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Issue no: 875

• SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

PRICE: GEL 2.50

In this week’s issue... Crowd-Sourced Website Ranks Georgia World’s 3rd Safest Country NEWS PAGE 2

The Complex Mosaic of the Multiple EU Crises - Where Does Georgia Fit in?

FOCUS

POLITICS PAGE 4

Advice to Georgia & Dealing with Russia

ON POLITICAL GAFFES

Paata Burchuladze, the former opera singer-turned leader of the State for People party, corrects a misinterpreted comment while the political vultures circle PAGE 2&5

Georgia’s Kvirikashvili on Official Visit to Azerbaijan BY THEA MORRISON

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eorgianPrimeMinisterGiorgi Kvirikashvili led a delegation that included Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Foreign Minister Gigi Gigiadze to the Azeri capital Baku on August 31 to hold meetings with Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, and Prime Minister Artur Rasizade. The officials discussed the strategic partnership between Georgia and Azerbaijan and recent developments in the region. Continued on page 2

POLITICS PAGE 8

PASHA Bank Sponsors Oikos Summer School SOCIETY PAGE 10

Georgian Musicians to Perform at Carnegie Hall CULTURE PAGE 11

Georgia Wins 4 Golds at Junior World Championships

SPORTS PAGE 15


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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

Georgia’s Burchuladze Clarifies Controversial Campaign Promise BY THEA MORRISON

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aata Burchuladze, the former opera singer-turned leader of the State for People party, said Wednesday that he was misinterpreted by the media and his opponents when he made a controversial campaign promise to double the number of people in the country who receive welfare assistance. “Only 500,000 people currently receive welfare aid from the government. We plan to increase this number to one million,” Burchuladze told voters on August 28. Burchuladze was immediately criticized for the comment, with political experts slamming the statement as reckless and uninformed. The country’s main opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), mocked Burchuladze's comments, saying he “essentially wants to increase the number of poor people in the country.” According to Burchuladze, his promise does not mean that the number of poor people will be doubled, but it means that more people should receive state assistance. “When the government tells us that there are 500,000 vulnerable people in this country, this is a misleading statement. In reality, this figure is at least one million,” Burchuladze explained while presenting candidates in Batumi. Burchuladze clairified his statement by saying that if his party wins the elections in October, the real number of poor people in the country will get the assistance they need from the State. “From October 9, we will sign a social assistance

bill for at-risk citizens. We will help them get back on their feet,” Burchuladze claimed. Zurab Japaridze, the founder of political party Girchi, which merged with Burchuladze’s party in August, says the coalition intends to increase social assistance by abolishing any assistance to wealthy people. At present, just over 1,600,000 citizens are registered for the government’s social service program, with 477,840 receiving welfare assistance from the State. According to the Head of Social Assistance Department, Tea Gvaramia, not all registered individuals seek monetary assistance.

Georgia’s Kvirikashvili on Official Visit to Azerbaijan

Continued from page 1

The sides also took the time to discuss several of the large-scale transportation and energy projects that are currently being implemented, including the Southern Gas Corridor and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the frames of the East-West transit corridor and the geopolitical importance of the Silk Road project, which connects Europe and Asia, were also covered during the meeting. "We have developed regional economic projects of great importance, including the South Caucasus Gas Corridor. We also discussed the implementation process of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project and the possibility of introducing a unified tariff system within our logistics corridor and adding new cargo from China and India," Kvirikashvili stated while summing up his visit. According to the Georgian PM’s Press Office, the politicians noted the positive dynamics in tourism by the growing number of Azerbaijani tourists vis-

iting Georgia. Kvirikashvili was later personally hosted by Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, who said the Georgian delegation’s visit would help promote closer bilateral relations. “We are bound by ties of history, geography, common interests and by our transnational energy and transport projects. The well-being of our countries and people, as well as stability in our region, depends on the success of these projects,” Aliyev stated. According to Kvirikashvili, Georgia fully supports the further development of bilateral relations. “As already noted, we are linked by our friendly, strategic and regional projects – all of which are key points for improving the well-being of our nations and strengthening the friendship between our peoples,” said Kvirikashvili. Kvirikashvili also commented on a possible threat posed by the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline project by ongoing Russia-Turkey negotiations regarding new pipeline projects, saying none of the pipeline projects is under threat since relevant contracts covering the construction of infrastructure and the volumes of delivered gas have already been signed.


NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

Georgia’s Defense Ministry Calls off Search for Missing Soldiers BY TAMAR SVANIDZE

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eorgia’s Defense Ministry has called off its search and rescue operation for two soldiers who went missing almost two weeks ago during military exercises on the country’s Black Sea coast, near the border with Turkey. A defense ministry spokesman said that after 11 days of extensive search, they were unable to find the bodies of Special Forces Corporal Iago Sharadze and Private First Class Giorgi Nanetashvili. The two soldiers are believed to have drowned during scheduled amphibious combat drills on the coast of the Black Sea on August 16.

Turkish Navy officials, who also took part in the search, said they were suspending their operations following a request from the Georgian Armed Forces. “According to the Turks, it is pointless to continue with the search and rescue operation as all available resources have been exhausted,” the statement said. Sharadze’s father told local media shortly after his son’s disappearance that his son was a good swimmer and only the negligence of the trainers could have been responsible for his disappearance. “If the instructors had thoroughly explained everything in advance and given him instructions, he would be alive,” Sharadze’s father said. Military Police officials claim that an investigation into the cause of death is on-going under Article 116 of the Georgian Criminal Code which specifically covers deaths related to negligence.

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Crowd-Sourced Website Ranks Georgia World’s 3rd Safest Country

Numbeo.com, which collects unsourced and unconfirmed information from users, ranked Georgia behind South Korea and Singapore in its poll of the world’s safest countries. Photo: Dmitriy Chistoprudov

BY TAMAR SVANIDZE AND NICHOLAS WALLER

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n unofficial crowd-sourced global database known as Numbeo has ranked Georgia the third safest country in the world. Nu m b e o. co m , wh i c h co l l e c t s unsourced and unconfirmed information from users, ranked Georgia behind South Korea and Singapore in its poll

of the world’s safest countries. According to the site’s findings, Georgia has a low crime index based on the number of reported crimes in the country over the last three years. The data used to measure Georgia’s crime index was culled from the results of a standard online poll on the Numbeo website. Visitors were asked how safe they feel when walking in the capital Tbilisi’s streets at various times of the day. The Serbia-based website was reportedly founded by former Google

employee Mladen Adamovic in 2009 and claims to be the world’s largest database of user-contributed information about cities and countries worldwide. The site is primarily known as an online source for users to share and compare information about the cost of living in various countries and cities around the world. Numbeo has come under sharp criticism for it claims due to the lack of a third party check or audit of the accuracy of data.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

The Complex Mosaic of the Multiple EU Crises - Where Does Georgia Fit in? BY TEONA LAVRELASHVILI

