Georgian authorities have unveiled a wide ranging plan ‘to encourage contacts, movement, and relations’ with people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The plan includes efforts to simplify trade, including from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the EU, and encourage students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to study in Georgian institutions and abroad. The initiative will also include changes to Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories.
Zviad Devdariani, the former head of Georgian non-governmental organisation CIDA who is facing allegations of sexual harassment from at least 10 women, has announced he will sue his accusers for ‘violating his and his family’s dignity’. On Tuesday, Devdariani held a press briefing with his lawyer where he vowed to pursue legal means to ‘protect his dignity’, as he claimed the ‘court of Facebook’ had already found him guilty. [Read more…]
The state-owned Georgian National Film Centre (GNFC) has condemned the holding of the Sukhum International Film Festival in Abkhazia. They say the festival represents ‘soft power deployed by Russia’s occupation regime’.
Giorgi ‘Bakhala’ Giorganashvili, a Georgian actor sentenced to eight years in prison in January on drug charges, has now been charged with organised drug trafficking. The Interior Ministry claims Giorganashvili was involved in a plot to smuggle drugs from Turkey to Georgia in an ambulance; if convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, or life imprisonment. [Read more…]
Abkhazian authorities have announced they are introducing ‘temporary restrictions on the import of agricultural products from Georgia into Abkhazia’. They said the ban is a response to outbreaks of the brown marmorated stink bug, an agricultural pest which has devastated crops in the western Caucasus in recent years. Last week, Russia banned agricultural imports from Abkhazia. [Read more…]
Two former employees are suing the former chair of Georgia’s Public Registry for sexaul harassment. Papuna Ugrekhelidze resigned on Tuesday after media reports citing similar claims of harassment from another former employee, Eka Meskhidze. [Read more…]
Moscow has banned the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables from Abkhazia, citing the need to prevent the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug, an agricultural pest, to Russia. They later blamed Georgia for spreading the pest, saying it ‘may be a part of biological sabotage’. Georgia has dismissed the claims.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has announced that the new Minister of Infrastructure will be Maia Tskitishvili, the head of the government’s administration. She will replace Zurab Alavidze, who is resigning to return to the private sector, the PM said. Tskitishvili, who has headed the government administration since 2012, will be the third woman in the 14 member cabinet of ministers. [Read more…]
Dozens of miners gathered in Chiatura, an industrial town in central Georgia, on Thursday in a demonstration organised by the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation’s youth wing, demanding ‘dignified working conditions’ for miners. They were asking for higher pay, collective contracts, and safe working conditions from Georgian Manganese, the company that owns the manganese mines in the town. If their demands are not met, they say they will hold a bigger demonstration. [Read more…]