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The News in Brief

Wednesday, April 18
Lavrov calls travel to Georgia dangerous

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expanded on his Ministry's recent statement, which warned Russian citizens against traveling to Georgia.

In response to a question from a Rustavi2 correspondent, Lavrov noted that Georgia has adopted a law that makes it a crime for foreign citizens to visit the breakaway regions through a territory not under Georgian control. This could prove hazardous to Russian citizens, he claimed.

Georgian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze said that such statements are only intended to intimidate Russians, as Moscow does not want its citizens to see how well Georgia is developing.

"Each Russian tourist to Georgia is a danger for Russia, because they will see the real situation in Georgia with their own eyes and the reality absolutely does not coincide with Russian propaganda about Georgia. In fact, it is dangerous for Russia that each of its citizens visiting Georgia will see how Georgia can develop despite numerous problems and difficulties. They are afraid of questions that may be raised by Russian citizens if Georgia succeeded in overcoming its post-Soviet heritage, why can't Russia? How could Georgia combat corruption when it is still flourishing in Russia? Why are human rights are protected in Georgia, when they are roughly violated in Russia? The Russian government is afraid of hearing these questions from its citizens," Kalandadze commented. (Rustavi 2)

Clinton's visit not yet set

The date of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's visit to Georgia has not yet been set.

Presidential press speaker, Manana Manjgaladze, said that the date of the visit will be agreed upon at a working group meeting currently underway in Washington, under the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter.

Manjgaladze also said the groups are discussing four different topics defense and security, trade and economics, democratic cooperation, and human relations. (Rustavi 2)

Bakradze: Georgia was and will be a valuable political part of Europe

Georgia was and will be a valuable political part of Europe, including EU and NATO membership, Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze said at the opening of a conference of the European-region Francophone Parliamentary Assembly.

He also called the Francophone Parliamentary Assembly "very important" from a cultural and political point of view.

Bakradze noted he will use the conference to discuss problems related to Georgia's breakaway regions, as well as the success of Georgian reforms. (IPN)

Gilauri visits Brazil

The Prime Minister of Georgia has paid his first official visit to Brazil.

Nika Gilauri held meetings with the Brazilian Vice-President and Foreign Minister. Georgian and Brazilian authorities have already signed an agreement on enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries, signed by Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia Eka Tkeshelashvili and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota on Monday.

The Georgian delegation also attended the Open Governance Partnership Summit in Brazil on Tuesday, where Gilauri delivered a speech alongside Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. (Rustavi 2)

First graders' online registration begins

Registration of first grade pupils began yesterday.

This year, the Ministry of Education and Science is holding registration online. Parents of applicants, who have older children already enrolled in school, were registered automatically between April 2 and 17. New applications began Tuesday, and will receive confirmation of their enrollment within two months. (Rustavi 2)