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ately, the European Union has experienced a number of severe crises, starting with the financial one of 2008-2009, from which it has yet to fully recover. This was followed by sad developments in Greece, war in Syria and the migration crisis, deteriorating relations with Russia over the hybrid war in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, a wave of terrorist attacks, the Brexit referendum in Great Britain, and the resurgence of right and left wing populism all over Europe, along with some other lesser issues. While Georgia is not an EU member, and not immediately involved in any of these crises, due to its close relations with the EU, and because of the changing economic and security environment in its neighborhood, it is directly and indirectly influenced by what is taking place in Europe. Europe’s current hurdles are existential, putting at risk not just European unity and future; due to the sheer size of its economy and its soft power, the repercussions will go far beyond the continent, hitting neighboring countries striving to join the European club, like Georgia. The present situation looks

really quite worrisome, as many essential internal weaknesses have overlapped through negative synergy, triggered by the above-mentioned external factors – the lack of political consolidation and a complicated decision-making system, rather ineffective form of economic integration, and last by no mean's least the scarcity of strong, popular, and visionary European leaders. Several waves of EU expansion also have caused this gradual erosion of unity and efficacy of governance and decision-making, as more than two dozen member states pursue too frequently radically different positions, representing a broad ideological spectrum of ruling elites. Generally speaking, the more internal problems Europe experiences, the fewer resources, commitment, and unity are available to assist neighbors such as Georgia. And it is not just slowing economies of EU member states, or multiplying needs to spend more in order to deal with existing problems such as accommodating migrants, that make available resources scarce; what is more important is the increasingly diverging visions among European leaders about policy priorities and directions that hurt the EU and its neighbors most. One of the key issues for the EU is paradoxically enough related to its soft power, quality of life, and attractiveness,

making it the favorite destination for global migration. While immigration may be highly beneficial for the receiving states, populations throughout Europe see this differently, especially against a background of sluggish economy, unemployment, and the wave of terrorist attacks. This has pushed many European states toward restricting immigration, putting the 'Willkommenskultur' at the mercy of a few altruistic policymakers and charities. Obviously, such an increasingly negative attitude towards migration does not facilitate the smooth way of Georgia's visa liberalization process, or the country's prospects for further European integration. However, there are issues that are more important for Georgia than visa liberalization. Located in a rather complex geopolitical environment dominated by Georgia’s northern neighbor - Russia, it is national security that should be seen by the Georgian government as absolute priority. In that light, EU-Russia relations should be followed closely as having a strong impact on assertiveness and the nature of Russia’s policies in its neighborhood, and on the willingness of Brussels to support Georgia’s pro-western aspirations. Georgia should conduct careful, balanced policies consistent with Euro-Atlantic integration as the main strategic target for its actions, while

minimizing risks emanating from its northern neighbor through smart diplomacy mixed with strengthening defense cooperation with the West. Georgian politicians should also well realize that any serious mistakes that they may commit, such as human rights breaches, selective justice, discrimination of minorities, electoral violations, and political violence, will provide strong arguments to the opponents of EU’s commitment toward supporting Georgia and its government, whether with regard to visa liberalization, economic assistance or political support. The government and political parties should avoid cheap populist rhetoric, especially based on false promises, and mobilized aggression towards any political group or social community. Georgia, which has successfully started the difficult transition from the 'grey zone' of regime hybridity to a liberal, democratic state, needs to be very careful not to fall into the trap of populist demagoguery and instead should ensure that its democratic and Europeanization projects are solidly rooted in the minds and attitudes of Georgian citizens. But this is not enough, as a long term communication strategy is necessary to

Europe’s current hurdles are existential, putting at risk not just European unity and future; due to the sheer size of its economy and its soft power, the repercussions will hit neighbouring countries striving to join the European club, like Georgia. Source: iktisadi.org

popularize Georgia and its democratic credentials throughout Europe, employing such instruments as media, exhibitions, various public events, cultural and people exchanges, along with smart diplomacy and pro-active initiatives. Georgia should show that is not solely on the receiving side of international assistance, but is also ready to provide help in situations of need or emergency, as already happening through strong military participation in hotspots such as Afghanistan. Finally, everything should be done to encourage Georgian society to maximize benefits from the DCFTA and the Association Agreement by attracting export-oriented, productive European investment instead of focusing on short-term gains through foreign investment into non-productive real estate. Only by becoming a reliable, consistent, democratic, and dedicated partner of the EU, can Georgia turn risks caused by European crises into benefits of closer relation and mutual trust.

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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

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Policy & Mud-Slinging: Ogden on the 3rd Option OP-ED BY TIM OGDEN

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his week, opera singer turned-political savior, Paata Burchuladze, made a gaffe when saying that the number of people receiving welfare benefits from the government would double should he be elected Prime Minister in the upcoming October elections. It is quite clear what Mr. Burchuladze really meant, but it seems strange that the fact that the meaning of his words might be misinterpreted did not occur to him or his speech writers. Attempts by Girchi’s Zurab Japaridze to explain away Mr. Burchuladze’s remarks sounded like a hollow attempt to justify and galvanize support for his party’s cooperation with Burchuladze. Had Girchi and Burchuladze’s State for People (or State for the People; I’m not sure of the direct English translation, and I doubt Burchuladze’s people are either) still been rivals rather than allies, I highly doubt Mr. Japaridze would have enjoyed savaging Burchuladze for his gaffe rather than clumsily trying to explain it away. Burchuladze’s new election bloc, made up of a number of smaller parties banding together, has presented itself as a viable alternative to the powerhouse parties of the United National Movement and Georgian Dream, but its status as a ‘third way’ has come under question. The decision to join with other parties caused a small exodus of members and staff from both Burchuladze’s own party

Policy ceases to matter and Georgia’s democratic progression grinds to a halt as elections are determined by personal insults, grudges and perceptions. Source: irishmirror.ie

and Girchi, as they believed that this pragmatic step was incompatible with the parties’ ideologies. Exactly what Burchuladze’s ideology is, however, remains unclear. Girchi, despite being a small party, has solid economic policies and plans (though it seems unaware that its defense proposals have already been enacted by the current government), but Burchuladze’s rhetoric centers around vague notions of ‘the West’. In addition, his background as an opera singer has further highlighted

his unsuitability as a candidate for Prime Minister, although his most vocal critic has been Kakha Kaladze, a man completely unqualified for his own job as Minister of Energy being a former football player. Kaladze may be clumsily trying to deflect attention away from his own incompetence, or he may be entirely unaware that a comparison between himself and Burchuladze might be made. I’m inclined to believe the latter is more likely. Georgians vote for the character rather

than the party, and this is unlikely to change with each faction (and its leader) offering the same promises of NATO and EU membership, punishment for corruption and the creation of jobs. With so many similar statements being made, people seem to revert to judging by the familiar, and policies become irrelevant as the UNM is accused of being controlled by former President Saakashvili, Georgian Dream is described as being Bidzina Ivanishvili’s plaything, and Irakli Alasania is seen to have always made

sure he ends up on the winning side while leaving his integrity in the gutter. All have (at least) grains of truth to them, but policy ceases to matter and Georgia’s democratic progression grinds to a halt as elections are determined by personal insults, grudges and perceptions. Burchuladze and his new bloc are offering no true alternative, and he may even have damaged his own cause by aligning himself with parties made up of former UNM officials; a number of his own party members abandoning his cause is hardly an indicator of strong party unity, or even that their overall strategy was particularly well thought out. Burchuladze’s entry into politics was not particularly surprising, but he might have considered and discussed the idea of coalition with his team before causing a few of them to leave. His campaign seems hasty, illplanned and destined to fail. There is little about the man or his party which has captured the public imagination, and his sole selling point as being a third (or fourth) option is hardly going to garner enough votes to win. These elections will leave nobody satisfied, whatever the outcome. As a Georgian citizen, what I want to see for the next elections is a true alternative. I know many young, experienced and very welleducated Georgians in a variety of fields who would do this county good service in elected office. It would be refreshing to have qualified people stand for election, especially those with no prior party affiliation. You may be sure that I have completely written off October’s elections as being able to bring any tangible results, but I live in hope for next time.


