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Issue no: 1065

• JULY 13 - 16, 2018

• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

FOCUS

ON THE NATO SUMMIT

No change for Georgia

PAGE 2,7

PRICE: GEL 2.50

In this week’s issue... EU – Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities Reinforce Bilateral Agenda NEWS PAGE 2

Should NATO Fear Russia? POLITICS PAGE 4

The Road ahead for the Ex-PM POLITICS PAGE 7

Image source: brookings.edu

PM Bakhtadze Meets EU Ambassador to Georgia BY THEA MORRISON

The Trump Era Linguistic Analysis POLITICS PAGE 8

Anaklia Deep Sea Port’s Construction Proceeds to New Chapter BUSINESS PAGE 9

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eorgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze met with Janos Herman, EU Ambassador to Georgia, upon the Diplomat’s completion of his tenure in the country. Special attention was paid to the economic integration of Georgia with the EU. Both sides discussed the agenda of EU-Georgia interaction and stressed the progress achieved by the country on the way to its European integration. Reforms, which have been implemented for the support of small and medium sized enterprises (SME), along with the current initiatives of the EU, were positively assessed and it was added they will facilitate the inclusive economic growth, thereby resulting in an increased rate of economic integration of Georgia with EU. Discussions touched upon the topics related to visa liberalization and actions implemented

Aftermath: Tbilisi & Marneuli SOCIETY PAGE 12

4th Year of the Georgian Pantomime Festival

by Georgian authorities towards addressing the current challenges in the process of visa-free travel, which were clearly commended. Bakhtadze stressed the significant role of the

EU in the development of Georgia. According to Herman, the EU will continue to actively provide its solid support of the reforms implemented by the Government of Georgia.

CULTURE PAGE 15


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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

Georgia’s Territorial Integrity Reinforce in NATO Summit Declaration BY THEA MORRISON

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he Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on July 11-12, 2018 issued a joint declaration which reiterates the Alliance’s support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova within their internationally recognized borders. “In accordance with its international commitments, we call on Russia to withdraw the forces it has stationed in all three countries without their consent,” the declaration of NATO’s 29-member states reads. The document also condemns Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia as independent states; to implement the EU-mediated August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement, particularly the withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory of Georgia; to end its militarization of these regions; and to stop

the construction of border-like obstacles,” the NATO member states say. The declaration reiterates the decision made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a member of the Alliance, with MAP as an integral part of the process. “We recognize the significant progress on reforms which Georgia has made and must continue, which are helping Georgia, an aspirant country, progress in its preparations towards membership, and which strengthen Georgia’s defense and interoperability capabilities with the Alliance,” the document reads. It also says that Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance contains all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership of NATO. “We highly appreciate Georgia’s significant and steadfast contributions to the NATO Response Force and the Resolute Support mission. These efforts, along with Georgia’s participation in EU-led operations, demonstrate the country’s commitment and capability to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security,” the document reads. NATO member states have underlined the fact that they stand ready to enhance further their support to Georgia, particularly in the areas of counter-mobility, training and exercises and secure communications, adding they look forward to the next NATO-Georgia exercise in 2019.

Photo: Heads of NATO 29 states issued a joint declaration on July 11. Source: NATO website

“We remain committed to our support for the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova,” they added. In the 79-point declaration, the Heads of State and Government participating

in the summit stated NATO remains the foundation for a strong, collective defense and an essential transatlantic forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies, adding the Alliance will continue to pursue a 360-degree approach to security and to fulfil effec-

tively all three core tasks as set out in the Strategic Concept: collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. “NATO will continue to strive for peace, security, and stability in the whole EuroAtlantic area,” the declaration reads.

EU – Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities Reinforce Bilateral Agenda BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

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n 11 July, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, completed negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities in the presence of President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. The process of developing the Partnership Priorities began in November 2016, when the Council of Europe adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with the Republic of Azerbaijan. The new agreement is designed to replace the previous Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, more deeply considering the shared objectives and modern challenges of the EU and Azerbaijan. Negotiations on the new agreement were launched in February 2017 following President Aliyev’s visit to Brussels. The Partnership Priorities is laid out along the lines of the

2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and provides a fresh platform for healthy, productive political dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan. EU Neighbors reports that the Partnership Priorities “represent an important step forward in EU-Azerbaijan relations and will guide and enhance this partnership over the coming years.” The newly signed partnership focuses on four main areas – strengthening institutions and good governance; economic development and market opportunities; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate action; and mobility and people-topeople contacts – “while also staying true to the principle of differentiation in the EU's relationships with the Eastern Neighborhood countries,” says EU Neighbors. The European Commission press release breaks down the agreement, saying that: good governance includes the fight against corruption, public administration reform, and crime and terror-defense capacity building; economic development includes the sustainable diversification of the economy, support for WTO membership, and improving business and investment environments; climate action includes building on the successful

Photo: European Commission

cooperation on energy connectivity and significant progress made on the Southern Gas Corridor, including support for Azerbaijan's ability to operate as a trade, logistics and transport hub, regulatory assistance, and sustainable resource management; mobility includes support for education and human capital, and increasing opportunities for EU and

Azerbaijani citizens to meet and exchange experiences. The Partnership Priorities also provides a policy framework for planned financial cooperation between Azerbaijan and the European Union through 2020. The EU press release says that “through these Partnership Priorities, the EU and Azerbaijan renew their commitment to

an ambitious and comprehensive agenda. The agenda will reflect the values and principles of the European Neighborhood Policy, including respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and dialogue with civil society.” Ongoing negotiations for a new bilateral agreement coincide with the finalization of the Partnership Priorities deal, sending a clear signal that both the EU and Azerbaijani sides are interested in enhancing their relationship. Members of the EU and Azerbaijan leadership teams hope that the relationship will bring positive results to benefit the citizens of both places. The Partnership Priorities now moves to be formally approved by both parties before being officially adopted but is expected to be supported by the EU and Azerbaijan. The European Union has gradually expanded the scope of its cooperation with Azerbaijan since relations were established in 1991. Azerbaijan has been included in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) since 2004, and in the Eastern Partnership Initiative since its founding in 2009. A Protocol on Azerbaijan's participation in EU Programs and Agencies was adopted in July 2016.

Georgian President Meets Jens Stoltenberg BY THEA MORRISON

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resident of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili held his first official meeting within the NATO Summit with the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday. Margvelashvili thanked the NATO Secretary General for organizing the NATOGeorgia-Ukraine meeting and noted that this occasion, where the Heads of NATO member states will discuss Georgia's security and defense capabilities, is strategically important for Georgia. The President of Georgia spoke about the country's integration into NATO and

talked about the progress Georgia has achieved in this regard. As he noted, Georgia has all the necessary practical tools to prepare for NATO membership, adding the country is ready to move to the next stage of cooperation with the Alliance. Margvelashvili also talked about the Russian annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions and added that Georgia is already compatible with NATO standards and is a responsible partner, who shares the values and responsibilities of NATO and is actively participating in international missions and therefore, preparing for the organization's membership. “Today we will discuss with NATO leaders the strong support of Georgia and how to make this country more sta-

ble and secure, how to enhance the cooperation formats with NATO, which leads to strengthening defense capabilities, the ultimate goal of NATO membership. I think the Georgian people deserve to move towards an Alliance membership at a fast pace," Margvelashvili said at the joint press-conference. Stoltenberg also underlined that Georgia is a valuable partner of NATO. “NATO's relationship with Georgia is unique. Georgia is one of the most important NATO partners. We are grateful to Georgia for contributing to the mission of Afghanistan and for the sacrifice of the Georgian people made for our common security. We fully support Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Georgia will become a NATO member,” he stated.


NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY JULY 13 - 16, 2018

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OSCE PA Passes Resolution on Georgia "10 Years after the August War” BY THEA MORRISON

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he Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for CoOperation and Security in Europe (OSCE PA) passed a final resolution at the annual session in Berlin, urging renewed efforts to resolve conflicts, with a particular focus on Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts. The document, adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly at the 27th annual session, contains several resolutions, among them the aforementioned regarding Georgia - "10 Years after the August War.” The resolution, which was initiated by Georgian lawmaker Sofio Katsarava, reaffirms the full support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Georgia, within its internationally recognized borders. It expresses deep regret that ten years after the August 2008 war, the conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia remains unresolved and calls on Russia to fully implement the EUmediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and withdraw the Russian

Federation’s military forces from Georgia’s two occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali). The document expresses concern over the repeated denial of access to international and regional human rights mechanisms, including the relevant OSCE executive structures to breakaway Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. In addition, it expresses serious concern over the dire security and humanitarian situation and reports of discrimination based on ethnic grounds in the occupied territories of Georgia. It also reaffirms support for the fundamental rights of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees expelled from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly calls for the peaceful resolution of the Russian Federation–Georgia conflict, in line with international law and the Helsinki principles. OSCE PA supports the policy of the Government of Georgia towards a peaceful conflict resolution, directed towards the de-occupation of said Georgian regions on the one hand, and the reconciliation and confidence-building between the communities divided by the occupation lines. It also welcomes the new

peace initiative of the Government of Georgia - “A Step to a Better Future”, aimed at improving the humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in Georgia’s occupied regions, as well as towards fostering people-topeople contacts and confidence-building between the divided communities. The resolution Condemns the killing of Georgian citizens – Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria and Davit Basharuli – in breakaway Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and urges the Russian Federation to “refrain from the obstruction of a thorough investigation conducted by the Georgian authorities on both cases” with the participation of international partners, and that perpetrators are brought to justice. In addition, the document stresses the responsibility of the Russian Federation, “as a power exercising effective control, to uphold the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all people” living in the occupied regions of Georgia and ensure the presence of international human rights monitoring mechanisms on the ground. OSCE PA urges Russia to allow the safe, dignified and unhindered return of displaced persons to their place of origin. “We have just adopted a Berlin Decla-

