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The News in Brief

Monday, March 9
Lamberto Zannier to visit Georgia

As Georgia’s Foreign Ministry has to informed InterPressNews, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier will pay an official visit to Georgia.

According to the Ministry, Zannier will hold meetings with Georgia’s President, PM, Foreign Minister and representatives of the legislative government.

Georgia-OSCE cooperation issues and the occupied regions will be the main topics discussion.

Lamberto Zannier will also visit the occupation line and areas inhabited by IDPs.

The visit will conclude on March 11th.

Gedenidze’s attacker released on 3,000 GEL bail

The court has set 3,000 GEL bail for the attacker of IPN photo journalist Irakli Gedenidze to be released from pre-trial detention, which was demanded by the prosecution.

A pre-trial meeting on the case will be held on April 20.

Photo journalist for IPN Irakli Gedenidze was attacked on March 4 while he was covering the protest at Roses Square.

21-year-old Ivane Begiashvili was detained for obstructing the journalist’s professional activity.

President hosts reception in honor of women

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili has hosted successful women and mothers of many children in his Presidential residence to mark Gender Week in Tbilisi.

The reception was also attended by First Lady Maka Chichua and representatives of international organisations and diplomatic missions to Georgia.

The President gave a speech at the ceremony and stressed the women’s role in country’s well-being.

"We believe that women’s participation in political events is the answer not only to gender-related questions but also to ensuring a better future for this country,” the President said.

Margvelashvili also talked about the importance of his decision of selecting Nino Gvenetadze as Supreme Court chairperson candidate. He said if accepted by Parliament, Georgia would have its first female Supreme Court chairperson. And this would have a positive influence on Georgia’s court system and the country’s image in general, Margvelashvili said.

Meanwhile, at the reception Margvelashvili awarded Sopho Paichadze, a mother of 11 children, with the Order of Honor. Paichadze is the only mother with 11 children in Tbilisi who was deemed socially vulnerable and lived below the poverty line.

Putin Endorses Draft Treaty on ‘Integration’ with Tskhinvali

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed an order giving go-ahead to a draft of a “treaty on alliance and integration” with breakaway region of South Ossetia, paving the way for its signature.

The agreement with the term of 25 years will be signed by Putin and breakaway South Ossetia’s leader Leonid Tibilov; the date has yet to be set.

It will come after Moscow signed treaty on “alliance and strategic partnership” with Georgia’s another breakaway region of Abkhazia in late November. Tbilisi condemns the both of the treaties as a step towards annexation of its occupied territories.

After revision of the initial draft of the treaty with Tskhinvali, the final text is now more similar to the one that was signed between Moscow and Sokhumi. It, however, contains clauses, which envisage deeper integration of the breakaway region with Russia than the one signed with breakaway Abkhazia.

According to the draft treaty “separate units of the armed forces and security agencies of the South Ossetian Republic will become part of the armed forces and security agencies of the Russian Federation.”

The draft also envisages “integration” of customs service of the breakaway region with the one of the Russian Federation.

Like in case of Abkhazia, treaty with Tskhinvali envisages setting up of Joint Information-Coordinating Center of law enforcement agencies for the purpose of “coordinating” fight against “organized crime and other grave crimes.”

Russia takes commitment to “co-finance” gradual increase of salaries of employees of the state-funded entities in breakaway South Ossetia to the level existing in Russia’s North Caucasus Federal District.

Russia also pledges to increase pensions for those residents of the breakaway region, which hold Russian passports, starting from 2016, according to the draft, which also envisages further easing of granting Russian citizenship to the residents of the breakaway region.

Meanwhile the Georgian Foreign Ministry said it is “extremely concerned” by what the Russian Ministry of Defense said was “large scale” military exercises launched in Russia’s Southern Military District. According to the Russian media reports drills, which will last till April 10, are ongoing at 12 firing ranges with the participation of 2,000 troops, including those stationed in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.