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POLITICS

44 Parties to Run in October’s Parliamentary Elections

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

OSCE Launches Monitoring Mission Ahead of Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections BY TAMAR SVANIDZE

T BY THEA MORRISON

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ccording to Georgia's Central Election Commission CEC), 44 political parties have registered to run in the upcoming October 8 parliamentary elections. The majority of the parties plan to form larger coalitions that will run the elections together. According to the CEC, the United National Movement (UNM), Paata Burchuladze-State for People Movement and Nino Burjanadze’s pro-Russian Democratic Movement, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia-United Opposition and Industrialists-Our Homeland have all registered as party blocs.

Among the registered parties, 26 will run independently, including the ruling Georgian Dream party. The CEC previously barred the blatantly pro-Russian Centrist party for not having a registered leadership. Two other parties - Neutral Georgia and the Communist Party – were also rejected by the CEC on procedural grounds. In total, the CEC refused to register 19 parties because they failed to acquire enough public signatures to qualify. On Wednesday, the CEC issued a statement calling on all the registered parties to adhere strictly to the election campaign rules. The CEC also announced that it has registered 43 local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 24 international monitoring missions to oversee the polls on October 8.

he OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on Tuesday formally launched its observation mission ahead of Georgia’s Parliamentary elections on October 8. Led by Ambassador Alexander Keltchewsky, the observers will monitor a candidate’s registration process and campaign activities, as well as observe the work of the election administration regarding polling disputes. “The mission consists of a core team of 12 experts, based in Tbilisi, and 26 long-term observers to be deployed in teams of two across the country. The ODIHR will also request 350 short-term observers to monitor the proceedings on election-day. The experts and observers will be drawn from 18 OSCE countries,” the OSCE website says. Members of the mission will monitor and be in constant contact with the media, authorities, political parties, civil society and the international community in the lead-up to and dur-

ing the elections. Under the Constitution, the Georgian Parliament’s 150 members serve fouryear terms, with 77 seats set by proportional representation and 73 in single-seat constituencies. The ruling Georgian Dream coalition dominates the current parliament with

85 seats. The coalition - founded by Georgia’s eccentric billionaire oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili - swept to power following a major prison scandal in 2012 that unseated pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) in the process.


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

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Middle-East Institute Scholar on Biden’s Turkey Visit & Russia’s Improved Position in the Middle East that both the US and Turkey are trying to be sensitive to Ankara’s concerns about the US backing an ally that is affiliated with what they believe to be an enemy of Turkey. It also demonstrates that Erdogan has not necessarily moved fully into the Moscow-Tehran axis. I think the timing of that initiative to cross the border during or shortly after the Biden visit was no accident and I think it’s probably an indication that the trip was successful and we are not at a point of an official rupturing of relations between the two countries.

BY ANNA KALANDADZE, VOICE OF AMERICA GEORGIAN SERVICE

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oss Harrison is a Scholar at the Middle-East Institute and a professor at the Georgetown University in Washington. We asked him to analyze the US-Turkey relations and the impact on Georgia of the latest moves in Turkish foreign policy.

HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS TURKEY-US RELATIONS AND THE CONCRETE RESULTS OF VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN’S TRIP TO ANKARA? I think we have to break down what the objectives of the trip were. The first was to smooth over some of the rough patches that occurred in the wake of the coup that took place on July 15 in Turkey – the Turkish Government’s claiming that Gulen loyalists were behind the coup and their suggesting it was orchestrated by Fattulah Gulen from his home in Pennsylvania. As such, the first objective was to try to reduce the temperature of that relationship. We are cooperating with the Turkish Government to accelerate the extradition request process. But don’t forget that this is something that plays very well in the streets right now in

WHAT’S WILL BE THE IMPACT ON GEORGIA OF THE TURKEYRUSSIA AND TURKEY-TEHRAN RAPPROCHEMENT?

Ankara, so I think President Erdogan is using that to his advantage. So, while I believe the temperature at the official level will be reduced through the Biden visit, I doubt that of the public and media will, because this is politically important for [Erdogan].

HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS THE ONGOING ACTIVITIES ON THE SYRIAN BORDER AND TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST ISIS? The United States and Turkey have had troubles squaring the circle in terms of their respective Syria policies

over the last year with the US supporting the Kurdish YPG group, the group that Erdogan believes is tied to the PKK in Turkey. But with the launching of an attack by Turkey’s armed forces to liberate El Jerabulus with Free Syrian Army units, under US air cover, it shows

I don’t believe there’ll be a direct effect on Georgia. I think the biggest concern for Georgia, which is amplified by a rapprochement between Turkey and Russia and Turkey and Iran, is that it puts Russia in a better position in the Middle East. What that means for Georgia is that the Ukraine crisis and the borderization, the creeping border process that is taking place near South Ossetia, is something that is now going to be on the backburner both in the [international] news and for the US. And that’s not a good position for Georgia to be in. So, I think it is more of an indirect effect but still a profound one.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

Advice to Georgia & Dealing with Russia BY IA MEURMISHVILI, VOICE OF AMERICA GEORGIAN SERVICE

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eorgia should pursue what it can and take advantage of the opportunities available, not let itself be undermined as it waits for better days, says US State Department Sanctions Coordinator Daniel Fried. In an exclusive interview, Fried also spoke about consequences of the August 2008 war and US-Russia relations.

YOU WERE AN ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE AT THE TIME OF THE AUGUST 2008 WAR. HOW DO YOU RECALL EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE WAR? We could see the tension mounting; we could see a series of provocations, designed to increase tensions and set the stage for war. We tried to prevent it using diplomacy, both working with the Russians and directly with the Georgians. I was with Condoleezza Rice that July when she flew out to Tbilisi and cautioned then-President Saakashvili not to fall victim to the Russian provocations. She said to him, “You don’t have a military option, so don’t pretend you do.” I understand why he made the decision [to launch a military operation], but I still think it was a mistake.

THERE IS AN OPINION AMONG EXPERTS IN THE US, IN EUROPE AND IN GEORGIA THAT THE US SUPPORT, WHICH WAS PERCEIVED AS UNCONDITIONAL AT THE TIME, EMBOLDENED PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI TO BE BELLIGERENT I disagree on two grounds – one, our support was not unconditional and second, he was not actually belligerent. I think Saakashvili made a mistake ordering his military into action, but he was not belligerent. It was the Russians who consistently provoked the Georgians. The argument of Saakashvili’s belligerence is false. That said, I think he was wrong to go in. I think the OSCE report that blames them in falling victim to Russian provocations is essentially accurate. But to say that he was belligerent absolves Russia of responsibility for starting the war, which I think they did. It’s also a misreading of the Bush administration. I remember the charge that somehow there was a secret green light to Saakashvili yet Rice clearly gave them a red light for military action. They felt they had to ignore that and they paid the price.