Photo source: oscepa.org

ration that we hope will serve to guide our work in the weeks, months and years ahead. We should all work to strengthen the OSCE, including by implementing its principles and communicating its messages to our governments and the people of our home countries. We must let people know the value of this organization and why it matters,” OSCE PA President George Tsereteli from Georgia said in a speech after the adoption of the Declaration. Nearly 300 parliamentarians from 53 OSCE participating States and four Partners for Co-operation participated in the 27th Annual Session, which took place on 7-11 July at the Reichstag building in Berlin under the theme “Implementing OSCE

Commitments: The Role of Parliaments.” August 8-12 marks 10 years since the Georgia-Russia five-day war of 2008, which left Georgia’s South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions occupied by Russia, and resulted in around 170 servicemen, 14 policemen, and 228 civilians from Georgia losing their lives, with a further 1,747 wounded. The August war displaced 192,000 people in Georgia. Many were able to return to their homes after the war, but around 20,270 people still remain displaced. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia on August 26; in response, the Georgian government cut diplomatic relations with Russia.

Chkhenkeli Meets US Asst. Sec. of State for Ed and Culture Marie Royce BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

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he Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli, met yesterday with US Assistant Secretary of State for Education and

Culture Marie Roy in Tbilisi. At the meeting, both sides discussed cooperation between Georgia and the United States in the spheres of science and education. Chkhenkeli thanked Marie Roy for projects that are supported by the United States of America. The Minister spoke about the achievements of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which

supports many successful projects aimed at increasing science and technology development in Georgia. According to Royce, the US government is of great importance to Georgia's efforts to develop education and science. She explained that the role and contribution of the Georgian side is crucial to carrying out joint projects such as the

Fulbright Program, San Diego State University’s cooperation with Georgian Universities, and others. Earlier that day, Royce tweeted a photo of herself and Tbilisi Art Palace Director Giorgi Kalandia, thanking Kalandia "for sharing Georgia's #culturalheritage" and noting that "through the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation

(#AFCP), we have awarded $1M+ since 2001 to assist the country's preservation efforts." During her visit, Royce also had lunch with US State Department program alumni in Tbilisi and with Georgian museum curators who participated in the Open World exchange program and coordinated the ECA-funded Edward Curtis exhibit in Tbilisi.

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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

Should NATO Fear Russia? ANALYSIS BY ANTOINE DEWAEST

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n July 5, the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia by six more months. The decision was related to the annexation of Crimea and the support of separatism in Eastern Ukraine. For some years now, Poland, the Baltic States and other member states of NATO have been worrying about Russia. Therefore, either they reinforce their army or reinstate mandatory military service. One can understand why: Russia frightens them. In March 1992, after the USSR collapsed, Transnistria, the eastern part of the Republic of Moldova, claimed independance. Currently, even if Russia does not recognize the self-proclaimed Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Moscow still supports the separatist government. The posterchild of this support is nothing if not the 1,500 Russian soldiers based there. Less visible, 70% of the national budget comes from Moscow. In this way, Russia ensures a continuation of the status quo. In August 2008, ten years ago, Russia invaded Georgia with a blitzkrieg, resulting in Moscow ‘protecting’ the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, then recognized their independance. The result is alike that of Transnistria. In 2018, the territorial dispute remains unresolved. In March 2014, violent street demonstrations forced the Ukrainian President, Viktor Ianoukovytch, to flee, while the pro-european activists took power. However, the clumsiness of the new government and some russophobic statements added fuel to the fire and led to a sense of insecurity in Eastern Ukraine. Thereafter, the ‘little green men,’ supposely Russian, supported the population there and actively equiped the rebels. Actually, Dombass and Luhansk still remain a grey-zone. In March 2014, the Crimean peninsula was annexed by the Russian Federation through a military intervention and the elections were rejected by the United Nations.

Map of grey zones. Image source: Spiridon Ion Cepleanu

However, in reality, this agressive behaviour from Moscow is nothing new. Russian interferences, contrary to the US, are nothing if not a part of the Russian geopolitical identity. From 1804 to 1813, the Russian Empire supported George Obrenovitch, aka Karageorge, in his will to bring Serbian autonomy from the Ottoman Empire. It is also worth remembering that Russia joined the Greek desire for independance in the hope they could use its harbors. In 1860, Bulgaria, embodied by Vasil Levski, started to struggle for independence. At that time, the Russian Empire supported the fight and played host to many secret societies. Later, during the cold war, Stalin built a protective wall by incor-

porating his neigbhors. So, why is Russian geopolitics aggressive? The Russian territory is large and not easy to defend. Access by sea can be easily cut in the Bosporus Strait and in the Baltic Sea. Moreover, the majority of Russian harbors are unusable during the winter. That is the reason Russia has always wanted to have a kind of buffer zone at its borders. All the more when NATO is extending to the East. But why did Putin’s Russia not annexe all these territories except Crimea ? The question is relevant. In 2015, breakaway South Ossetia asked Russia to integrate its territory into the Federation. It was the same for eastern Ukraine.

If Russia had annexed these territories, it would have reenforced the pro-western forces in these countries and they would have been difficult to run. By creating grey-zones, Moscow is certain that Georgia will not enter NATO. Indeed, no country can enter if it is facing a frozen conflict within its borders. In the case of Georgia and Ukraine, the Russian interferences coincided with a new step towards the EU. At the end of the day, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia could not join NATO. In this way, Russia still has a protective circle like Stalin did to answer to the Marshall Plan. But should NATO fear Moscow? Not at all. Indeed, if we compare NATO and Russia in numbers, here is the result: Regarding nuclear weapons, Russia and NATO come out almost equally powerful. Russia is also in step with NATO in the number of long-range aircraft. But Russia has only 830,000 soldiers, whereas NATO has 3.2 million (almost 1 million from the USA). The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has three times more tanks and five times more armored vehicles than Russia has. It has five times more combat aircrafts and has 13 aircraft carrier against only 1 aircraft carrier for Russia. NATO also has eight times more fregates. In total, NATO spent $954 billion in 2017, whereas Russia could only afford to spend $66.3 billion. At the end of the day, NATO spent 15 times more than Russia, but is it enough to deter Russia from interfering? On July 11 - July 12, dozen of heads of state and government representatives met in Brussels for the NATO Summit. During this summit, Eastern European countries asked the US to increase the number of troops in their countries as a show of force towards Russia. Other NATO countries are also expanding their presence in Eastern Europe, like Canada, which announced plans to extend its military force in Latvia. Predictably, Moscow has slammed the NATO expansion on its western flank. After attending the NATO Summit, Trump is heading to Finland, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Geopolitics of Azerbaijan BY EMIL AVDALIANI

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he South Caucasus energy corridor is an important component of Europe’s energy efficiency. True, that the continent needs more than what the corridor can offer, butitsoperationcouldnevertheless,albeit slightly, shift Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Georgia plays a crucial role as a vital transit route. However, it is sometimes forgotten that the source of all energy riches comes from Azerbaijan and that it is not so much Tbilisi, but Baku that actually plays a focal point in the geopolitical calculations of the large neighboringstates.Azerbaijan’sgeographicpositionisunique as it occupies the land which for the moment serves as the shortest and the only (except for the long one through Central Asia) land route through which Russia is connected to Iran. The existence of large oil and gas deposits see both Teheran and Moscow vie for a bigger influence over Azerbaijan. To influence Azerbaijan geopolitically means controlling the beginning of the South Caucasus Energy Corridor. Furthermore, Azerbaijan’s position will be further strengthened as the resolution of the Caspian Sea bed division nears completion. Technically, this would enable the littoral states to build various pipelines. One of such projects is the Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP), which, if implemented, would go through Azerbaijan, Georgia and on to Europe. Russia in the north, Iran to the south – this geographic constantly drives the creation of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. The ideal scenario for Baku would be to play the northern neighbor against the southern one. The problem with this policy, though, is that Teheran and Moscow’s policies do actually coincide in many ways. True, the two have historically been geopolitical enemies trying to solidify their respective influence in the South Caucasus. However, since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia and Iran’s aims have opposed the advance of western economic as well as military influence in the region overall and specifically in Azerbaijan. Iran does not want to see Azerbaijani land being used by foreign powers, whether it is Israel or NATO member states. Similar worries are reflected in Russia’s foreign policy moves. Moreover, Iran and Russia also share the view that the TCP would harm

