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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 26
Drug prescription laws get tougher

From September, a number of drugs in Georgia will no longer be sold over the counter without a prescription. An amendment to the Drugs and Pharmaceutical Activities Law will come into effect on September 1. From then, pharmacies will be forbidden to sell Group II drugs without prescriptions. Group II drugs include antibiotics; medicines used for cardiac-vascular diseases, as well as hormonal, endocrine and oncology products. The Ministry of Health said the reason behind the law change was to reduce the current high-use of easily accessed prescription drugs for self-treatment and to reduce the level of instances of addictions to pharmacy medicines, primarily inappropriate use of Group II pharmaceutical products and use of them for unlawful drug abuse.

The Ministry of Health is conducting a pilot program to determine the viability of establishing a prescription institute in Georgia. About 120 medical and pharmaceutical establishments in Tbilisi and other regions of Georgia are involved in the program. A meeting is expected to be held today at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention for representatives of the institutions involved in the pilot program. According to the Health Ministry, the meeting aimed to prepare those involved in the program, and the wider Georgian population, about the law change which is about to come into force. (

ECHR to Deliver Verdict into Georgia vs. Russia Case over Deportations July 3

Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said it will deliver verdict into Tbilisi’s complaints against Moscow over deportations of ethnic Georgians from Russia more than seven years ago on July 3.

Georgia lodged the inter-state application against Russia in March, 2007 over alleged violation of the rights of hundreds of ethnic Georgians deported from the Russian Federation in late September 2006 and early 2007 following Russian-Georgian spy row.

The case raises multiple issues of the European Convention of Human Rights, involving prohibition of torture, right to liberty and security, right to respect for private and family life, right to an effective remedy, limitation on use of restrictions on rights, protection of property and right to education, prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens and procedural safeguards relating to expulsion of aliens.

In June, 2009 the Strasbourg-based court found Georgia’s application admissible to be heard on its merits and in January and February, 2011 ECHR judges took evidence from witnesses in Strasbourg. Public hearing of the case was held in June, 2012.

In late 2009 the case was referred for hearing to ECHR’s Grand Chamber, the highest level of the court representing panel of 17 judges, among them ECHR’s President and Vice-Presidents.

Cases go to the Grand Chamber if parties want to appeal a ruling of a lower chamber or if a lower chamber to which the case is originally assigned itself relinquishes it in favor of the highest level of the court. This latter has been the case in respect of Georgia vs. Russia inter-state application. Such relinquishment of jurisdiction in favor of the Grand Chamber happens if the case “raises a serious question of interpretation of the Convention” or if there is a risk of departing from existing case-law.

Georgia also has a separate inter-state application against Russia, filed to ECHR in connection to the August, 2008 war. This war-related case has also been referred to the Grand Chamber and the verdict is pending. (

Burjanadze calls for urgent negotiations with Russia

Democratic Movement leader Nino Burjanadze has called on the government of Georgia today to start negotiations with the Russian Federation urgently. The opposition party leader held a briefing today and addressed the Prime Minister in person to organize the beginning of the negotiations and the meeting of the heads of the two states. Nino Burjanadze thinks that the country may have to pay for closer ties with the NATO and the EU by having no claim for Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.

`I don`t want to think that the current government of Georgia plans to say no to the native lands of Georgia for closer cooperation with the NATO and the European Union. I want to address Irakli Gharibashvili in person: urgently start negotiations with Russia and organize meeting of the heads of the state of Georgia and the Russian Federation in order to avoid the irreversible and very bad development of processes for Georgia, ` Nino Burjanadze said. (Rustavi)

President meets with Latvian Defence Minister

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has hosted the Minister of Defence of Latvia, Mr. Raimonds Vejonis at the President`s Palace on June 25. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Defence of Georgia, Irakli Alasania and the Chief of General Staff of Armed Forces, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze.

The President of Georgia thanked the Latvian Defence Minister for the support of his government for Georgia`s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures and for its territorial integrity. The sides discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation in the defence and security spheres.

One of the topics of discussion at the meeting between the President and the Latvian Minister was the prospects of Georgia`s integration into the NATO. They also focused on the regional security issues.

The meeting held at the President`s Palace was also attended by the Head of the President`s Administration, Davit Pataraia, President`s Adviser for Foreign Affairs, Tengiz Pkhaladze and the members of the delegation of the Latvia`s Defence Ministry. (Rustavi2)