THE SIX POINT CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT WAS NEGOTIATED BY THEN-PRESIDENT OF FRANCE, NICOLAS SARKOZY. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT AGREEMENT? It was flawed. It had a number of loop-

Daniel Fried, US State Department Sanctions Coordinator

holes that the Russians could exploit and we - the United States - helped fix it. I should also say that France was in a difficult position of trying to negotiate this cease-fire very quickly, on-the-fly and under difficult conditions. Yes, it was not a great deal, but on the other hand, the French did stop the shooting. As a result of the ceasefire, flawed as it was, we managed to save the rest of Georgia. That was an achievement.

SOME OF THE POINTS OF THE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT, INCLUDING WITHDRAWAL OF MILITARY FORCES TO PRE-WAR POSITIONS, HAVE STILL NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED BY RUSSIA That’s right. There are some similarities with the Minsk agreement, which are far better than the ones negotiated in Georgia. The French and the Germans learned from their experiences in Georgia, and Minsk is far more workable. However, you will notice that the Russians have not yet lived up to their obligations.

DO YOU THINK THE WESTERN REACTION TO THE AUGUST 2008 WAR WAS ADEQUATE - ESPECIALLY AFTER RUSSIA RECOGNIZED ABKHAZIA AND SOUTH OSSETIA AS INDEPENDENCE STATES? Let me put it this way – the western reaction to the Russian aggression in Ukraine was stronger. The reason it was stronger is because we were united in respect to Ukraine and we were divided in respect

to Georgia, because we had just had a bruising battle within the Western alliance about Georgia. Chancellor Merkel always had some degree of skepticism about President Saakashvili. Historians will write assessments of Saakashvili. He had his good side and did a lot for Georgia. But he also made a lot of mistakes. There were divisions within the West over Georgia and we were not as smart about sanctions. That was, of course, the fight at the NATO [Bucharest] Summit. We did not, for example, respond to Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia with sanctions. In retrospect, we might have imposed sanctions, but we did not have the Western unity to do it. So, we went another route. Instead, we supported the Georgian economy and helped stabilize it. Georgia was a campaign issue in 2008. The McCain campaign was taking a very pro-Georgian position. The Obama campaign had different voices. But then Senator Joe Biden, running for vice president, took a strong public position and said we were to give Georgia USD 1 billion to help the economy. I can tell you that in the White House the reaction was instant and strong. Everybody embraced it.

DO YOU THINK THAT IMPUNITY SOMEHOW ENCOURAGED RUSSIA TO DEVELOP A MORE AGGRESSIVE POLICY TOWARDS ITS NEIGHBORS? DO YOU THINK GEORGIA 2008 SOMEHOW LED US TO UKRAINE 2014? I wish I didn’t have to say it, but I’m

afraid you have a point.The Russians may have thought that they’d got away with it. And they may have felt that they could attack Ukraine and the western reactions would be similarly divided. They were wrong. I think they failed to anticipate the sanctions and I think they were caught off guard. The experience of Georgia took a while to penetrate the western consciousness. Now, the Georgians might say what good did that do to us? I actually think it does do good for Georgia as it shows that the West is capable of stronger response to the Russian aggression. And I think that is helpful to Georgia.

YOU WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN NATO ENLARGEMENT IN THE LATE 1990S AND EARLY 2000S. YOU WERE ALSO ONE OF THE BIGGEST SUPPORTERS OF GEORGIA’S WESTERN ASPIRATIONS AND ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN DEVELOPING THE BUCHAREST SUMMIT DECLARATION LANGUAGE. WHERE DO YOU THINK GEORGIA’S PROSPECT OF JOINING NATO IS TODAY? The US under the Obama administration has defended the Bucharest Summit decisions. This is not a heroic period on either side of the Atlantic. Nativist and isolationist forces are strong in the US and EU. I don’t like it, but it is important to be realistic about the challenges we face. This is not a time, in the shortrun, for major advances. It’s certainly true that there was no move

in Warsaw for the membership action plan (MAP). If the United States had pushed for it, we would have failed. What good would that do Georgia? If Georgia thinks that it is best served by pushing NATO for short-term gains, I think it’s a mistake. I think Georgia needs to look at the longer-term picture, strengthen its institutions, and do all it can given the circumstances in the West. I remember telling the Pols in 1992-1993, “Don’t push, your time will come, work on things at home, generate political capital for yourselves and wait for the cycle to turn.” It did! My advice to Georgia is work on its democracy, its economy, to make strong democratic institutions. To do what it can in the time it has now, given the circumstances it now faces. And don’t think that the current difficulties in the West are permanent. Another message for Georgia is that the NATO membership is a means to an end. What is the end Georgia wants? Georgians tell me that they want to be a free, sovereign country and a part of wider Europe. Alright! Pursue it in the avenues that are the most productive. Don’t pursue it in ways that create the most friction and sparks.

WHAT IS THAT WAY? Pushing for immediate decisions by NATO is probably not going to work right now. So, why go down that route? Georgia should pursue what it can and take advantage of the opportunities available, not let itself be undermined as it waits for better days. They will come!


GEORGIA TODAY

POLITICS

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

The Games OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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he first thing I did when I got home from my long and exhausting Rio2016 trip was to flick through the local TV channels to get back into the swing of political matters in Georgia. I immediately understood how unpalatable the current news was for me after more than a fortnight of amazingly exciting sports at the biggest athletics show in the world. At the Olympics, you get the impression that the world has stopped, and the only thing that is happening is the Games you are watching and living through. You somehow get addicted to those events, desiring to be everywhere at the same time, which is of course impossible. But in the meantime, the world continues on its regular course, full of routine and triviality, as I discovered when I got home and delved back into te latest Georgian news. The up-coming parliamentary elections in Georgia have engulfed almost all existent means of mass communication and have quickly dragged me back into the political process that is taking all our TV time, all our energy, wrecking all our nervous systems and consuming all our potential to happily sprawl in front of our television sets and watch something that gives better meaning to our lives. Both parts of our current existence – athletic and political – are called games, but the rules in the Olympics are so strict and clear that hardly anybody can get away with errors or misbehavior. Not in politics! In politics, you can be blatantly wrong and still have a piece of the cake you are fighting for. In sports, it works like the subtle mechanism of a good Swiss watch. Failures in judgment are certainly possible, but rare, and those failures are punished forthwith via due procedures. Both athletics and politics are a human creation. Why, then, are humans capable of organizing and conducting the former so well and with minimum

failures, and cannot help but be so awfully bad at doing so in the latter? If we had some medals ready – gold, silver and bronze – to note the merits in the field, would we find enough necks among our politicians to hang them on? Unlikely! There are so many recognizable political faces in this country on the TV screen. Maybe even more than on the screens of the American TV sets – a huge political and media market! Looking at America, what can we see of the political fight for the leadership the great American people are faced with? It looks like extreme radicalism vs. extreme liberalism, doesn’t it? Where is that biblical golden median upon which America was built? And why are the wisdom and subtlety of Georgian political conduct so late to arrive here? Isn’t it high time for us to let it happen? With these words I seek to trigger a psycho-analytical process in favor of elevating the political process in the country to the level of the most progressive political theories and practice. I need the ears that might understand where I’m coming from and the necks on which to hang those medals of honor. There is still time to change. Let’s use that time.