Baku, Azerbaijan. Image source: qz.com

their respective interests, as both aim at the European gas and oil market and do not want Turkmen gas to reach Europe. There is also another important aspect which constrains Baku’s foreign policy – the NagornoKarabakh issue. It has been common throughout the last several decades to relate the reasons behind the Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan to that on the ground, with the military situation being unstable and can easily spill over into an open confrontation, as it happened in April 2016. What is missing though is a bird’s eye view on the Karabakh problem: the conflict prevents Azerbaijan from being less hesitant towards foreign policy moves and, by extension, increases Russian influence over the country as Armenia, Azerbaijan’s arch-enemy, is Moscow’s close ally. From a geopolitical point of view, Azerbaijan, although the country enjoys commerce and other contacts with Russia and Iran, is nevertheless in a restricted neighborhood, where the only exit to the west is through Georgia. Thus, from a broader perspective, Azerbaijan’s position of being sandwiched between three geopolitically covertly or overtly antagonistic countries (Russia, Iran and Armenia), forces Baku to find a geopolitical counterweight. Georgia, however, cannot act as such in military or economic terms. Alas comes Azerbaijan’s pivot to the West, more specifically, to Turkey, but again largely through Georgian territory. Turkish-Azerbaijani relations boom. Ankara understands that losing Azerbaijan to Russian or Iranian influence would be tantamount to the closure of Southern Caucasus energy corridor, or to the limitation of Turkish influence in the Caspian region. This logic also underpins the increasing collaboration between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in both the military and economic realms. Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is based on the country’s geographic position. A position which is both beneficial to enjoy economic benefits as a source of energy riches and as a starting point of the Southern Caucasus energy corridor, and inconvenient as Russia and Iran have their own geopolitical agendas on how to constrain the government in Baku. Thus, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is rooted in these geographic constraints which are further worsened by the lingering NagornoKarabakh issue.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

Georgian PM Presents New Faces of Cabinet BY THEA MORRISON

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rime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze presented a reshuffled Cabinet of Ministers at a press-conference on Thursday morning. There are three new faces in the government: Mikheil Batiashvili, who is the candidate for the Minister of Education, Ivane Machavariani has been named as the candidate for the Minister of Finance and Giorgi Kobulia was put forward as the candidate for the post of the Minister of Economy. Bakhtadze said Machavariani has been the Finance and Commercial Director of the Georgian GSM operator Geocell, which is the part of Telia Company, one of the world's major telecom operators. The PM underlined that most of the government’s planned reforms are related to the digital economy and 50% of the reforms package, presented by him,

requires modern technologies. “Machavariani's experience in this regard is really crucial. He is one of the most experienced people in Georgia. Therefore, our expectation is that he will help us in the digital transformation of our economy,” he added. Mikheil Batiashvili is the former rector of the University of Business and Technology and has replaced Mikheil Chkhenkeli in the post. The PM believes that Batiashvili will be an effective leader of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, adding he is a member of the Harvard Business School Strategy and Competitiveness Institute and has vast experience of cooperation with foreign scientific centers. “We plan to implement a 5-level reform that involves the integration of preschool education, school education, vocational education, higher education and science, the introduction of innovative education systems, and more importantly, the deepening of close ties between education

and economics. I am sure Mikheil Batiashvili will be able to implement these very important reforms,” Bakhtadze claimed. While speaking about Kobulia, the PM noted his experience in the development

of the global economy and in the field of energy, too. “He has been working for a global consulting company in McKinzie for two decades. He is Senor Partner of this

organization. Kobulia has a great experience in many sectors such as energy, the integration of different sectors of economy in the global economy, increasing competitiveness, the labor market and much more. I am confident that he will contribute significantly to the implementation of the reforms we have addressed in our government program", Bakhtadze said. PM Bakhtadze cut the number of ministries from 14 to 10, with the addition of one apparatus of the State Ministry functioning separately. The reshuffled composition of the cabinet will be sent to Parliament for approval. In addition to presenting new minister candidates, Bakhtadze announced that the former Minister of Corrections, Kakha Kakhishvili, has been appointed as the Head of the Governmental Administration, replacing Shalva Tadumadze, who was selected by the Prosecutorial Council as the candidate for the Chief Prosecutor’s Post.

The First Republic: (Un) Deservedly (Un)Revered? had to develop economically but knew also that it was a cultural unit. For Chavchavadze, it was much more about culture, about history, about language. One other thing to remember is that once you move from opposition (Jordania was in the opposition until 1917) to the ruling party, then your attitude is bound to change because now you have a much greater responsibility, you are protecting not only the working class, you are protecting your citizens and this is a different concept and I think Zhordania recognized very quickly that this was no longer about defending a particular class: this was now about defending the nation and the state that represented the nation.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY VAZHA TAVBERIDZE

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hat is the legacy of the First Republic of Georgia? The country celebrated 100 years of independence last month, but is it as cherished as it deserves? What lessons can be learnt from those three years of independence that were ultimately cut short by the Russian Bolsheviks? These were the questions we asked Prof. Stephen Jones, one of the foremost international experts on Post-soviet societies and an avid scholar of Georgia’s First Republic. The esteemed Professor, alongside other well-established names, was giving a public lecture at a conference dedicated to the legacy of the First Republic at the Tbilisi State University when GEORGIA TODAY met him to pick his brains on this very topic.

AT ONE OF YOUR LECTURES IN BRUSSELS YOU SAID THAT THE FIRST REPUBLIC HASN’T RECEIVED AS MUCH RECOGNITION AS IT DESERVED IN GEORGIA, THAT IT WAS NOT A POPULAR SUBJECT TO RESEARCH UNTIL VERY LATELY. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS? I think that the First Republic is very historically significant, not only for Georgia but for European history because it really was the first social democratic republic in Europe and it was influential that many top politicians in Europe came to Georgia in 1920 to find out more about it and what it was doing; so I think the significance of the Republic is important and is worth remembering, yet until perhaps a year ago, nobody was talking about it; in some sense it took the 100th anniversary to bring it back to our minds. Why? Because it was a social democratic republic, it was associated with socialism and also with the Soviet Union, and anything to do with socialism or that period was seen as bad. After the independence of Georgia in 1991, nobody was really interested in exploring the First Republic because of the memory of Soviet socialism.

WHAT ABOUT THE DECISION NOT TO FIGHT THE SOVIET OCCUPATION FORCES? WAS THERE EVER A CHANCE OF SUCCESS?

WAS IT PERHAPS BECAUSE OF THE PERCEPTION THAT THEY LACKED NATIONAL VISION AND WERE MUCH MORE RELIANT ON SOCIALISM? I would completely reject that idea. I think that Georgia of course had socialist ideas, but this was a very popular ideology at the time in the rest of the Russian Empire; everybody was almost anti Tsarist and the solution they sought was socialism, but it wasn't just socialism, it was also national liberation, particularly for non-Russians, and Georgia developed its own very distinct ideas about what socialism would look like in Georgia; it was socialism in Georgian colors because it had a very distinct national form. The Georgian Social Democrats were internationalists at some level but they believed at the time they came to power in 1918, when they had to build the state and had to consolidate a nation, that internationalism was built on the idea of every nation having the right to self-determination, built on the idea of a society, of an international society of nations, not of a proletariat - they had moved beyond that by 1918.

WE CANNOT TALK ABOUT THE FIRST REPUBLIC WITHOUT MENTIONING NOE ZHORDANIA, CHAIRMAN OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC. DO YOU THINK ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THIS LACK OF POPULARITY OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC WOULD BE THE VERY OPEN AND PUBLIC ROW THAT ZHORDANIA HAD WITH ILIA CHAVCHAVADZE, WIDELY RECOGNIZED AS THE FATHER OF THE NATION? Ilia Chavchavadze is considered a saint for Georgians, seen as the father of the nation; so by definition, anybody who opposed him appeared unpatriotic. Noe Zhordania and others in the social democratic organization developed, changing based on what they were reading, what they were listening to, what international developments were happening, and they became more nationalist. Zhordania was very interesting as a theoretician in terms of his understanding of the relationship between the nation and socialism, he had an understanding of the nation as something that was an economic unit and

It would have been a very bloody defense of Tbilisi if they’d tried. The Georgian armed forces at that time were not very strong; the economy was very bad, there was very serious inflation and problems of supplies affecting not just Georgian civilians but the army too. There were maybe 20,000 soldiers ready to fight, not enough to defend themselves against the Red Army which was much more powerful and of course much more numerous. If they had fought, they would have been overwhelmed by the Red Army. That doesn't mean they shouldn't have, maybe they should have, but I don't think the outcome would have been a successful defense of the state.

DO YOU THINK THE DECISION NOT TO FIGHT TARNISHED THE LEGACY OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC SOMEWHAT IN THE EYES OF GEORGIANS? Yes. When I when I talk to Georgians, very often this is the first thing they will say: that Georgian Social Democrats betrayed Georgia because they left without a fight; you know this is certainly a criticism.

ONE OF THE MORE VIVID PARALLELS THAT CONNECT THE OLD AND NEW GEORGIAN REPUBLICS IS THE ENDURING PROBLEM OF DEALING

WITH ETHNIC MINORITIES. IS IT US NOT LEARNING OR EXTERNAL INFLUENCE? I think the answer to that is both. Russia still has its imperial ambitions in the border areas but Georgians could choose to increase the security of the state by integrating national minorities more effectively. One of the reasons Russia was successful with [breakaway] Abkhazia and South Ossetia is because Abkhazians and South Ossetians did not think they were part of the Georgian state; they didn't think that the Georgian nation accepted them as equals. In many cases, it's the responsibility of the larger group to assure the smaller group that they are equal and that they will have equal rights even if the concerns of the smaller group are exaggerated or even unreal; they have to be reassured and they have to be given perhaps some special treatment, at least temporarily, so that they have this sense they are part of the nation. The is no one way to effectively deal with national minority problems. If Georgia wants national security, then it has to integrate national minorities more effectively and assure them that they are equal partners in the nation.

