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Issue no: 1077

• AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018



In this week’s issue... Kaladze’s Weekly Priorities: Transportation, Infrastructure, Keeping Tbilisi Beautiful NEWS PAGE 3

Georgia Gov’t Eager to Welcome the German Reps, Baku Touchy about NagornoKarabakh POLITICS PAGE 6

2018, The Year in which Russia Boosted its Military Visibility POLITICS PAGE 7

Investment Opportunities for German companies: Georgia, Anaklia Port, and SEZ projects

Source: Mamuka Bakhtadze's official Facebook page



Angela Merkel and German businesspersons touring the South Caucasus


Georgia Files New Suit with Strasbourg Court against Russia BY THEA MORRISON

HUAWEI P20 Pro - Easy High-Quality Photos BUSINESS PAGE 9

New Charity Campaign Launched to Help Orphanage Children SOCIETY PAGE 11


Photo Book on “Timeless Georgia”

eorgia has filed a new suit against the Russian Federation referring to the administrative practice of mass detention, harassment and murder of the Georgian population on the Russian occupied territories of Georgia, Abkhazia and “South Ossetia.” The suit, named ‘Georgia vs the Russian Federation,’ was sent to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, which demands the European Court establish Russia's responsibility for violating several articles of the European Convention. “Russia should be held responsible for continuous occupation, erection of barbed wire fences and a targeted campaign against the population of Georgia,” the ministry stated. Continued on page 2

Image source:





AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018

Merkel: Georgia’s Occupation Is Unfair ing relationship. Of course we support Georgia,” the Chancellor affirmed. Merkel also discussed her country’s relationship with Georgia in different areas, saying her visit is intended to help advance bilateral relations. “I do hope these ties will be further strengthened,” she said. Speaking after their meeting, Bakhtadze said the fact that Germany is a supporter and partner of Georgia is very important. “Today, Germany's support is especially important for Georgia. Russia does not fulfill the obligations of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 and continues its occupation of 20% of Georgian territory. Today, unfortunately, the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are actually annexed, which further worsens the security, humanitarian and human rights situations on the ground,” he stressed, adding that the Georgian government only supports a peaceful resolution of the conflict and is relying on its allies for support, including Germany. Bakhtadze expressed hope that Merkel’s visit will further strengthen successful cooperation between the two states.



erman Chancellor Angela Merkel called Georgia’s occupation by Russia unfair. She made the statement at a joint press-conference with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, on August 23. “What happens in Georgia is unfair. The Russian President knows my position regarding Georgia and about Ukraine too... Despite great effort, very little is being done to end this injustice forever. It should not become a daily reality…We should not tolerate such a situation,” Merkel stated. She also noted that Germany supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and will do its best to help peacefully resolve the conflict. “We are doing what we can to contribute to the regulation of the situation… Last year we celebrated 25 years of diplomatic ties between our countries… Georgia and Germany have a long-last-

Source: Mamuka Bakhtadze's official Facebook page

Georgia Files New Suit with Strasbourg Court against Russia Continued from page 1

According to the document, Russia violated the European Convention Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 8 (right to privacy and family life), Article 13 (right to effective remedy), Articles 1 (right to property) and 2 (right to education) of Protocol 1, plus Article 2 of Protocol 4 (freedom of movement). Georgia’s Foreign Minister Davit Zal-

kaliani stated Russia needs to be held accountable for its illegal actions on the occupied territories of Georgia. He says the Georgian side expects the Strasbourg Court to make a fair decision in the case. In addition, Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria says filing the lawsuit against Russia was the right decision. “Due to the fact that the Russian Federation exercises effective control over the occupied territories of Georgia, consequently, in connection with the crimes

committed in this area - torture, inhuman treatment, kidnapping of people, etc. responsibility should be placed on the Russian Federation,” she said. Lomjaria noted the importance that Georgia use all international levers and courts to protect the rights and interests of its citizens in the international arena. Opposition parties believe the Georgian government should have filed such a complaint a long time ago, however, they approve of the step taken. Member of parliamentary minority Euro-

pean Georgia, Sergo Ratiani, says that it is important that the process has started. “We have been calling on the government to prepare such a suit for a long time. The process was delayed, but now it is has begun. It should become a hindering factor for Russian aggressive actions,” he said. Salome Samadashvili, member of the United National Movement (UNM), says it is already late to file. She believes it cannot be predicted what kind of decision will be made by the ECHR.