Mike Luckovich

BUSINESS

New Hotel & Restaurant Opens in House of 19th Century Georgian Nobles BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI

H

otel “Museum” is the first of its kind in Georgia, jointly managed by American company Key Hospitality, represented by Joseph A. McInerney (company president), and Georgian

partners. Situated in the old part of the city, on Atoneli Street, this newly renovated building has a unique and fascinating history as it was once home to the noble Georgian Orbeliani family which owned the house in the 19th century. Representatives of Georgian cultural elite, writers, poets, artists and philosophers frequently met there- it was a place that not only formed and gave a tone to the life of the

city, but also influenced the country’s cultural landscape as a whole. The distinct architectural style of the building, its beautiful facade and balconies, and the history behind the place inspired designer Nino Arziani and architect Nino Mshvelidze to use all natural materials, marble and wood for the interior in order to create an exquisite atmosphere of a balanced mix of styles between old and new. Offering three restaurants, each with a different concept, including a wine bar and a lounge terrace with magnificent views of the city, the 47-room Hotel Museum is designed to host any visitor in search of gourmet pleasures of both European and traditional Georgian origin. The Museum is undoubtedly the latest must see place in Tbilisi for those who are willing to dive into Georgia’s great history, great culture and great food.

Contact: www.edelbrand.ge Phone: 599 461908

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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

Trek to Coffinside: Kakheti rather through Mestia, and then on to Tbilisi... Plus the new highway which is constantly being extended westwards in our direction. So things are looking good future road-wise. We overnighted in our Tbilisi flat, not needing even a sheet for cover as it was too warm; just earplugs for the unaccustomed multi-lingual late-night noise of our very alive courtyard. Then on this morning to Lagodekhi. On the way, we saw field after field of corn nice and high, but all burnt yellow and dry as a bone. It's been a very arid summer after the spring hail which put paid to my in-laws' fruit and grapes for the season, but in its typical capricious way left many other areas untouched. I remember the summer drought here of about 15 years ago, in which after three rainless months the cows were dying of thirst. But the grapes were to be a huge success that year, not in spite of but indeed because of this weather, which was entirely to their liking. Arrival... tears and commiserations... understanding much more of what was wailed in Georgian instead of the usual Svan in the women’s room with the body in its necessarily refrigerated glass-topped display coffin. The funeral is just a couple of days away, and we're debating the pros and cons of my wife staying on for it, then making a more arduous trek back to Svaneti by 2 days of public transport instead of 2 days of relative comfort with me. And then there's the future of our niece, about to enter grade 9 with the prospect of either staying with just her elderly grandmother, or moving schools to go to her mother and extended family in their town. Tough choice, this one too needing unrushed wisdom to think it through. We hope this critical decision will be made right, but all we can do in the end is pray, watch and advise (if asked) from our considerable distance. It might be all that's needed.

BY TONY HANMER

I

had just come in from a chore outside when my wife turned to me tearfully in the kitchen. It was a few seconds before she could let me know that her oldest sister's husband, aged just 54, had died a short while before, in Lagodekhi, Kakheti, east Georgia. Apparently from a heart attack. They were separated, and their daughter, just 14, was at home when he died there. Horrible shock, but at least this time we had the means even to think about a lightning-fast trip to pay our respects and give comfort, as is done here if at all possible. I refer to the new car, a smoothrunning dream, and easily up to the 600 km trip over two days. After a few minutes' praying for wisdom and thinking about possibilities, she went to ask the neighbors to look after the barn animals (3 cows, 7 chickens) for the next few days. I confirmed with another neighbor that our German guest, abandoned by his firm request for 2 weeks out of communication in a ghost town, would be picked up on schedule. We packed and left, reveling in the freedom if not the task and road ahead. The 4Runner made it possible to travel on our own schedule, leaving when we had to (which was the middle of the day), stopping and resting likewise. It gave us my record speed for the 450 km from Svaneti house to Tbilisi flat, needing 7.5 hours with stops included. SO much easier than public transport! Hot, hot everywhere but where we had started from, the rest of Georgia which we traversed still in its full summer temperatures. We passed a minivan signposted Mestia/Ushguli, which must be the new weekly one going all the way on Georgia's longest trip from the capital. News is, this will soon drastically be shortened. They're planning a new road linking Kutaisi northwards with the new Tetnuldi ski resort's second phase, hoping to have this distance covered in two hours! (It must bypass Ushguli for that time frame.) At that rate, we could reach Kutaisi in three hours from our mountain home, without going through Zugdidi at all but

Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1300 members, at www.facebook. com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti

PASHA Bank Sponsors Oikos Summer School

P

ASHA Bank is co-funding the Oikos Summer School which will take place at Tbilisi State University through 1-5 September. Oikos is an international student-driven organization for sustainability in economics and management founded in Switzerland in 1987. The major topic of discussion will be “Education for a Better World.” Among the attendees will be 30 local and international participants as well as specially invited professors and facilitators. The five-day project aims at bringing students and professors together to learn new methods and approaches to management. Over the course of the Summer School, participants will have the opportunity to explore their own leadership skills, look at how to develop them and contribute to the common good of society. The teachings will focus on the following: planet care, collaboration between the nations, creating customer-oriented organizations, employee welfare, etc.

This year Tbilisi State University is hosting Oikos Summer School for the third year in a row. “PASHA Bank regularly supports projects aimed at educational and professional development in the country. Oikos Summer School is focused on trending topics and we believe these meetings will affect the participants’ knowledge and experience in the most positive way,” said Anano Korkia, Head of PR and Marketing at PASHA Bank. “Education is one of our core topics. Oikos organizes more than 500 projects in more than 30 countries annually. The topic of the Summer School is currently very popular worldwide and particularly important for our region. Today's students are our future leaders, so it is essential to prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow. We couldn’t do what we do without our donors and partners. We would like to say a special thanks to PASHA Bank for its tremendous support in terms of funding, ideas and outreach,” said Ani Lomouri, Director of Summer School 2016.