ANY INTERNATIONAL EXAMPLES YOU’D RECOMMEND GEORGIANS LOOK AT? There are many ways to do that. For example, Northern Ireland. After centuries of bloodshed, Northern Ireland is now essentially a non-violent place. The issue was solved by an agreement between Ireland, Northern Ireland and England, solved through shared sovereignty, where Northern Ireland was seen in some ways as part of Ireland as well as part of the United Kingdom; so there are always imaginative solutions to how to integrate minorities into your country. I'm just giving you an example of a particular type of solution; in the Russian case this would not be possible because Russia would not accept it and I think right now it's too late in some sense because the Abkhazians and South Osssetians now are so hostile to Georgians that no matter what Georgia does, and Georgia is always trying to offer some solutions, they won't accept it because the role of Russia is so powerful.


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY JULY 13 - 16, 2018

7

The Road ahead for the Ex-PM OP-ED BY ZAZA JGARKAVA

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t has been almost a month since the now-former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili left his post. His replacement was appointed, who changed the government, but the discussion surrounding the ex-premier won’t likely come to an end anywhere in the near future, with people asking where he’ll pop up next. There are four possible answers: a) politics b) prison c) home d) abroad. We do not know which of the above will be true, but considering the developments within the governmental party, most likely it will be one of the first two. The fact that the resigned high post officials have a choice of staying in politics or going to prison has been proven by numerous former ministers, for example, ex-PM Merabishvili and former Minister of Defense Bacho Akhalaia, both of whom have been serving their sentence in prison for years already. The likelihood of the ex-PM’s future road leading to “Matrosov” prison is further heightened by the fact that former minister of economy Dimitri Kumsishvili and former Infrastructure Minsiter Zurab Alavidze both had to sign an agreement not to leave the country at Tbilisi International Airport. Apologies were given

paid to both of the ex-ministers, who were at that point sent home. Notably, both of them are considered to be in the closest circle of Giorgi Kvirikashvili and his team members. The information spread by the media suggests that Kumsishvili and Alavidze are the main players in the corruption scheme currently being investigated by the financial police. The punitive loop created by the legislative organs around ex-PM Kvirikashvili is getting narrower. The positions of 7 of 15 heads of different parliamentary committees that were formerly occupied by the members of Kvirikashvili’s team are now vacant. Those who have found themselves in Parliament on Kvirikashvili’s quota will also need to make a choice, among those the youngsters about whom the government party boasted during the parliamentary elections in 2016. We can tell there is a cleansing within the Georgian Dream from the fact that the former PM was expelled from the political council and then left the GD completely, and all this while in the very near past we heard in his public speeches that he was the loyal soldier of the party, who would fight on every front the party asked him to. The recruits of the ex-PM aren’t having the best times facing the dilemma of proving their loyalty and heartfelt love for Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream, or following Kvirikashvili on his

as yet unknown path. But the clock is ticking and Kvirikashvili has to make a rapid decision and act upon it if he wants to keep his team, that is, if it hasn’t jumped off his sinking ship yet. Otherwise, all roads for Kvirikashvili will lead to prison. By resigning, Kvirikashvili clearly conveyed a message to Ivanishvili that he no

NATO-Brussels Summit- Declaration About Georgia

Photo: NATO HQ press

BY ANTOINE DEWAEST

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n July 11 - July 12, dozens of heads of state and government met in Brussels for the NATO Summit. As a result, the Georgia-NATO commission made some declarations reaffirming the close cooperation between Georgia and NATO, and future NATO membership.

10 Galaktion Street

The allies welcomed the progress on reforms that the perseverance of Georgia had allowed over the past decade, noting that democracy is consolidated, and Georgia has succeeded in facing economic problems by achieving stronger economic development. In addition, NATO congratulated Georgia for the modernization of its armed forces. NATO also thanked Georgia for its support in its operations, notably its contribution to the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in which the country

remains one of the largest troop contributors. RSM is a mission which aims to advise and assist against terrorism, supported by 13,000 troops in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. NATO recognized the “sacrifices and contributions the Georgain have made for our shared security”. For the future, the Alliance said it will consider a new phase of cooperation dealing with cyber defense and reiterrated that they look forward to welcoming Georgia into Operation Sea Guardian which aims to protect the Mediterranean Sea. The alliance reiterated also their full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They called on Russia to reverse its recognition of the socalled independence of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In addition, they pointed out the human rights violations there. During the Summit, Georgia reaffirmed its will to achieve NATO membership. The Alliance answered that their decision made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit had not changed and Georgia will become a member of NATO, all the more because Georgia has worked hard for it since 2008. The next NATO-Georgia exercise will be in March 2019.

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

longer wanted to be the clerk of Cartu Bank and wouldn’t continue obeying his orders; he would remain at his post only if he could act according to his own decisions, or resign, which he eventually did, even though it wasn’t the best scenario for Ivanishvili, because it triggered serious tremors within the governmental

party. This is why those political experts who don’t believe in his courage, are wrong. Rumors say that Kvirikashvili has the support of the bankers and his “native” political organization, the New Rights Party. Therefore, it isn’t entirely impossible that in the near future, we see the return of the ex-PM into big politics.

Margvelashvili: NATO Should Enlarge in Response to Russian Policy

Photo: Getty Images

BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

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n a statement posted on his Facebook page, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili commented on the 2018 Brussels NATO summit, currently taking place. He wrote that NATO’s response to Russia’s policies towards Georgia and Ukraine should be enlargement. Margvelashvili addressed world leaders at a NATO-Georgia-Ukraine meeting held at the level of heads of states of the member states of the Alliance. The President spoke of the progress that has been achieved in the Euro-Atlantic integration process and noted that Georgia is an important contributor to global security, in the pursuit of which NATO was formed 16 years ago. He remarked that Georgia’s impressive progress serves as an example for all countries. "Today Georgia is a NATO-friendly, responsible partner that fully shares NATO values and responsibilities, actively participates in international missions and therefore is preparing for membership," Margvelashvili said. The President of Georgia paid particular attention to the role of Georgia in the Black Sea region and, in particular, the importance of the region to Euro-Atlantic security. He explained the possibilities of Georgia's cooperation and why Georgia's security is important for NATO. Margvelashvili spoke about Russia’s

annexation moves and the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia. The President noted that Ukraine is a continuation of Russia’s occupation of Georgia, as it is a result of Russia's aggressive actions that are seen today more seriously. “This is a unified policy that Russia is implementing against young democracies, which should be responded to, and this response should be NATO's new extension and change of this confrontational paradigm,” the post read. “Today Georgia has all practical tools to prepare for membership. Georgia is ready to move to the next stage of cooperation with NATO, open and ready for political dialogue,” it continued. According to Tengiz Pkhaladze, the Secretary of the President of Georgia, the NATO Secretary General, as well as the leaders of the twenty-four countries unanimously stated that Georgia is a decent, important and responsible partner. Everyone unanimously supported the progress achieved by Georgia and noted that it is an impressive example for other post-Soviet countries. "We are grateful for the important contribution that Georgia puts in common security. Several countries demanded an immediate session to grant Georgia a Membership Action Plan. Ultimately, all countries agree that Georgia has all the practical tool to prepare for membership, and to work together to open a window of political opportunity, and Georgia is ready for this dialogue," said Pkhaladze.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

The Trump Era Linguistic Analysis OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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he whole world knows that the mainstream American media is a liberal message tool, and conservatives are refusing to take it for granted. Conservative America has decided to move to the ambiance of social media, having taken in stride the conventional means of mass communication like press, radio and television. The vividness of this statement is corroborated by President Trump’s media preferences – the guy tweets! Even in my wildest imagination, I could not have presumed that a leader of the free world would someday talk to his people, his opponents and the rest of the world, only via internet-based computer messages. The amazing thing is that Don has a huge effect on the global process of opinionshaping. Trump has unleashed an unrelenting war on the cancerous liberal movement all over our ideologically contaminated planet. And he has the clearest possible idea of who he hates, who he loves and why. He is on the offensive and I doubt that he would ever desist. It is his unbridled conservative philosophy, and his mind-boggling openness and juvenile sincerity, that are murdering the senescent and ossified political and economic ways of bygone centuries. No surprise that the liberals of the world are livid and are retaliating vehemently. Their pathological reaction to President Trump’s offbeat style is creating a fierce and filthy linguistic yield. An analysis of the liberal Trump-trashing lexicon might give us an idea where the political process is headed for in the United States. The American media is literally strewn with nicknames and choice epithets (incidentally, the quotes

