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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 29
Slovene, Georgian Foreign Ministers Hold Bilateral Talks

(TBILISI) – Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec met with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Janelidze on Monday to discuss boosting bilateral relations and economic ties..

Erjavec made his remarks during a joint press conference with Janelidze shortly after attending the Belt and Road Forum in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

“We are happy that Minister Erjavec visited Georgia with a delegation of businesspeople...we believe that this will contribute to strengthening our relationship and open up new opportunities for increased economic cooperation,” said Janelidze, adding that the Georgian government appreciates Ljubljana’s support for Georgia’s integration into NATO and Europe.

“Georgia is a key EU partner in the region, and a close reliable NATO partner. The country has made impressive progress bringing its laws up to EU standards,” said Erjavec. He also took time to welcome “an initiative to renew land corridors and maritime connectivity” that will link the region to Europe.

As part of his first official visit to Tbilisi, Erjavec also met with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Parliament Chair Irakli Kobakhidze. (

Moscow Backs Agreement Integrating S. Ossetia’s Troops into Russian Armed Forces

(MOSCOW) -- Russia has formally backed an agreement signed between Moscow and their secessionist proxies in Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region on the full integration of the rebels’ militias into the Russian Armed Forces.

The agreement was signed on March 31 and will now be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin for final approval.

South Ossetia’s armed militias have been under Moscow’s patronage since a band of pro-Russian separatists moved to break away from Tbilisi immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991-1992.

After more than a year of heavy fighting that left thousands as casualties or internally displaced people, Georgia’s poorly led and trained nascent military was resoundingly defeated.

Regular Russian army units and elements of the Kremlin’s security services – the FSB – arm and train local volunteers in South Ossetia. Moscow maintains a huge presence in the region with thousands of occupation troops based along the de facto border with Georgia.

In the wake of Tbilisi’s defeat in the 2008 Russian-Georgian War, Moscow and its close allies, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru officially recognized South Ossetia and Georgia’s other Kremlin-backed breakaway republic, Abkhazia, as independent states.

Both regions remain internationally recognized by the UN as territorial parts of Georgia. (ipn)