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13.03.15 - 19.03.15

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Tskhinvali Region Future Uncertain after Kremlin Postponement

Author: Zaza Jgharkava

The Kremlin has postponed its signing of an integration and alliance agreement with South Ossetia indefinitely. The announcement came as a surprise as one month ago the Kremlin vociferously signed a similar agreement with the occupied Abkhazia. Media and analysts have been speculating about the several possible reasons for the hesitancy of the Kremlin, including flaws that were allegedly discovered in the text of the agreement and President Putin’s apparent ill health.

On January 31, the so-called president of the Tskhinvali government Leonid Tibilov made an appearance on a local television channel and informed the local population that work on the alliance and integration project between Russia and South Ossetia had been concluded and the formal document had been sent to Moscow.

According to the agreed project, military and law-enforcement structures of the Russian Federation and the occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia would unite; Moscow would take the lead in foreign policy, military, border and customs control. The signature ceremony should have taken place on March 11.

Part of the delegation of the occupied Tskhinvali learned about the surprising decision of the Kremlin in Vladikavkaz, close to Tskhinvali, while other delegates were already in Moscow. Adding to the speculation, the cancellation of other events on March 11, including President Putin’s meeting with the President of Kazakhstan Nursulthan Nazarbaev and the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, were also postponed.

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Tsulukiani Defends Immigration Policy after Iranian Criticism

Author: Zviad Adzinbaia

Responding to a statement of the Embassy of Iran in Tbilisi on March 10, Georgian Justice Minister, Tea Tsulukiani defended Georgia’s visa legislation, claiming that the country’s aspirations towards European integration requires an expansive range of reforms.

Tsulukiani, in her speech, emphasized that no large-scale reforms were possible without certain difficulties. The Minister stated that she will be working with her colleagues to resolve other emerging problems. 

Tsulukiani, live-streaming on the TV program “Kronika” on February 18, stated: “Stiffening Georgia’s visa policy has not been easy for all. Not everyone, including the Tourism Agencies, are happy with the large-scale reforms Georgia has carried out. Since September 1, 2014, when the reform started, the flow of Chinese, Iraqi, Iranian and Egyptian tourists was reduced by 42,000,” she stated.

Earlier, the Iranian Embassy in the Georgian capital had released a statement condemning Tsulukiani’s position.

“We would like to say a few words concerning the Justice Minister’s unqualified and unreasonable statement regarding Iranian citizens: since 1992, when Georgia regained its independence, Iran was one of the first countries to recognize Georgia’s independence, established friendly relations and has supported it for 33 years”.

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Politics

 UNM Prepare March 21 Protest but is the ‘Wind of Revolution’ Really Blowing?

 Russia Flexing its Muscles: How the Georgian Government Can Respond

Social/Society

 Is Georgia the Spiritual Home of the Drug Store Cowboy?

 Traditional Georgian Dishes Now Served in Stockholm

Culture

 Stories of Berlin Artists that Make History

 High Thai’d

Economy

 Save the Georgian Bazaar!

Business

 Government Dissolves Large Business Tax Debt

 Foreign Direct Investments of 2014 reach highest level since 2007

Sports

 PAWS FOR THOUGHT

 Sports Fixtures/Results March 13-19

 
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