Us President Trump. Source: thehill.com

are given without inverted comas) to describe the American chief executive. In most cases, the wordsmiths of those wrongly descriptive words are the liberals who are still struggling to digest the fact of Trump’s election to the most important office in the world. They have

gone far enough to qualify the current American administration as the “Trump regime,” within the framework of which the Supreme Court is turning into a so called “supine court” and Congress is becoming as feckless as it can get. But if you ask me, you can call the American

government anything but a regime. This is a disdainful word that the Americans have always used contemptuously against the most detestable governments they have had to deal with. And now the liberals want to direct the poisoned arrow onto their own system of ruling the

country. Liberals are thirsty to prove that the functioning American President’s behavioral model is a pure emulation of dictators, and that the Trump era is demonstrating increasingly dangerous trends, having totally lost the sense of checks and balances. They also say that the Trump regime is enjoying absolute control over the executive branch, being wildly hypocritical and deeply venal, having lost the moral compass, stimulating a fascist-style fear-mongering. The liberal press continues that Trump, suckered by tyrants, is insulting the allies on a regular basis, having acquired the style of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The liberal-minded opposition to Trump maintains that he attacks the law and takes politics a business in the belief that everything is tradable. Liberals unabashedly call the United States President a real estate shyster, a messianic huckster and an innate bigot. Just have a look at the wickedly invented nicknames – only some out of hundreds – and angrily thrown both into social and traditional media with the vicious purpose of stigmatizing Donald Trump as the worst ever leader of the nation: Boss Tweet, Combover Con Artist, Draft Dodger Don, Fascist, the Fraud of Fifth Avenue, Macho, Putin’s Papaya-Flavored Pawn, Vulgarian, White Pride Piper, and so on and so forth . . . What does this unceasing embittered verbal diarrhea mean, so furiously heaved on the President of the United States of America. Where does this delirious venom come from? I think the verbal attack is a last resort for the helplessly angry liberal clique in America who know that this president is not going to give up, and worst of all for them, they have a feeling in their bones and a very bothering thought in their morbid brains that Donald Trump may well end up sitting on the American presidential throne for the second term.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY JULY 13 - 16, 2018

9

Anaklia Deep Sea Port’s Construction Proceeds to New Chapter World’s leading Dutch company Van Oord awarded Anaklia Port’s marine contract for dredging and reclamation

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naklia Port is set to enter a new important stage of its construction. In August 2018, Georgia will witness an unprecedented scale of marine engineering works in the country’s history, as the marine works for dredging and reclamation at Phase 1 Anaklia Deep Sea Port project will begin. After a long and tough selection process, one of the world’s leading marine engineering contractors, Van Oord, was awarded a contract through an international tender announced by Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC). Van Oord was selected based on its technical and commercial offer. The Dutch company also acts as a shareholder of Anaklia Deep Sea Port and invests in the construction process. Within a month, Georgia and Anaklia will receive one of the most advanced and technically capable dredging vessels ever built. The vessel owned by Van Oord, the Athena, will be deployed for the dredging and reclamation works. Under this contract, Van Oord will perform the reclamation of 5.0 million cubic meters of sand from the sea and placement of the dredged material in the port area which encompasses 70 hectares. In addition, Van Oord will install vertical drains and perform compaction after the surcharge period. “This is a historical moment, since Georgia has never witnessed marine works of this kind, taking into consideration the scale and engineering solutions of the reclamation activities to be carried out. We are delighted to announce that an internationally renowned company such as Van Oord will be conducting this important part of marine construction,” said Ronny Solberg, CEO of

Anaklia Construction Management. Van Oord is a Dutch leading international contractor which executes dredging, marine engineering and offshore projects in different parts of the world. The construction of Palm Island, Dubai, the Port of Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte 2 expansion and the record-breaking Suez Canal are among the projects which

Van Oord have accomplished. “The construction of Anaklia Deep Sea Port is an important project which will facilitate trade between Asia and Europe. The port will bring development in the country of Georgia, enhance regional trade and turn it into a logistical hub. We are proud to be involved in this project and are looking forward to

starting the dredging activities with our modern equipment,” said Govert van Oord, Van Oord Area Director. Construction of Anaklia Deep Sea Port commenced in December 2017. Since then, ADC has performed early works, including the removal of topsoil from 110 hectares of port area, construction of a new 2.5 km water channel, and

removed all debris and cleaned the entire area. On the marine side, the archeological study and removal of underwater tetrapods has been performed to prepare the basin for the dredging works. Anaklia Deep Sea Port is planned to go into commercial operation in December 2020.

BY ANNA ZHVANIA

when you walk in the door. Coffeeshop Company Georgia offers special deals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and take-away services. The unofficial opening was held on 23 June and the grand opening party is scheduled for late September. Coffeeshop Company Georgia will contribute further to local tourism development.

SOCIETY

Austrian Coffeeshop Company Opens First Georgian Location

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nother international brand, Coffeeshop Company, has entered the Georgian market. The licensed franchise plans to expand throughout Tbilisi and the regions in the future. Coffeeshop Company has a strong presence in Europe and Asia, with up to 300 cafes and bars around the world. The newly opened Tbilisi cafe is located at 11 Ilo Mosashvili’s and its concept is tailored to the needs of customers. The cafe has a huge terrace where smoking is permitted and offers a large screen for football lovers to enjoy matches. The inside of the lounge exhibits pieces from the Kunst Historisches Museum located in Vienna. Coffee comes with a side of Viennese and European dessert assortments. It retains traditional roots and creates an entirely different ambience


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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

HUAWEI Opens New Service Center in ‘Karvasla’ Shopping Center to 19:00, and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 15:00. HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's population. According to 2015 data, the smart-

BY ANNA ZHVANIA

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eading technology and smartphone enterprise HUAWEI has opened a new service center at ‘Karvasla’ shopping center, offering customers postal service throughout Georgia. The postal service provides free delivery of products directly from the center to the shipping address. The new service center is equipped with a team of professionals and technicians, offering customers high-quality

phone market is the third largest in the world. 16 Research and Development Centers operate in the US, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of the three business units in Huawei, one of the

main destinations for smartphones, personal computers, tablets and smart services. HUAWEI's global network is based on 20 years of experience in telecommunications and serves innovative technologies for consumers worldwide.

services. In addition to the 12-month warranty service, owners of HUAWEI P10, P10 Plus and Mate 10 will receive a 3-month guarantee for mobile screens. With the HUAWEI P20 and P20 Pro, customers will get an 18-month guarantee and a free of charge screen change for the first 6 months. Customers will no longer pay the warranty service fee for the first 12 months if the item is purchased in store. In addition, those who visit the new service center will receive gifts. The new center of HUAWEI is located in ‘Karvasla’ shopping center, on the first floor, and is open Monday to Friday from 10:00

HUAWEI P20 Lite - Smartphone for Those Who Prefer a Modern Design BY ANNA ZHVANIA

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op mobile manufacturers continue to strive to be the first, offering a new, unique smartphone to customers, with modern and innovative functions and design specifications. Multifunctional smartphone manufacturer HUAWEI is the first choice for customers and the brand’s success has been attributed to the P series models. Recently, one of the world’s largest smartphone brands officially launched its latest P20 series internationally. The HUAWEI P20 Lite is an all-rounder with the finest modern design, exceptional battery life and a great camera. The affordable P20 Lite adapts to current demands with its 19:9 screen, high quality dual camera and increased internal memory. It’s notch-based screen and sturdy-built quality keeps up with the latest trends, including its compact design. To improve and strengthen the screen, engineers and designers spent a lot of time and, according to experts, the goal was achieved: the model has all the necessary functions and a perfect visual side that makes customers feel comfortable and self-confident. The detailed technical features of the smartphone are the following: 5.84-inches, 19:9 ratio, 2280 × 1080 pixels TFT LCD display 2.38 and 1.7 GHz HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor, Mali-T830MP2 graphics processor 64GB internal memory and

4GB of RAM 16 MP and 2 MP primary dual camera at the back, 16 MP on the front, The latest EMUI 8.0 is a consumer interface based on Android 8.0. The smartphone is available in four

colors, satisfying individual tastes: klein blue, sakura pink, midnight black and gold. High quality videos and pictures often take up the majority of the memory space - a problem for many smartphone brands. In the case of the HUAWEI P20 Lite, the reality is different. The 64GB internal memory allows users to store data and is useful for long-term use. So, who should buy the HUAWEI P20 Lite? Those who want a modern design and top-quality camera and whose hap-

piness is in the small details. HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's population. According to 2015 data, the smartphone market is the third largest in the world. 16 Research and Development Centers operate in the US, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of the three business units in Huawei, one of the main destinations for smartphones, personal computers, tablets and smart services. HUAWEI's global network is based on 20 years’ experience in telecommunications, and serves innovative technologies for consumers worldwide.


SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY JULY 13 - 16, 2018

Reviewing the Tbilisi Kindergarten Developments BY DIMITRI DOLABERIDZE

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he Tbilisi Public Kindergarten Management Agency has established a new standard of accountability and transparency, with the directors of kindergartens expected to report on their activities before the Agency and parents. Presentations were given by the directors of the Mtatsminda District kindergartens on July 6. Important projects, methodological novelties, infrastructural changes and the distribution of financial expenditures which the district’s kindergartens have implemented since January, were introduced to the Head of the Agency, Kakhaber Gvantseladze and attending parents. In addition, time was given to discuss future plans and solutions to ongoing issues, in most cases related to infrastructure development or food delivery services, both priorities for the heads of the kindergartens. Nino Tsiklauri, Director of 162 Kindergarten, based on the outskirts of Tbilisi, made a presentation about the nursery’s last six months of work, describing its open and transparent format of financing, a method which was initiated by Gvantseladze, who in January approved the annual budget for the kindergartens. Tsiklauri introduced the invoice principles which had allowed them to make the right decisions in the direction of procurement and noted the importance of a safe and healthy environment for the development of children. “In Kindergarden 162, safety nets were installed on the windows, the road-access gate was replaced, protective handles on the playground equipment were installed, a ramp enabling wheelchair access was built, the main staircase of the entrance was changed, and fire safety equipment was installed to modern standards,” Tsiklauri told the attendees at the presentation. These were changes that had been seen in many, but not yet all, of the Mtatsminda

