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The News in Brief

Friday, October 28
There were certain signals in NATO-Russia relations including war with Georgia but the alliance did not pay proper attention – Alexander Vershbow

“There were certain signals before the NATO-Russia relations crisis, including the 2008 war with Georgia, but the alliance did not pay proper attention to it then,” the former Secretary of NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow has said in an interview with Zhanna Nemtsova, daughter of the deceased Russian oppositionist Boris Nemtsov.

‘In 2014, Russia started military aggression against Ukraine and totally changed the paradigm by annexing Crimea. Therefore we declare that first of all Russia is responsible for the crisis in our relationship.

“We also saw special signals earlier but did not assess them in a proper way, such as war with Georgia in 2008 and the illegal presence of Russian troops in Moldova. All this means that Russia does not respect its neighbors’ sovereignty,” Vershbow has remarked.

According to him, Putin’s statement in 2007 over Russia’s concern for NATO’s expansion to east was seriously perceived but still thought it was possible to continue to cooperate with Russia. (IPN)

Georgian Manganese lawyer arrested on corruption charges

TBILISI, DFWatch–A lawyer working for Georgian Manganese was arrested for corruption on Tuesday.

Mirian Bichikashvili is accused of commercial bribery, the Finance Ministry said.

Georgian Manganese owns mines in the small town of Chiatura as well as the ferro-alloy plant in nearby Zestaponi.

A few years ago, the company was fined more than USD 350 million for damaging the environment. The case went to court and is not yet finished.

Investigators claim that in order to collect additional evidence for that court case, a contract was signed with Grigol Tsulukidze Mining Institute, and the lawyer Mirian Bichikashvili was instructed to work with a group of experts from the institute.

“The accused bribed a person who worked on the examination with certain amount of money to provide false information beneficial for the company,” the statement reads.

Bichikashvili now risks jail for up to three years. (

The Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister has met the Estonian Ambassador to Georgia

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Gigi Gigiadze held an introductory meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia to Georgia, Kai Kaarelson.

Gigi Gigiadze and Kai Kaarelson focused on the existing bilateral relations between Georgia and Estonia and on the future prospects. The Deputy Minister underlined the close friendly relations between the two countries and put special emphasis on the practical assistance rendered by Estonia and on the strong support of Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The two sides welcomed the recent dynamics of high-level visits and discussed the future plans and the need to continue the practice of bilateral political consultations. Gigi Gigiadze informed Kai Kaarelson on the current situation in Georgia’s occupied regions.

Talking points also included the process of Georgia’s European integration. Kai Kaarelson reaffirmed Estonia’s readiness to render practical assistance to Georgia in the process of implementation of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. Gigi Gigiadze welcomed the fact that Estonia will be holding the presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2017 and wished the country success in the achievement of the goals. (MFA)

Designing of Omalo aerodrome to begin

The designing of an aerodrome in the village of Omalo of the Akhmeta Municipality has begun. The Cabinet of Ministers will discuss the issue during today's Government meeting, with the Prime Minister of Georgia indicating that development of inner country aviation represents an important pillar of the spatial planning of the country.

"We aim at creating the maximum number of small aerodromes in Georgia for local residents and tourists. This will entail higher employment rates and will bring welfare to each of our families. In this case we are concentrating on the Tusheti region - a gem of Georgia in terms of its spectacular cultural heritage. These efforts are important in view of tourism development and ensuring national security," the Prime Minister said, and hoped that construction of the runway and airport in Omalo would be finalized in the near future.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili also noted that construction of the terminal of Ambrolauri airport is in full swing. The facility will be built by the New Year. (