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The News in Brief

Friday, March 20
Georgian PM congratulates Benjamin Netanyahu on his election victory

Your leadership and devotion to the country will ensure continued success, peace and prosperity for the State of Israel.

"Excellency, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the victory of the Likud Party in the parliamentary election in Israeli strongly believe that your outstanding leadership and devotion to your country will ensure continued success, peace and prosperity for the State of Israel. I am heartened by the fact that existing historical relationship between Israel and Georgia is sustained by our mutual will and commitment to further deepening our partnership. With this in mind, I am looking forward to witnessing greater achievements in our relations in the coming months and years. I avail myself of this opportunity to renew the assurances of my highest consideration and wish you and the people of Israel every success and further accomplishments," - Irakli Gharibashvili’s letter reads. (

By- election after Death of UNM MP to be held in Martvili in October

MP by-election in Martvili single-mandate constituency in western Georgia should be held this October as the seat became vacant after UNM majoritarian lawmaker from this district Nauli Janashia has died aged 68.

Exact date of the election in Martvili, where over 33,000 voters are registered, should be set by the Central Election Commission no later than two months before the Election Day.

Meanwhile on March 18 the Parliament revoked MP credentials of UNM lawmaker Gogi Ochiauri, who decided to quit the legislative body citing health reasons. Ochiauri, 88, who was the oldest Member of Parliament, will be replaced by Levan Tarkhnishvili, who was chairman of the Central Election Commission in 2007-2010.

Also on March 18 Parliament approved MP credentials of UNM’s new lawmaker Eka Kherkheulidze replacing Davit Sakvarelidze, who lost his seat in the Georgian parliament after becoming deputy general prosecutor of Ukraine. Kherkheulidze was a member of the previous parliament in 2008-2012.

GD lawmaker Tamaz Avdaliani, who died in late January aged 50, was replaced last month in the Parliament by Eldar (Luka) Kurtanidze, a double world champion in freestyle wrestling.

Taking of these vacant seats by new members of parliament did not require by-elections as they replaced those MPs who were elected through party-list, proportional system and not in majoritarian, single-mandate constituencies. (

Georgia’s Finance Minister approves of February’s budget

Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri says February was a "very promising month” in terms of the country’s budget development.

Khaduri announced the turnover of VAT (value-added tax) payer enterprises had increased by 15.5 percent in February, and reached 3.9 million GEL.

"Since the beginning of 2015, budget payments reached 1.354 billion GEL, which was 140 million GEL more compared to last year’s data.”

"At the same time 1.670 billion GEL was spent from the budget this year, which was 165 million GEL more than last year.”

"The final balance has increased by 123 million GEL meaning that it amounts to 478 million GEL. Out of which 272 million GEL is placed in commercial banks,” Khaduri said.

Similarly, taxable turnover increased by 10 percent in February.

"All these parameters encourage us to say February was a very promising month,” Khaduri concluded. (

Georgia might achieve visa-free travel with the EU in May - Deutsche Welle

Georgia and Ukraine have a chance to sign a visa-free travel agreement with the EU in May of this year, the Russian bureau of Deutsche Welle reports according to a European Commission source.

As the source informs, the countries must satisfy the EU’s requirements before signing the agreement.

In contrast, Deutsche Welle recalled information spread by Reuters that Euro Commission representatives mentioned visa-free travel with Ukraine and Georgia to be a remote prospect.

According to Reuters, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hoped to establish visa-free travel in May, but his expectation could not be met.

As reports go, negotiations on the issue are currently underway. (IPN)