District’s kindergartens, shown in the 14 or so presentations given that day. During her presentation, Tsiklauri addressed the preparatory readiness program for the physical, cognitive and cognitive-social development of children. She talked about the variety of topics the children were exposed to within the curriculum, including ecological-awareness, professions, markets and hypermarkets, authors and book production, theater and hands-on experiences with high-technology (namely, the robot Pepper). “At our kindergarten, we are always excited to get the children involved in inspiring activities, making the learning process fun, hands-on and more memorable and impactful,” the Director said. “Our children have visited Hypermarket Carrefour, the Mtatsminda District Rescue Service, the Ambulance Service, they have seen how books are created and printed at the Bakur Sulakauri Publishing House, visited the Ivane Javakhishvili Museum of Zoology, and spent time at Geolab, where robot Pepper is kept.” The kindergarten, like others in its district, so far this year has put a special emphasis on the environment, helping the children to clean up the local nature in a responsible way and, with the help of the Municipal Environmental Protection Service of City Hall, to plant trees and flowers in the yard. Caring for the planet, children’s rights, mother language, and recognition of Down’s Syndrome and Autism on their respective international days were also spotlighted in the Mtatsminda kindergartens through various physical and educational activities. Unique to the initiative of Kindergarten 162 was the presentations and concerts arranged for foreign diplomats, exposing the children to new faces and encouraging them to take pride in their work. “At the meeting, we noted our success in the competition for promoting preschool environmental education and environmental issues, where, of 30 kindergartens from Tbilisi, the 15 best participants were selected for the second round,” Tsiklauri noted.

A commission featuring representatives of state agencies and NGOs revealed three winners of the competition by the results of the sum of points of the two stages. “Third place was given to Marika Eititashvili, one of our teachers,” Tsiklauri said. “This is a very important and successful project for our kindergarten.” GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Kakhaber Gvantseladze, Head of the Tbilisi Public Kindergarten Management Agency.

WHAT PURPOSE DO THE RECENT PRESENTATIONS SERVE? I strongly believe that it is a very good practice, which, in addition to the great work of the kindergarten teams, will also encourage them to become more motivated in the future in the childcare process and will help them to plan and implement new, creative projects and activities. In addition, we are obliged to introduce the work that was done to ensure parents have the opportunity to be fully onboard in their children’s education process. We have to account for each other. Ideally, parents should be involved because it concerns their children. It is important for parents to know what services and funding exist, and what difficulties we have, what the development plans are and so on. With that in mind, the active involvement of parents will become mandatory in future. Child health and safety is a priority of the Agency, and we are doing many things in this regard, for example, building or renovating kindergarten facilities, installing and ensuring fire safety equipment, supplying electric pumps for central heating ahead of winter, and adjusting and improving the daily menus and food delivery service. Both ordinary and administrative personnel are checking these activities. The Ministry of Education has approved the training of teachers and is working to ensure their qualifications and expertise. This is a historical moment in reinforcing the Tbilisi kindergarten system and bringing it to new levels of development.

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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

Aftermath: Tbilisi & Marneuli BLOG BY TONY HANMER

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hat else COULD I write about this week but the deaths, increasingly certainly by murder, of my friends Ryan and Lora Smith and their 4-year-old boy Caleb, while on holiday in Dusheti? Yes, but I’m trying not to rush in “where angels fear to tread”. The story is certainly fraught with emotion, and also laden with agendas. So, I’m not going to give news or even “versions” of it here. Dennis Holt is another American with dual Georgian citizenship who has been living here with his family for more than 13 years now. He runs an NGO called Purposful Youth and was also good friends with the Smith family. I asked him some questions in relation to them recently.

HOW LONG DID YOU KNOW THE SMITHS AND WHAT WAS YOUR CONNECTION? We knew the Ryan and Lora for around eight years. Even before they came to Georgia, we met with them. They were asking us lots of questions about life in Georgia and the opportunities here. We were really excited about their desire to come here and we encouraged them in it all we could! My wife and I started an NGO here back in 2006, I believe it was. We had first visited Georgia in 2004 and really fallen in love with it, so in 2005 we moved our family of five here to Tbilisi and have been here ever since. Ryan and Lora got in touch with us through mutual friends we had from Azerbaijan. Ryan had spent a couple years there before he was married to his lovely wife Lora. So by the time we met them, he already had exten-

sive experience in the Caucasus region and like us had really fallen in love with the area, and especially the Azerbaijani people. Ryan, a real artist in many ways, was so interested in reviving the ancient art of rug weaving. Honestly, I had no idea of the full extent of it, but we said, "That sounds great!". So, from then on we considered ourselves partners in this great Georgian adventure.

HOW DID YOU GET NEWS OF THEIR DEATHS? We were actually in Ukraine when we heard from our mutual friends about the tragic death of Ryan, Lora and their adorable 4-year-old, Caleb. We just sat there in shock! Then we almost immediately bought tickets back to Tbilisi. When we arrived we immediately went to Marneuli to meet with and comfort our friends there.

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE DEALING WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAS FOLLOWED SINCE? Traumatic. Especially as the news unfolded and it went from an accident to a terrible murder scene in just days. Our hearts were already hurting and then the pain only got worse knowing that they suffered (we hope not long) and that their lives were stolen away by an unthinking young man, no doubt in an emotional, horrible decision to take their lives. We are all struggling with these thoughts. We see our friends in our minds, we remember the good times, I see Caleb running through my house with a look of glee on his face. Sometimes, looking into the eyes of some of the people that Ryan and Lora worked with is even worse, seeing their looks of pain. One dear Azerbaijani woman just clung to me and wept for quite some time and then said, "Lora was my dearest friend, she cared so much

for me, every day she asked me how I was doing." What do you say to that? We search for the right words, words that will bring comfort and healing, but sometimes they just don't come. So, we hug people, we pray for people, and search for words that will bring healing. Phone calls, e mails, Facebook posts, etc., all coming at us from all over the world wanting to know what happened, offering condolences, offering prayers. The positive response has been overwhelming. Even media outlets wanting stories, wanting the inside story, even some looking for controversy, I have not given any—except this one, because Tony, you are my trusted friend and I know you also knew Ryan, Lora and Caleb.

HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP THE FAMILY IN TRIBUTE?

Wow, how can you some up someone’s life, especially the Smiths’, in just words or a few lines? I would say they were models to us all of service, love and compassion. They loved the people of Marneuli and beyond, not just in words but in their lives and actions. They gave up a life they could have had in California, USA, to come to a country that most of their friends in the USA had never heard of. They really lived life to the full! If you look at Ryan's Facebook page you will see a story of joy, adventure, and love for people and life. I don't even have time to go into the deep impact in people's lives that the ReWoven project had; it touched the poorest of the poor in Georgia and brought hope and life into the lives of the weavers and their families. Lora's work in education and also with women stands as a model to all who would come

after them. We mourn their loss and we struggle with the thought of "How do we move forward?" But I know this is what Ryan and Lora would want. It reminds me of the words of Christ from the Gospels, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This was their desire and passion to give all they could—even their lives, to those they loved. 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 nearly 1900 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: w.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY JULY 13 - 16, 2018

Zaza Burchuladze Awarded Literary Prize BY SHAWN WAYNE

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iterary critics have awarded Georgian author Zaza Burchuladze and translator Natia Mikeladze-Bakhsoliani for bringing the popular novel A Tourist’s Breakfast to German-speaking readers. Born in 1973, Zaza is a contemporary postmodern writer and dramatist. He graduated the Monumental and Ornamental Painting department of Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and began writing and publishing his books at the age of 24. Until 2001, he published his works under the pen-name of Gregory Zamza. His short stories have been regularly published in Georgian literary and art magazines. Burchuladze translated numerous Russian contemporary novels and classics, some of these include authors like Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Vladimir Sorokin. He worked as a freelance journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and taught Literature and Contemporary Art at the Caucasian Media Institute. Burchuladze’ narratives often startle the audience with his experimental way of writing and the provocative themes he takes up, often topics considered taboo. He writes texts about political conformity, violence and brutality, addressing ideological and religious topics as well as sexuality. In Georgia, he is well known not only for his scandalous novels, but also as a very talented actor who successfully starred in a Georgian feature movie in 2008. Burchuladze’s novels have been translated and published in Russia, Poland and Romania. His novel The Inflatable Angel won the 'Best Novel of the Year' in 2011, an annual literary award held by Ilia State University. He was invited to la Nuit de la Littérature 2014 in Paris, France. In 2011, he participated in the Literary Colloquium in Berlin. Natia Mikeladze-Bakhsoliani was born in 1966. She translates from Georgian into German or vice

versa. Her best-known translated books are Aka Morchiladze’s “Santa Esperanza” and Tamta Gelashvili’s “Counting Out”. For the translation of the latter, she was awarded the Saba Literary Prize for the Best Translation from Georgian and German Youth Literature in 2013. The duo received the Brücke Berlin Literary and Translator Award of the BHF BANK Foundation, organizers of the prize announced this week. Zaza Burchuladze’s best-selling work was published in Georgian back in 2015, translated by MikeladzeBakhsoliani and printed by Berlin-based Blumenbar Verlag publishing house last year. The book in question, A Tourist’s Breakfast, follows the protagonist in their wanders around Berlin, accompanied by recollections of his previous life in Tbilisi. Receiving half of the 20,000 EUR prize money that came with the win, the two will be formally distinguished at a ceremony in Berlin later this year. “This book is an example of documentary, autobiographical prose, although the text is also written in such a way that you never fully understand whether the stories he tells are invented or true,” said a Georgian National Book Center summary. Burchuladze, the author of other notable works, including Adibas and Inflatable Angel, was labeled one of the most important writers of post-Soviet Georgian literature by The Wiedling Literary Agency. “’Sometimes I think what a darling I am,’ someone bursts out to Zaza, and it really is like that: he is very appealing in this book, because of his sincerity, his way of thinking, his sudden spurts of humor and carefreeness and, of course, his sharp teeth always slipping out in this humor or carefreeness,” said Shota Iatashvili, critic. The publication of A Tourist’s Breakfast in German language coincides with Georgia’s representation at this year’s upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair as the official Guest of Honor country.

