliance. The EU Association Agreement will be also discussed.


  • Ministers` candidates in parliament

    The candidates for the ministers of Georgia are expected at the parliament - after the cabinet reshuffle announced by the Prime Minister, this will be their first dialogue with the lawmakers. The meetings will be held in the committees according to the sectors of their competence and afterwards, they will hold meetings in the parliament factions in a question and answer format.
    The Prime Minister of Georgia will also go to the parliament today, but a bit later. After his arrival, the future ministers will hold meetings with the minority and majority MPs together with the Prime Minister.
    The parliament is due to vote for the new cabinet tomorrow. The new cabinet needs at least 76 votes for approval. Parliamentary opposition has already announced that they are not going to support the new cabinet.


  • GYLA reports problems in prisons

    Georgian Young Lawyers` Association has reported new facts of the problem of the so-called prison watches - the inmates, who control the situation in the prison without disobedience to the administration of prison. The representative of the non-governmental organization announced today that the facts of the so-called watches were confirmed not only in the Gldani N8 prison, but in the Kutaisi N2 prison as well. The NGO says that the prison administration is following the instructions of the `watches`, who are been protected by the director of the prison administration, named Ilo.