GEORGIA TODAY

CULTURE

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

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Georgian Musicians to Perform at Carnegie Hall to the 9/11 tragedy. In 2005, he graduated from DePaul University in Eteri Andjaparidze's studio. Oakley is also a featured alumnus of the Steinhardt School at NYU, where he studied film scoring with eorgia, as in the case of wine, can be Ira Newborn and classical composition with Justin without any exaggeration considered Dello Joio. More recently he has studied with the one of the most musical nations in prominent composers Richard Danielpour and the world. This is proven by both Robert Aldridge. He has since seen his music perlocal and international projects as formed around the globe and within a number of well as by the myriad of successful singers, instru- film projects, such as “A Ballerina's Tale,” a documentalists and opera singers who regularly appear mentary film about the career of African-American on the most powerful stages around the globe. The ballerina Misty Copeland “Mr. Oakley is a composer of extraordinary tallatest addition to this? Georgians at Carnegie Hall, featuring the world premiere of George Oakley's ent whose music speaks to the heart as well as the Stabat Mater, Georgian cellist, Lizi Ramishvili's mind,” said composer Richard Danielpour. “It is a great honor for me to be participating in United States debut, and prominent Georgian pia[the Carnegie Hall] concert,” Oakley told GEORnist, Inga Kashakashvili. The chamber concert, to take place on October GIA TODAY. “Of course, I feel a great responsibil1 at 20:00, will take the audience through three ity. I get a lot of joy and strength hearing such virdistinct musical periods: the Classical period, rep- tuoso players and real artists performing my music resented by the Beethoven's ‘Sonata for Cello and [as Ramishvili and Kashakashvili].” 19-year-old Lizi Ramishvili Piano in D major, op. 102;’ started out taking music lesthe Romantic period, with sons at the Paliashvili Central Schumann's ‘Fantasiestücke, Music School under Tamara op. 73;’ through to ContemGabarashvili. Since 2014, she porary Classical with the has been studying at the work of New York-based Kronberg Academy in GerGeorgian composer, George many with Frans Helmerson, Oakley. where she is a recipient of Oakley is a Georgian comthe Boris Pergamenshchikov poser with Irish roots who, scholarship. after finishing the Z. PaliashShe has taken part in numervili Gymnasium for Gifted ous competitions and festiChildren, continued his vals, including ‘Musica studies to earn a Bachelor Mundi’ (Belgium), ‘Appointof Music degree from the V. ment with Slava’ at the InterSarajishvili Tbilisi State national Mstislav RostropoConservatoire. In 2001, he vich Festival in Kronberg, received a full scholarship Germany, ‘Eurovision Young to participate in the Piano Musicians’ (Austria), and Summer Festival at New ‘The Seventh Mstislav RosPaltz and the same year won tropovich Festival in Baku,’ the Flier International Piano among many others. Competition. In 2003, he Although Ramishvili’s priwas invited as a guest artist mary interest is in classical to the United Sounds of and contemporary music, America festival dedicated Georgian cellist, Lizi Ramishvili

BY MAKA LOMADZE

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Georgian Jewelry-Makers Set for International Success BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI

S

ome nine months ago, three Georgian girls, childhood friends Teko Urushadze, Natia Lagidze and Tamta Lazishvili came up with an ambitious plan to create a new handmade jewelry brand “Silhouette.” As it turned out, their timing was excellent, since in recent years, young Georgian fashion designers have found themselves ever more frequently in the spotlight of the international fashion industry and media, strengthening Georgia’s chances to become a future Eastern European fashion hotspot. Gaining unexpected exposure and fast popularity, with the new Georgian jewelry brand’s story covered in American and Ukrainian Vogue and their products featured in famous online fashion store Moda Operandi, Silhouette is clearly already something of a success, with countries like Azerbaijan, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Ukraine all on the hunt to have the brand on their own fashion markets. As one of the founders of Silhouette, Tamta Lazishvili, (PR Specialist), states, while creating each piece of their product line, they usually envision a modern, confident, independent, and successful young girl or a woman that has an unmistakable eye for fashion. “We imagine what the lifestyles and tastes of those girls and women are,” she says, adding that their jewelry can fit every occasion you choose, from everyday casual to an evening out. Every piece of Silhouette jewelry is handmade using materials such as enamel, horn, silver, and brass, all of which are traditionally used in Georgian crafts. Silhouette mixes these materials and produces modern, original and unique collections, some of which can already claim to be bestsellers. These young, talented and ambitious women, Teko Urushadze, Natia Lagidze and Tamta Lazishvili are clearly a dream team set to conquer a wider international audience.

Georgian composer, George Oakley

she has also explored the jazz tradition with pianist Papuna Sharikadze. “For me, this concert is connected with a big responsibility before the American audience,” Ramishvili said of her up-coming debut. “I’m proud to be able to represent the Georgian performing arts. It’s a chance to increase awareness in American audiences of Georgian artists, which can bring greater success to Georgia.” Inga Kashakashvili is a New York-based pianist from Tbilisi who has performed at major venues around the world, among them Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Steinway Hall, and Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center. In addition to frequent performances of the classical repertoire, Kashakashvili actively promotes contemporary music. Her recent performances include music of Grammy-winner composers Robert Aldridge and Richard Danielpour, and she frequently performs

the music of composer George Oakley. Kashakashvili is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including the ‘Artists International Auditions’ and the ‘Jacob Flier International Piano Competition’ in New York, and has participated in such prestigious music festivals as the ‘Fête de La Musique’ and ‘Leipzig Music Festival in Germany.’ “The idea of this concert belongs to our producer, James Carlson,” Kakhakashvili told GEORGIA TODAY. “It’s the debut of our trio in New York, though I have a lot of experience playing George’s pieces with Lizi. In the first section of this concert, me and Lizi will perform Beethoven and Schuman’s music and the second section will be dedicated to George’s music- a sonata for cello and piano. I’m very proud that we, three Georgians, are to be on this marvelous and unrivaled stage called Carnegie Hall, together.”


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CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

Lordkipanidze Awarded Prestigious Goethe Medal for Contribution to Cultural Exchange & Understanding

The awardees of the Goethe Medal 2016: Akinbode Akinbiyi, Juri Andruchowytsch and David Lordkipanidze. Photo: Maik Schuck

W

hat can culture contribute to international understanding? How can we promote intercultural dialogue? Yurii Andrukhovych, Akinbode Akinbiyi and David Lordkipanidze offered impressive answers to these questions when, on 28 August, the three cultural professionals were honored with the 62nd Goethe Medal in Weimar. The Goethe Medal was established by the executive committee of the GoetheInstitut in 1954 and was acknowledged as an official decoration by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1975. The Goethe Medal is traditionally awarded on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s birthday, 28 August for those making a special contribution as ambassadors of the German language or in international cultural exchange. Since it was first awarded in 1955, a total of 341 figures from 63 countries have been honored. The awardees have included Adonis, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Bourdieu, David Cornwell AKA John le Carré, Sir Ernst Gombrich, Lars Gustafsson, Ágnes Heller, Petros Markaris, Sir Karl Raimund Popper, Jorge Semprún, Robert Wilson, Neil MacGregor and Helen Wolff. “Migration of Cultures – Cultures of Migration” was the motto of the conferment of the 2016 Goethe Medal. KlausDieter Lehmann, the president of the Goethe-Institut, awarded the official decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany to photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi, writer Yurii Andrukhovych and General Director of the Georgian National Museum, David Lordkipanidze. “Each year, the conferment of the Goethe Medal in Schloss Weimar on Goethe’s birthday is a highlight for the appreciation of cultural dialogue, for the equal and independent meeting of cultures and their active mediation,” Lehmann said. “Our human life is primarily cultural. It is therefore worthwhile tackling social conflicts on the path of cultural convergence. It is not without reason that the key theme of this year’s Goethe Medal awards is the migration of cultures and the culture of migration. Awarded are three assiduous intercultural ambassadors, three outstanding individuals who deal with

ROUTING

TBILISI - ISTANBUL ATATURK AIRPORT

ISTANBUL ATATURK AIRPORT - TBILISI TBILISI - ISTANBUL SABIHA GOKCEN AIRPORT ISTANBUL SABIHA GOKCEN AIRPORT - TBILISI BATUMI - ISTANBUL ISTANBUL - BATUMI

this contemporary issue in their work in the fields of photography, science and literature.” One of the most prestigious paleoanthropologists and archaeologists worldwide, the General Director of the Georgian National Museum, David Lordkipanidze, works to advance cultural and educational policies in Georgia and has made a decisive contribution to German-Georgian cultural relations. He lastingly spurred on the modernization of Georgian museums and for over 20 years he has headed the excavations at Dmanisi in Georgia. The 1.8 million-yearold skeleton remains found there have made him a world-renowned paleoanthropologist and archeologist. “[David] believes that science doesn’t only belong to scientists. It belongs in public spaces, museums, exhibitions and archeological excavations. As General Director of the Georgian National Museum, he determinedly and successfully campaigned for scientific findings to be made generally accessible,” Friederike Fless, President of the German Archaeological Institute, said. For years Lordkipanidze has worked alongside the Goethe Institut and with famous German partners from culture and education. These include the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt. “The activities of the Goethe Institut in Georgia are not restricted to spreading the German language. With justified appreciation and the promotion of culture and education, it supports humanism and basic research,” said Lordkipanidze. In his acceptance speech, Lordkipanidze discussed the constant evolution of culture, stating: “Today, looking on the development of the processes in the modern world, Goethe’s words are still relevant: In nature, we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which comes before it, beside it, under it and over it. My country, Georgia, is also part of these processes, using science and culture in the first place to be connected to the rest of the world – to be a part of the whole world.” Each of the winners have, in their own way, contributed to international cultural exchange and cultural understanding.

