The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, January 9
Georgia does not plan to advertise its wine at Sochi

The National Wine Agency of Georgia does not plan to advertise Georgian wine at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, but it is still unknown whether private companies will do it on their own initiative.

On Tuesday, Russian media reported that Georgia plans to advertise wine at the Olympics, but the Georgian National Wine Agency rejected this in a statement.

The statement says that the agency doesn’t plan any advertising during the Olympics.

“However, we do not exclude initiatives from the private sector,” Levan Davitashvili, head of the agency, explains.

Georgian wine was the first product that was banned by Russia in 2006, justified by claims that it had low quality, but it was seen by some as retribution against Georgia for arresting four Russian diplomats and accusing them of being spies.

After the change of government in 2012, the new government started talks with Russia to reopen export of Georgian products, including wine. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Free video date for convicts

Visitors in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Telavi, Akhaltsikhe, Batumi and Gori prisons will be offered free video date with their relative inmates under the initiative of Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance. Minister Sozar Subari said the initiative is connected with the Christmas holidays. The relatives of the inmates will enjoy the service at the probation offices of the aforementioned cities of Georgia.

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, the video dates are available for any citizen with the consent of the inmates. The service lasts up to 15 minutes. The visitors should fill in the special blanks in advance. (Rustavi 2)

Two life convicts address human rights defenders

Two convicts Nika Chemia and Giorgi Gvichiani, who have been sent to prison for life, have published a special address, calling upon the MPs, public defender, human rights defenders and media representatives to attend their trials.

The defendants believe that the presence of human right defenders and media at their trials would protect the freedom of the court and make it more flexible to take free, lawful and fair ruling.

“The prosecutors involved in these proceedings are still supporting the fabricated and absolutely groundless accusations. All this triggers doubts and fear in us that the entirely illegal and absurd verdict on our case may be left in force. So, we are asking you to attend our proceedings in order to ensure that the hearings are transparent and the society is given an opportunity to evaluate the unfairness of the accusations of the prosecutors,” Chemia and Gvichiani wrote in the letter. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian delegation to attend Munich international conference

A Georgian delegation will attend the 50th international conference on security issues. The exact composition of the delegation is not known yet, though Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze will participate.

The 50th international conference of Munich will be held from 31 January to 2 February. Syria and Ukrainian developments will be discussed.

Foreign media reports that leaders of 18 countries, about 50 Foreign Ministers and heads of up to ten international organizations have been issued consent to attend the conference. (InterPressNews)

Georgia, Albania, Kosovo put on the list of so-called secure countries

The Board of Directors of the French Bureau of Refugees put Georgia, Albania and Kosovo on the list of the so-called secure countries, says.

According to the list, countries are regarded as safe if they ensure freedom, democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights.

In addition, the citizens of the above-mentioned countries, who seek asylum in France, will not be able to get it any more. They can submit applications to the Board of Directors, though they will not be allowed to arrive in the country until the end of the consideration of the applications.

18 countries are on the list of secure countries at this time. (InterPressNews)

Patriarch blessed participants of the Alilo walk on Christmas

The patriarch of Georgia hosted participants of the Alilo religious celebration following the Orthodox Christmas on January 7, wishing them a Merry Christmas and giving them sweets and presents.

Participants of the celebration and the patriarch’s choir performed Christmas canticles and songs at the patriarchy, while the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church also asked the attendees to perform a litany around the building.

The traditional Alilo walk began at Rose Square in Tbilisi. Participants had two stops on their way, first outside the former parliament building to receive sweets from the parliament speaker and members of the legislative body, and then outside the Tbilisi City Assembly, receiving presents from its representatives. (Georgian News)