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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 22
Education Minister Appointed as Deputy PM

Aleksandre Jejelava, Georgia’s Minister of Education and Science, has been appointed as the third vice premier in Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s cabinet, the Georgian Government’s press office announced on February 21.

Jejelava, who was appointed to the ministerial post in June 2016, will coordinate the Cabinet’s public relations and youth policy fields, PM Kvirikashvili said at the Government’s February 21 session.

“Education is a number one priority for the Government this year, so it is very important that each of the citizens is informed on the state policy,” Kvirikashvili said.

Kvirikashvili added that Jejelava and the Government administration’s public relations office will cooperate for implementing “a proactive” public relations policy.

Aleksandre Jejelava will serve as the deputy premier along with Finance Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze. (

Georgia’s parliament has 41 millionaires

A total of 41 members of the Georgian parliament are millionaires (in GELs), with 37 people from the Georgian Dream majority and 4 members of the two opposition parties, the United National Movement and the Alliance of Patriots.

There are also six millionaire ministers in the GD-led government.

These are some of the findings presented on Monday by an organization called Mediatori, and the New Georgia opposition party.

The New Georgia was founded by Giorgi Vashadze, a former member of UNM who was deputy justice minister in 2012.

One in every three GD members of parliament are officially millionaires, it was revealed during the presentation of the study.

A list of MPs and ministers with declared property exceeding 1 million lari ($380,000), is topped by the leader of Alliance of Patriots Nato Chkheidze with 51 million, followed by Shota Saleshashvili of GD (35 mln), and Kakhi Kaladze, the first deputy PM (37 mln). (DF watch)

Populations living along the occupied territories to get 200-GEL gas voucher

The population living along the occupied territories will receive 200 GEL gas vouchers. As State Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said after a cabinet meeting, the decision was made at the governmental session yesterday.

According to her, the overall cost of the project will be 2,378,800 GEL, while the number of registered families is 11,894.

"You know that this decision is based on the November decision of the temporary inter-agency commission. We have been always helping the population living along the occupied territories in winter, including with the 200-GEL vouchers. This time, the number of families registered is 11 894. By the end of the last year, gasification of almost all villages was completed. There are 728 exceptions, who will get 200-GEL vouchers instead of natural gas", - said Tsikhelashvili. (ipn)

Georgian Foreign Minister discusses ties with EU in interview with French TV

The cancellation of visa requirements for Georgian citizens is a natural extension of the ongoing development processes in Georgia, says Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze.

Janelidze discussed Georgia’s ties with the European Union (EU) and NATO in an interview yesterday with Paris-based TV channel France 24.

The host presented Janelidze as ‘firmly pro-European’.

The Georgian Foreign Minister said that last year that Georgia was an exemplary country in the region as concerns the implementation of European standards, the transformation and developing state institutions as well as ensuring border security and migration.

He noted that since the Association Agreement with the EU came into force in 2016, Georgia has been able to more closely politically associated and economically integrated with the EU.

"And a logical continuation of all of these is the recent visa waiver,” Janelidze said.

He added that after Georgia signed the EU association deal, Georgia became the number one trade partner for the EU. The Minister stressed that European investments had increased in Georgia and this trend seems to be further intensifying this year.

Janelidze stressed that Georgia had met all requirements set by the EU since the country started the implementation of its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP). He added Georgia carried out a number of reforms in order to meet all EU criteria and these efforts had been recognised in the latest positive report issued by the EU.

"As for the Suspension Mechanism, we understand that Europe needs to be sure it has the opportunity to revise its decision and suspend it if needed, thus Georgia was actively participating in this process and we worked together to come up with a mutually beneficial result where all sides’ interests were considered”, Janelidze said.

He also spoke about the recent changes in the ex-Soviet sphere with questions looming about US President Donald Trump's approach to the Baltic states and what his election means for the conflict in Ukraine. (