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Night Serenades and Liana Isakadze’s 70th Anniversary BY MAKA LOMADZE

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ight Serenades, an international music festival founded back in 1982, was once held in the most beautiful region of Georgia – Abkhazia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was cancelled. But after 18 years, in 2009, was it restored and brought back to the Black Sea coast, this time in Batumi. Its founder and artistic director is Liana Isakadze, a renowned violinist who this year celebrates her 70th anniversary together with the 35th jubilee of the festival itself. Night Serenades kicked off on August 27 in Batumi and will close in Tbilisi on September 4 with a gala concert. Over the years, increasing interest towards the festival has led to a broadening of its geography beyond the coast, since 2014 also being held in Tbilisi, and a change of name- since 2015 known as the Batumi-Tbilisi International Music Festival. This year, Anaklia, a seaside village in Zugdidi (north-west Georgia), was added as a venue, which the organizers believe is symbolic as it is located close to the border with Abkhazia, the initial site of the festival. “Our aim is to continue holding the festival in Batumi until the day we can return to Bichvinta, Abkhazia,” Lasha Jhvania, Head of the Festival, told GEORGIA TODAY. On August 27, the World Chamber Ensemble ‘Virtuosi,’ formed by Liana Isakadze, opened the grandiose musical event. The soloist was Isakadze on violin, playing together with prima female violinist from Kazakhstan, Aiman Musakhajayeva, and Alexei Ludevig, a viola player from Russia who played Vivaldi’s ‘Concerto for Two Violins and

10 Galaktion Street

Orchestra,’ Mozart’s ‘Sinfonia Concertante’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons.’ The concert was conducted by Isakadze, using another of her divine gifts, and Cesar Alvarez from Spain. The next day saw Isakadze playing with Elizabeth Wilson, a celloist from England/Italy, and Victor Tretiakov (Russia) on violin. The soiree was conducted once more by Alvarez. On August 30, the festival travelled to Anaklia, where again Mozart and Vivaldi were performed. To celebrate Isakadze’s 70th anniversary, the gala at the Opera House on September 4 will bear a particularly festive mood and offer a number of surprises. “It is a great honor to be received with such love. I thank all those parties who were involved in organizing the gala concert for me. I left Georgia in the 1990s and therefore I’m extremely happy that among Georgians, there is still so much affection and respect for me,” she told GEORGIA TODAY. When asked what she thinks about modern Georgian musicians, she answered: “The level of Georgian musicians has improved drastically in all directions. I’m particularly delighted by violinists and pianists. I like the new generation very much, they are very talented.” Virtuosi, which has already acquired world fame, has been the base orchestra for Isakadze since 2011. In 2014, they had a significant concert in London, and in 2015 held a charity concert in New York. It is staffed with musicians from Georgia and various other countries of the world (USA, France, Italy, Spain, England and Russia). On September 2, our readers will have a chance to attend the first concert within the festival in Tbilisi, at the recently opened Hotel Biltmore, on Rustaveli Avenue, where Virtuosi, headed by Liana Isakadze and accompanied by Alexei Ludevig (viola, Russia), will present

Mozart’s ‘Sinfonia Concertante’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons.’ On September 3, in the Small Hall of Rustaveli Theater, will be the presentation of the five part music documentary TV film ‘Meditations,’ directed by Sandro Vakhtangov (a production of the Georgian Public Broadcaster). Isakadze and Virtuosi will also present Brahms’s ‘Concerto for Violin and Orchestra,’ conducted by Gintaras Rinkevicious from Lithuania. September 4, the finale, is a gala concert of Night Serenades, dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of Liana Isakadze. Together with Virtuosi and Isakadze, Georgian pianist Tamar Licheli, pianist Sergei Babayan (USA), violinists Victor Tretiakov (Russia), Natalia Likhopoi (Russia), and Aiman Musakhajayeva (Kazakhstan), and drummer Vladimir Tarasov (Lithuania) will perform Rachmaninov, Bach, Tchaikovsky-Tsintsadze, Shostakovich, Piazzolla, Youmans, Gershwin and more. All the concerts in Tbilisi start at 20:00.

Tel: (995 32) 2 45 08 08 E-mail: info@peoplescafe.ge


GEORGIA TODAY

CULTURE

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

13

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER

MOVEMENT THEATER Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 September 2 RECITATIVE IN THE CITY Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 21:00 Free Entry CINEMA

AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket price: 5 Lari September 2-8 THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX Directed by Alexandre Aja Cast: Jamie Dornan, Aiden Longworth, Sarah Gadon Genre: Mystery, Thriller Language: English Start time: 19:30 Language: Russian Start time: 16:45, 22:00 Ticket: 10-14 GEL JULIETA Directed by Pedro Almodóvar Cast: Adriana Ugarte, Rossy de Palma, Emma Suárez Genre: Drama Language: Russian Start time: 13:30 Ticket: 8-9 GEL THE HANDMAIDEN Directed by Chan-Wook Park Cast: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Kim Tae-ri Genre: Drama, Romance Language: Russian Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 13-14 GEL MECHANIC: RESURRECTION Directed by Dennis Gansel Cast: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 14:15, 22:15 Ticket: 9-14 GEL

THE INFILTRATOR Directed by Brad Furman Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama Cast: Paul M. Brennan Language: Russian Start time: 17:30 Ticket: 10-14 GEL NINE LIVES Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy Cast: Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Robbie Amell Language: Russian Start time: 12:00, 15:30, 20:00 Ticket: 8-14 GEL RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 55 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket: 5 GEL September 2-8 NINE LIVES (Info Above) Start time: 12:00, 14:00, 20:35, 22:35 Ticket: 8-14 GEL SUICIDE SQUAD Directed by David Ayer Cast: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne Genre: Action, Crime, Fantasy Language: Russian Start time: 22:40 Ticket: 13-14 GEL WAR DOGS Directed by Todd Phillips Genre: Drama, Comedy, War Cast: Miles Teller, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas Language: Russian Start time: 12:15, 14:45 Ticket: 8-10 GEL BAD MOMS Directed by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Cast: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell Genre: Comedy Language: Russian Start time: 16:05, 18:20, 20:15, 22:35 Ticket: 10-14 GEL DONT BREATHE Directed by Fede Alvarez Cast: Jane Levy, Stephen Lang,

Dylan Minnette Genre: Horror, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 17:15, 19:45 Ticket: 10-14 GEL

SHALVA AMIRANASHVILI MUSEUM OF ART Address: 1 Lado Gudiashvili St. Telephone: 2 99 99 09 www.museum.ge

MECHANIC: RESURRECTION (Info Above) Start time: 14:30, 19:45, 22:15 Ticket: 9-14 GEL

May 18 – September 11 AVANT-GARDE 1900-1937 The exposition showcases the collections of the Museum, including around 100 paintings and graphic works, archival material, avant-garde posters and books by Vasily Kandinsky, Niko Pirosmani, Mikhail Gelonov, Natalya Goncharova, Olga Rozanova, Kiril Zdanevich, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Ziga Valishevsky, Kazimir Malevich, Alexei Kruchenykh, Robert Falk, Osvaldo Lichin, Alexander Shevchenko, Shalva Kikodze, Mikhail Bilanishvili, Voldemar Boberman, Lev Brun and Kliment Redko.

