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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 26
Wounded Ukrainian servicemen receive medical treatment in Georgia

Ukrainian servicemen wounded during anti-terrorist operations in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Eastern Ukraine are undergoing medical assistance and treatment at Georgia’s Tserovani Rehabilitation Centre.

The medical aid is available to servicemen of the Armed Forces, the National Guard and the Security Service of Ukraine who suffered serious injuries in the course of the anti-terrorist operations and are in need of complex medical intervention as well as long-term care and rehabilitation.

Currently seven Ukrainian servicemen are undergoing two-weeks of rehabilitation at the Tserovani Rehabilitation Centre. They are receiving the medical support in Georgia based on a memorandum that was signed between Georgia and Ukraine on April 28, 2015.

“We participate in various humanitarian projects with the Ukrainian government. Right now Ukrainian young people are undergoing a rehabilitation course in our medical institutions. We are ready to provide them with any kind of assistance, as much as we can. I think such humanitarian projects should be affordable for everyone regardless of borders,” Khidasheli said.

Within the rehabilitation course, the Ukrainian servicemen will visit three of Georgia’s beautiful cities - Tbilisi, Mtskheta and Signagi.

The rehabilitation course started on August 20 and will finish on September 3.

The Centre opened in January in the former residence of the Georgian president of Tserovani (Shida Kartli region, settlement of refugees), which was earlier transferred to the Ministry of Defence. (

Tourists evacuated by helicopter from Tusheti

Many tourists were airlifted by helicopter on Sunday after being stuck in Tusheti in the northeast of Georgia due to bad weather.

Emergency crews evacuated more than 350 people by helicopter from the disaster zone, and brought them to Akhmeta and Telavi, two of the biggest towns in the Kakheti region.

Roads leading to Tusheti were damaged by landslides. Repair work began on Sunday.

There was heavy rainfall on August 21 in most parts of Kakheti. Due to the bad weather it was difficult to rescue the tourists earlier.

The Tusheti-Khevsureti hiking path is currently closed, while the road through Ardoti Valley, another option for travels between Tusheti and Khevsureti, has also been closed due to the disaster.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs called on tourists and locals to avoid these destinations until the weather improves.

Earlier rain flooded the river Arghuni in Khevsureti, as a result of which a bridge connecting with village Khonischala was destroyed and it became impossible to reach Mutso, which is a popular destination for tourists and hikers. (DF watch)

Georgian Defense Minister assesses opening of NATO training center as a milestone

According to Georgia’s Defense Minister, Tina Khidasheli, opening of a NATO training center in Georgia is one of the milestones in terms of Georgia-NATO relations. Khidasheli made this comment to reporters while assessing the NATO Secretary General’s upcoming visit as well as opening of the NATO-Georgia joint training center.

“It will be the largest joint protect carried out within the framework of the Wales summit package. The center’s opening ceremony awaits us, but from my point of view, the ceremony planned for August 27 in Georgia will serve to enhance Georgia’s security,”- she said. (ipn)

My statement about Rustavi 2 reflect the U.S. government and embassy’s position - Acting U.S. Ambassador

Acting Ambassador of the United States to Georgia Nicholas Berliner has responded to the critical statements made against him.

As Nicholas Berliner told Rustavi 2 TV, the statement made by him a few days ago reflected the position of the U.S. government and the embassy.

"I think the statement that I made about Rustavi 2 last week, should not have been surprising to anybody. The United States’ position about freedom of media is well-known to everyone. In this case we just urged for caution and expressed hope that any legal process would be conducted in compliance with the highest standards. You may accept my statement as the official position of the United States government and the embassy,"- said the acting Ambassador.

Nicholas Berliner, acting Ambassador of the United States to Georgia, recently told the following: “The United States Government believes that freedom of speech and the press are the cornerstones of a robust democracy. We and the international community have praised Georgia’s open media environment, which is a model for the region. Therefore, developments that give the appearance of threatening media freedoms or compromising media pluralism are troubling. We are closely following the legal proceedings against Rustavi 2. Any legal proceedings involving a media outlet must be conducted to the highest standards of judicial due process, and any actions that restrict a media outlet’s ability to work freely must be carefully considered.”

The mentioned statement was responded to by an open letter from the poet Davit Maghradze, which said that the current government does not control the media anymore unlike the National Movement.

“Your Excellency, I would like to disarm your baseless concern and call on you to be calm - freedom of speech is no longer threatened in Georgia, as the National Movement, which has no ratings and in which nobody trusts, will never regain power. The Georgian population will never let them return. I hope you will try and listen to a poet. Where poets are not heard, dictators emerge,”- read the open letter. (IPN)