‘Materiel’ Going Global: 30 Potential Buyers Internationally BY ANNA ZHVANIA

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eorgian Fashion Brand ‘Materiel’ is awaiting orders from 30 retail stores globally. According to information from bpn.ge, these countries include Italy, France, UK, USA, China, Japan and UAE. Nuki Chabukiani, 'Materiel' International Sales Manager, will announce more information on this matter in the following weeks. With the support of Enterprise Georgia, ‘Material’ showcased its line in ‘Moredash Showroom’, ‘MisonPyramide’ and ‘Paper Mache Tiger’ showrooms in Paris, along with other Georgian designers. These internationally-scaled showrooms are essential for business development process: attracting buyers, selling, and contacting the right press. Taking place on 19-26 June in Paris, France, over 100 brands, 130 buyers and media representatives attended the event. ‘Fashion House Materia’, founded in 1949, is one

Source: bpn.ge Photo Source: Facebook

of the oldest apparel manufacturers and fashion retailers in Georgia. In 2012, the brand introduced a premium line ‘Materiel’, a unique brand presenting collections by talented Georgian designers, Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili and Lado Bokuchava. ‘DOTS’ was founded in 2016, a line offered to all customer segments.

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CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

JULY 13 - 16, 2018

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER

GABRIADZE THEATER Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 July 13 RAMONA Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL July 14 STALINGRAD Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30 GEL July 15, 17, 18 An animated documentary film REZO Directed by Leo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family Language: Russian Start time: 12:15 Ticket: 8-9 GEL ANT-MAN AND THE WASP Directed by Peyton Reed Cast: Evangeline Lilly, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 13-14 GEL OCEAN’S 8 Directed by Gary Ross Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime Language: Russian Start time: 22:30 Ticket: 15 GEL CAVEA GALLERY Address: 2/4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 200 70 07 Every Wednesday ticket: 8 GEL July 13-19

CINEMA

AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket: 5 GEL July 13-19 July 17 EVENT CINEMA EUGENE ONEGIN Directed by Robert Carsen Cast: Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renee Fleming, Ramon Vargas, Brian Large Genre: Opera Start time: 19:30 Ticket: 25 GEL SKYSCRAPER Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurberwson Marshall Thurber Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber Genre: Action, Crime, Drama Language: English Start time: 22:15 Language: Russian Start time: 15:00, 17:30, 19:45 Ticket: 8-15 GEL IN DARKNESS Directed by Anthony Byrne Cast: Emily Ratajkowski, Natalie Dormer, Ed Skrein Genre: Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 12 GEL HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky Cast: David Spade, Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (Info Above) Language: English Start time: 22:30 Language: Russian Start time: 14:00, 16:45, 19:45 Ticket: 11-19 GEL SKYSCRAPER (Info Above) Language: English Start time: 19:45 Language: Russian Start time: 12:15, 14:45, 17:15, 20:00, 22:15 Ticket: 10-19 GEL IN DARKNESS (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 17:15 Ticket: 14-19 GEL HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 11:45, 22:00 Ticket: 10-19 GEL SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO Directed by Stefano Sollima Cast: Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Isabela Moner Genre: Action, Crime, Drama Language: Russian Start time: 21:45 Ticket: 16-19 GEL TAG Directed by Jeff Tomsic Cast: Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Jon Hamm Genre: Comedy Language: Russian Start time: 19:45 Ticket: 16-19 GEL

ADRIFT Directed by Baltasar Kormákur Cast: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Grace Palmer Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama Language: Russian Start time: 22:15 Ticket: 16-19 GEL MUSEUM

GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge Exhibitions: GEORGIAN COSTUME AND WEAPONRY OF THE 18TH-20TH CENTURIES NUMISMATIC TREASURY Exhibition showcasing a long history of money circulation on the territory of modern Georgia from the 6th century BC. to 1834. EXHIBITION STONE AGE GEORGIA ARCHEOLOGICAL TREASURE NEW LIFE TO THE ORIENTAL COLLECTIONS April 26 – September 1 UNKNOWN COLLECTIONS OF GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM– INDIA, CHINA, JAPAN The exhibition showcases up to 500 artworks - paintings, sculptures and samples of applied art, the chronological range of which is wide. May 26 – September 30 THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA - 100 YEARS The Georgian National Museum and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Center of Manuscripts and National Archives of Georgia, presents the exhibition June 12 – August 31 Georgian National Museum presents the exhibition CAUCASUS BIODIVERSITY The exhibition is dedicated to the 100the anniversary of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia. IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM - KARVASLA Address: 8 Sioni St. Telephone: 2 98 22 81 June 27 – September 10 Georgian National Museum and The Goethe Institute, in connection with 200 years of relations between

Germany and Georgia, presents a project THE DYNASTIES - PARALLEL PERSPECTIVE The exhibition features the historic-cultural and, in particular, architectural legacy that has been created and developed in parallel in Germany and Georgia, representing two different architectural family dynasties- the Böhms and the Kurdianis in Germany and Georgia, respectively. MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge PERMANENT EXHIBITION Discover the State's personal files of "subversive" Georgian public figures, orders to shoot or exile, and other artifacts representing Sovietera cultural and political repression in Georgia. SVANETI MUSEUM Address: Mestia, Svaneti May 19 – August 19 The Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography hosts an exhibition "MAGNUM PHOTO 70 - GEORGIAN JOURNAL: ROBERT CAPA 1947, THOMAS DWORZAK 2017". SIGHNAGHI MUSEUM Address: 8 Sh. Rustaveli Blind-alley The exhibition PORTRAITS OF KAKHETIAN NOBLES – FROM THE BEGINNING OF GEORGIAN EASEL PAINTING UP TO 20TH CENTURY The exposition comprises portraits of Kakhetian historical figures, such as: King Erekle II, Queen Darejan, Prince Vakhtang Dimitris-dze Janbakur-Orbeliani, Princess Tekla and David Guramishvili, as well as Qajar paintings of representatives of the Andronikashvili family. SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI MUSEUM Address: Rabati Fortress, 1 P. Kharistchirashvili Str.1, Akhaltsikhe Georgian National Museum presents the renovated exhibition spaces at Samtskhe-Javakheti Museum. The exhibition was added recently discovered exhibits, exposition was technically updated and equipped with the modernized lighting system according to the modern museum standards. GALLERY

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge May 15 – August 5 For International Museum Day GNM presents the Georgian National Museum festival, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia. Exhibition TITIAN - MASTER OF COLOR: THE VIRGIN AND CHILD This exhibition is part of a large project, which also comprises exhibitions of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and other great Italian artists in the Georgian National Museum. May 25-August 26 The Georgian National Museum and the Embassy of Italy to Georgia, within the Museum Fest, present the exhibition EVIDENCE. A NEW STATE OF ART The National Gallery is hosting the exhibition of Garuzzo Institute for Visual Arts- presenting contemporary Italian artists' artworks created since the 1950s.

May 25-August 26 GENIUSES OF RENAISSANCE The Georgian National Museum and the Embassy of Italy to Georgia, within the Museum Fest, present the exhibition VISITOR CENTER OF KOBULETI-KINTRISHI PROTECTED AREAS Address: 271 D. Aghmashenebeli Str., Kobuleti July 5 20018 – July 5 2019 Georgian National Museum presents new exhibition. The exposition depicts the unique ecosystems of Adjara, in particular the Kobuleti wetland areas, the Kintrishi forests and their biodiversity. The most interesting and spectacular parts of the exhibition are the Ispani sphagnum peatlands and the Kintrishi forest illuminated light-boxes. MUSIC

SOUND OF GEORGIA July 13, 18, 19 Regular mini-concerts of traditional Georgian live music in Old Town will make you get to know and fall in love with Georgian character and culture. Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 23 GEL Venues: July 13 - 9 Agmashenebeli Ave., wine bar "Wine Station", New Tiflis July 18 - 2 Turgenevi Str., Tbilisi yard July 19 - Europe Aq., Dutu Megreli str. EZO FESTIVAL 2018 Venue: Mtatsminda Park June 15 eZo stage: Zurkin, Gabunia, Phil Weeks, Steve Bug Start time: 15:00 Ticket: 50 GEL June 16 eZo stage: Autumn Tree (Leon), Rati, La Fleur, Chez Damier, Cafe Stage: MZESUMZIRA WITH FRIENDS: Ako Von Unten Audio Space, Gabunia, Dj Tomwildculture, L8, Micro Bax, Nika J, Radio Grue, Rati, Tobacco Twins, Vasil Start time: 15:00 Ticket: 50 GEL BLACK SEA ARENA Address: Village Natanebi (Shekvetili), Ozurgeti, Guria July 19 BLACK SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL ROBERT PLANT Golden Ring Start time: 18:00 Ticket: 250-1500 GEL ART GENE FESTIVAL Start time: Folk Crafts and contemporary art exhibitions- 12:00 -18:00 Folklore Region- 20:00-21:30 The Final Concerts- 22:00 Venue: Ethnographic Museum July 13 Folk Crafts and contemporary art exhibitions Folklore Region: Letckhumi, RachaZiriani Closing Concert: SUKHISHVILEBI July 14 Folk Crafts and contemporary art exhibitions Folklore Region: Adjara-Elesa Closing Concert: REGGAEON July 15 Folk Crafts and contemporary art exhibitions Folklor: Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Lela Tataraidze Closing Concert: NIAZ DIASAMIDZE AND 33A