MUSEUM

GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge PERMANENT EXHIBITION: GEORGIAN ARCHAEOLOGY FROM 8TH MILLENNIUM B.C. TO 4TH CENTURY A.D THE CAUCASUS NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM COLLECTION RENEWED EXHIBITION EXHIBITION OF GEORGIAN WEAPONRY NUMISMATIC TREASURY The exhibition showcases a long history of money circulation on the territory of modern Georgia from the 6th century BC. to 1834. June 11 – March 11 (2017) EXHIBITION "MEDIEVAL TREASURY" The exhibition showcases preChristian and Georgian medieval art, which reflects the continuity of the cultural traditions that were the basis for the formation of Georgian statehood and national identity. June 16 – December 16 THE EXHIBITION “NEW DISCOVERIES - GEORGIAN ARCHAEOLOGY” The exhibition will be held in the frame of the international conference On Salt, Copper, and Gold: The Origins of Early Mining and Metallurgy in the Caucasus" MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 3 Sh. Rustaveli Ave. PERMANENT EXHIBITION

GIORGI CHALADZE PERSONAL EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO HIS 85TH ANNIVERSARY The exhibition showcases 40 paintings and sculptures created from the 1960s to present day. Giorgi Chaladze is a painter and sculptor, and the founder of the Union of Artists from Rustavi. He was awarded the Medal of Honor of Georgia. GALLERY

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge PERMANENT EXHIBITION Niko Pirosmanashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili and sculptor Iakob Nikoladze. June 24, 2016 – June 24, 2017 NIKO PIROSMANASHVILI’S WORKS “YARD CLEANER” AND “EAGLE SEIZING A HARE” Both paintings were the ownership of Ilya and Kirill Zdanevich until 1930 when Dimitri Shevardnadze bought part of their collection (39 paintings) including the "Yard Cleaner" and "Eagle Seizing a Hare". Today, both paintings are among the collection of Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts.

September 6-28 THE SOLO EXHIBITION "DEEP CALLETH UNTO DEEP" BY GIA BUGADZE. The project "Deep Calleth unto Deep" is based on the 7th article of the 41st psalm and outlines the drama which lies in the confrontation between the internal and external worlds. The exhibition will showcase four different cycles: "Bibliogram," "Counting," "Prints," and "Deep Calleth unto Deep" itself. The exhibition also includes an installation representing contradictions - sympathy and antipathy, attraction and repulsion, question and answer. MUSIC

MOVEMENT THEATER Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 September 3, 6, 8 JAM SESSION AT MT LEADERS: RESO KIKNAZE QUINTET AND PAPUNA SHARIKADZE Free Entry Start time: 21:00 September 7 TANGO EVENING “MILONGA, LA CUMPARSITA” ARGENTINE TANGO DANCE NIGHT Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 5 GEL BILTMORE HOTEL TBILISI Address: 29 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 272 72 72 September 2 CHARITY CONCERT BY LIANA ISAKADZE Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 50-100 GEL TBILISI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER Address: 25 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 200 44 66 September 4 LIANA ISAKADZE GALA CONCERT Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 5-50 GEL BATUMI

BLACK SEA ARENA Address: Shekvetili September 3 BLACK SEA INTERNATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 5-15 GEL BATUMI TENNIS CLUB Address: Batumi Boulevard September 2 BALLETO DI MILANO & ROYAL NATIONAL BALLET Gala concert as a part of its European premier. "Across the Universe" presents a selection of world folk dance heritage performed with Georgian temperament, new choreographic interpretations and a fresh approach. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-30 GEL September 3 KANUDOSI Concert of the Jazz-band Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 10 GEL CLUB TAKE FIVE Address: Batumi Boulevard September 4 GIO KHUTSISHVILI CONCERT Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 20 GEL


14

SPORTS

GEORGIA TODAY

SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

Ceremony Held to See off Georgian Athletes to Rio Paralympics Vano Tsiklauri - Archery

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he ceremony to see off Georgian athletes to the Rio Paralympics was held at Tbilisi Para Sport Development Center at which Sports Minister Tariel Khechikashvili, Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania and BP General Manager to Georgia Chris Schlueter met with the athletes and wished them success. The first flow of Georgian Para-athletes departed for Brazil on September 1, at 03:35 AM in order to take part in the Paralympics which will begin on September 7. Five Georgian Para-sportsmen received licenses for the Games this year: Zviad Gogochuri - Judo, Vano Tsiklauri Archery, Akaki Jincharadze - powerlifting, Irma Khetsuriani - wheelchair fencing and Lia Chachibaia - swimming. Mayor Narmania said conditions for Para-athletes are improving, while Minister Khechikashvili said the team has a very positive outlook. The Para-athletes are participating in the Rio Paralympics through the support of BP. The company has been an official partner of Georgia’s National Paralympics Committee since 2012 and

seeks to promote the Paralympic movement in Georgia. “I would like to express deep respect on behalf of BP towards each athlete and trainer,” Schlueter said at the ceremony. “They have done their best to take part in the Games and have gained the licenses they deserved. We are glad to see Geor-

gian sportsmen heading to Rio. It is very important that Georgian Para-athletes take part in such a large-scale competition and we will watch their performance in the world arena with great interest.” The first competition between those with disabilities was held in 1960 following the close of the Rome Olympics.

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SPORTS

GEORGIA TODAY SEPTEMBER 2 - 5, 2016

15

Georgia Wins 4 Golds at Junior World Championships

Photo: Justin Hoch, United World Wrestling

F

our Georgian athletes won gold medals during the twoday Junior World Wrestling Championships in French city Macon. Zviad Pataridze won his fourth cham-

pionship title in Greco-Roman style wrestling and gave Georgia a 51-40 win in the team race over Russia. Pataridze beat his Turkish opponent Kenan Osman Yldilirm by a score of 10:0 and secured the team title for Georgia

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GEORGIA TODAY

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Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies

after earlier victories from Dato Chkhartishvili and defending world champion Ramaz Zoidze. 20-year-old George Melia won his first gold medal for Georgia in the 96 kilogram category.

Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Tamar Svanidze, Zviad Adzinbaia, Beqa Kirtava, Meri Taliashvili, Eka Karsaulidze, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Karen Tovmasyan, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Maka Lomadze, Tim Ogden, Ana Akhalaia, Robert Isaf, Joseph Larsen, Will Cathcart, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze

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Issue #875