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The News in Brief

Monday, February 18
Tbilisi Mayor Arrives at Police Station for questioning

After the court issued an order to bring Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava to the police station “for questioning as a witness” in connection to the February 8 incident outside the National Library, Ugulava appeared before investigators on Saturday.

Ugulava arrived at the police station two hours before the deadline expired making no need for the police to intervene by forcefully taking him to the police station. Ugulava had refused to appear at the police station, instead offering investigators to come to his office; he, however, also said that he would appear before the police in case of court’s order.

After about three hours of interrogation, Ugulava told journalists that Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili should also be questioned in connection to the February 8 incident for police failure to prevent the violence.

Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan expresses Russia's significance for Georgia

“Building dialogue with Russia is one of the main goals of the new government of Georgia,” said the country`s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Teimuraz Sharashenidze.

“Georgia has taken concrete steps on this front. Both Georgia and Russia appointed representatives of the PMs responsible for dialogue,” the Ambassador noted.

Sharashenidze said first of all trade and economic and humanitarian cooperation issues would be discussed. “This is a very complicated and long process because of the problems between the states, but Georgia and Russia have already reached some agreements. The Russian market will be opened to Georgian wine and agricultural products,” he added.

The Ambassador said that the Geneva talks remain the main platform. “Security mechanisms, restoring stability, returning IDPs to their native lands and other issues will be discussed with Russia,” he added.

Moscow Officially Adds Georgian Lawmaker to Wanted List

Russia says an arrest warrant has been issued for Georgian lawmaker Givi Targamadze, according to an announcement by the Russian Interior Ministry on February 15.

Russia's Investigation Committee said one day earlier that Targamadze had been charged in absentia with organizing mass disorders in Russia.

In Georgia, the prosecutor-general's office said Targamadze will not be extradited to Russia, adding that the country's constitution does not allow the extradition of Georgian citizens to other countries.

In October, a pro-Kremlin television channel aired a documentary claiming that Targamadze had met with Russian opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov to plan riots in Moscow.

Udaltsov and two other opposition activists, Konstantin Lebedev and Leonid Razvozzhayev, were later charged with organizing a violent antigovernment protest in Moscow in May 2012.

The three men, along with Targamadze, denied the charges against them.

Date Set for MP By-Elections

MP by-elections in three single-mandate majoritarian constituencies to fill vacant seats in the Parliament will be held on April 27, according to a decision passed by the Central Election Commission on Friday.

By-elections will be held in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi constituency, as well as in the Samtredia and Bagdati constituencies in the Imereti region.

Three seats in the Parliament became vacant after majoritarian MPs from the Georgian Dream coalition were appointed in the executive government shortly after the October elections – Tea Tsulukiani, who was elected in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi single-mandate constituency, became the Justice Minister; Kakha Kaladze, who won majoritarian race in Samtredia constituency became Energy Minister and Archil Kbilashvili, who was a majoritarian MP from Bagdati single-mandate constituency, was appointed as chief prosecutor.

The Central Election Commission set the date of by-elections based on amendment to the election code, passed by the Parliament in December, according to which MP by-elections can be held either in April or October, instead of only October as it was previously envisaged.

Nino Burjanadze plans to participate in all elections

Chairwoman of the "Democratic Movement" Nino Burjanadze plans to participate in all elections.

"Talks about our participation in the parliamentary mid-term elections are too early. We will discuss this issue. We do not exclude our participation of the mid-term elections. The country has a different situation and I hope that the electoral environment will be further improved. So, naturally, our party’s task will be involvement in all elections,” Burjanadze said.

We remind you that according to the CEC decision, parliamentary mid-term elections will be held on April 27.
(Front news)

Presumably the Georgian side is expecting more than we are offering - Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that the return of Georgian wine to the Russian market does not prevent the development of local production, because the wine producing regions will be closed for exporting wine.

"Presumably the Georgian side is expecting more than we are offering, but we should not forget the needs of the country," said the statement of Dmitry Medvedev which was published on his official web page.

We remind you that the import of Georgian wines by Russia is expected to begin this spring.
(Front news)

High school exams have start

Graduation exams will be conducted in two stages. The so called 4+4 model will be used in the examination process. The first stage consists of a verbal part in four subjects and will be held from February 15 to May 1; the second stage will be held May 20-29.

During the first stage, high school students have to take exams in the geography and science disciplines.

The other four exams will be in literature, history, math and foreign languages. After successfully passing the exams, a school graduate is allowed to participate in the university entrance exams called Unified Entry Examinations. In order to become a student, the graduates have to pass three obligatory exams: Georgian language and literature; a foreign language and the general education. Whether they need to take the fourth exam or not depends on the universities.

This year three types of grants will be given: 100%, 70% and 50%. 30% grants have been abolished. Graduates can only apply for exams online at NAEC.

From September, the school graduate exams will be conducted by the National Examination Center while this year they will be conducted at schools.