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY JULY 13 - 16, 2018

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4th Year of the Georgian Pantomime Festival BY LIKA CHIGLADZE

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rom July 6-8, Tbilisi hosted a three-day Georgian Pantomime Festival that is now in its 4th year. The festival was organized by the Shalikashvili State Pantomime Theater, which was established in Georgia in 1965. Over the course of the 3 days, people had an opportunity to become acquainted with Georgian pantomime, attend various shows, performances, book presentations, exhibitions and most importantly, a yoga master class by Baptiste Marceau, son of the great Marcel Marceau of French pantomime. Baptiste’s introduction to yoga came naturally. Thirty-one years ago, while travelling as a renounced sadhu, he found himself at a Himalayan temple in India. There, he encountered an elder sadhu who had white hair and a youthful appearance. Pleased with Baptistes admiration for the impressive sequences he had executed, the elder offered Baptiste the chance to try yoga. Since then, yoga has become an integral part of his life. His father was a French Actor and Mime Artist, mostly known for his stage persona as "Bip the Clown". He referred to mime as the "art of silence” and performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years. During his career, he visited Georgia and became acquainted

with his future colleague and friend Amiran Shalikashvili, who later founded The Georgian Pantomime Theater. The festival saw two major performances of two world classics. Director Davit Shalikashvili brought Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel The Old Man and the Sea to life to the stage, which was accompanied by electronic, rock and jazz musical elements. The second performance was the 12th century Georgian poem The Knight in the Panther's Skin, Amiran Shalikashvili’s signature play. Besides the new generation of mime artists, veteran artists also took part in the performances. GEORGIA TODAY talked with Junior Amiran Shalikashvili , the son of the founder of the theater, who currently is the lead for mime theater and has many plans: “One of the most important things in this festival was having Baptiste Marceau as part of our festival. The son of world famous mime artist Marcel Marceau came to Georgia especially for this occasion. Marceau was the founder of the French mime school, who was also a friend of my father. Our meeting was quite symbolic, since our fathers gave birth to the art of pantomime in both countries. Baptiste Marceau held yoga masterclass and we, together, held a presentation of a book by my father Amiran Shalikashvili. The book is about the world mime school, and it has been released in English for the first time. Within three days, the festival saw two

premiers, The Old Man and The Sea by Dato Shalikashvili, and also a live performance broadcast via Facebook. The latter was only intended for social media yet accumulated around 10,000 views. The performance was directed professionally with two cameras. This was held for the second time this year and we plan to deliver live performances annually to reach a more global audience. Amiran Shalikashvili, my father, who is about to turn 80, took to the stage on the closing of the festival. He staged the play Knight in the Panther’s Skin on the last day of the festival. He is currently working on pieces by the famous Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze and plans to transform his rhymes into plays on the stage” Junior Shalikashvili explained. The festival also included Kakha Bakuradze’s Recitative in the City from the well-known Movement Theater. As part of the festival, two exhibitions were

held, on July 7 Giorgi Shengelaia’s artwork was displayed and as the festival drew to a close on July 8, internationally celebrated Georgian artist Rusudan Petviashvili’s exhibition was held. The festival was very diverse and colorful, offering people of different interests and ages various kinds of performances and shows, together with live electronic music events. “We fully used our space, both the hall and the yard of the festival. It is noteworthy that people of all ages were interested in the festival and 80 percent of the audience was foreigners and tourists. Overall in comparison with previous years the festival was quite successful”, Junior Amiran Shalikashvili elaborated. “My father started mastering mime in the 1960s. In 1961, he met the great Marcel Marceau by chance and became good friends with him. On May 13, 1965, Amiran’s debut performance was held in Tbilisi. The Georgian Pantomime Theater was

2018 GEM Fest Canceled

BY ANNA ZHVANIA

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n a statement released on Facebook, GEM Fest has made the decision to cancel the 2018 edition of the popular electronic music festival. GEM Fest, or the Georgian Electronic Music Festival, took place on Anaklia Beach for the past three years and ran over the course of 10-30 days. In 2017, GEM Fest run for a whole in August, with big headliners attracting locals and tourists alike. The decision to cancel the festival was made by the organizers on 10 July after facing several obstacles from

the government, with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development rejecting the organizer’s application to rent a plot in Anaklia. While the festival canceled its 2018 edition, organizers spoke of hopes for future projects. Check out the official statement below: "Today is July 10th and we can't wait any longer. Festival planning needs time and serious preparation. As you know, we still haven't had any response from Ministry of Economy. We applied twice. The first time, in March, they refused us without any explanation or reason. The second time they simply gave us the silent treatment.

PUBLISHER & GM

George Sharashidze COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENT

Commercial Director: Iva Merabishvili Marketing Manager: Anuka Poladishvili

GEORGIA TODAY

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT:

Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies

Is it fair to treat a project which put Anaklia on the world’s Festival map like this? Let history and society judge. We got what we got: the land where the festival took place will not be hosting us this summer. Yes, we considered organizing the festival on private property in Anaklia, yet without a beach. We discussed this option with you and agreed not to downgrade the level of the event and decided to refrain from such risk. We keep fighting and the project GEM FEST will stay alive. And not just alive, it will be reborn. We expected an inadequate reaction from the ex-ministers and we didn't lose time.

Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Maka Lomadze, Joseph Larsen, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze, Nino Gugunishvili, Thea Morrison Photographer: Irakli Dolidze

In June, we received an offer from the international global blockchain project to support our GEM family and sponsor 4 great upcoming events in January, May, August and October. These events will take place in Georgia and beyond its borders. This blockchain project will become our trusted partner and future development guarantor. This kind of cooperation is about to take GEM FEST to a new level and make it the first crypto festival ever. We promise you that 2019 will be explosive and we will start right away in the new year. You will receive details and interesting news very shortly." GEM Fest organizers also stated guests will receive full refund on tickets purchased. For those who already purchased a ticket, there are three options: 1. Full refund of ticket: Upload a photo of your ticket, indicate the purchase date and provide bank account details to the following address: Refundgemfestticket@ gmail.com 2. Attend all 4 events from January to October: Send ticket photo and details to this address: Staycoolwithus@gmail.com 3. Exchange ticket for crypto currency and receive GEL 150 worth of coins in your wallet: You can either transfer, sell or purchase anything at GEM FEST, including tickets, drinks, food and all at event venues. Send the ticket photo and details to the following address and you will receive instructions on how to open the wallet and receive coins: Cryptogemsforfuture@gmail.com The deadline to make a decision is August 30. Afterwards, GEM Fest will proceed with applications, transfer funds (within one week), exchange tickets and transfer coins.

Website Manager/Editor: Tamzin Whitewood Layout: Misha Mchedlishvili Webmaster: Sergey Gevenov Circulation Managers: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava

established an impressive 54 years ago. In 1976, the theater earned the title of State Theater, and in 1978 a special faculty was established at the Shota Rustaveli Theater and Film Georgia State University. Over the years, the theater functioned successfully, it toured throughout Europe and was quite famous at that time. Despite many hardships such as civil war, when there were clashes in the streets, the theater did not close, and my father was performing on stage on his own. Now I think the new era in the history of Georgian pantomime has commenced, with new life breathed in to the theater, the recruitment of new staff as well as a new generation of artists participating. Yet, simultaneously, we strive to preserve the classic form of Georgian pantomime as well as transfer it to future generations. For this reason, we closed the festival with the stage version of the poem The Knight in the Panther's Skin. This classic still remains popular and is included in our program. This is Georgia’s trademark in the world of pantomime, thus we should strive to keep it alive. I try to maintain it and to adjust the modernity to reflect current times”, - Junior Amiran Shalikashvili told us. Apart from The Shalikashvili Pantomime Festival, the theater operates on year-round and offers weekly plays. The good thing about Pantomime Theater is that there is no language barrier and anyone can attend and enjoy fascinating performances by professional artists.

France-Croatia: Youth Vs Experience BY ANTOINE DEWAEST

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t's official: France vs Croatia will be the 2018 World Cup Final. One can say this World Cup is nothing if not surprising: Germany knocked out at the beginning of the competition, Spain defeated by Russia, and Croatia reaching the final! If France perseveres (winners in 1998 and finalists in 2006), Croatia will discover for the first time what a final is. France is powered by players such as Kylian Mbappe who is 19 years-old, the very player who scored twice versus Argentina. On the other side, Croatia is full of players such as Mandzukic, 32, older but still a good player. A country of 65 million versus the 4th smallest country of the 32 World Cup teams (4 million people). So, who will win? In 1998, Croatia did indeed reach the semi-finals, but lost to France. So, as Plenkovic said, they now have a chance for revenge.

Photo: Kylian Mbappe

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1065  

July 13 - 16, 2018

Issue #1065  

July 13 - 16, 2018

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