“This process might last for years. Meanwhile, we will be unprotected. That is why active diplomatic pressure on Russia and pressing this issue in the international arena is the most effective and fastest way to protect our citizens and our country's security," she said. Russia occupied Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” after the August 2008 war. Since then it has been controlling the territories and does not permit international monitoring missions to carry out monitoring there.




Kaladze’s Weekly Priorities: Transportation, Infrastructure, Keeping Tbilisi Beautiful BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE


ach week, the municipal government of Tbilisi holds a meeting at City Hall. Preceding this week’s meetings, Mayor Kakha Kaladze remarked on several topics of interest. First, Kaladze reiterated the new taxi registration procedures. In addition to continued availability online and at all 10 of Tbilisi’s district governments, taxi drivers will be able to go to the Justice House for assistance with the registration process. Kaladze thanked Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani for her cooperation. "The easiest way to register is on a personal computer, without leaving home. However, the House of Justice is specially designated to assist citizens [with the registration process]. As of [Wednesday], at least 500 taxi permits have been issued. I would like to appeal to the applicants, since providing taxi services will be prohibited without the proper license starting October 1. Otherwise, they will be fined 200 GEL,” said the Mayor. In parallel with the taxi registration process, Kaladze emphasized improvements in public transport. From September 15, the intervals between trains on the Tbilisi metro will be reduced to three minutes on average. "We continue to work to add new wagons to the metro, to modernize it and reduce the wait to as little as two minutes. From September 15, passenger flow will increase further as people return to the capital from vacation. We should be ready for that,” said Kaladze. So far in 2018, four new subcontractors have been added to metro projects, supporting the rehabilitation of individual

sections of track, particularly those that required the trains to slow down. City Hall also plans to add new 12 train cars. Also on the transportation front, City Hall has begun the procurement process for 220 new blue city buses. By the end of 2018, 90 new buses will have arrived in Tbilisi. "As promised, by the end of 2019, a total of 550 new buses will be brought to the capital and the existing yellow buses will be fully replaced,” vowed Kaladze. The various infrastructural projects of the summer were also discussed. Road works on the Kakheti Highway will be completed in the near future. "On the Kakheti Highway, we have been reconstructing the road in three stages. The first stage of the works, which is currently underway, will be completed by the end of September. Now we are starting the full rehabilitation of the right-hand emergency lane, after which the third stage will start, which means the full rehabilitation of the central highway. Within the rehabilitation process, wastewater and drainage systems have been completely replaced, and curbs and sidewalks were arranged. It is already possible to walk freely on one section where the works will end in September. This project is strategic. Every visitor who arrives in our country passes this way to the capital. The situation on this road is not so pleasant, considering the conditions of the road and the surrounding areas,” Kaladze noted. The Mayor then put Deputy Mayor Irakli Bendeliani in charge of developing the concept of pedestrian bridges, explaining, "I think we should gather architects to work on projects that are visually appealing, to make climbing up and down convenient. Today, it is impossible for people with disabilities to use these bridges, which is a serious problem, so

we will soon develop a concept and visualization of what the bridges should be.” Kaladze also dislikes the appearance of the advertisements across the bridges which span the entire width of the road. "I would like Bendeliani to work with businesses on this issue. Of course, we should not ignore business interests, but business should not be implemented at the expense of the city,” he said. Kaladze then brought up Varaziskhevi – the stretch of cobblestoned road at the intersection between the Vera, Vake, and Saburtalo districts. "At present, the pavement there is very often damaged and poses a serious problem for underground communications. I'd like to ask if it is possible to pour modern, European-style asphalt instead of stones. We’re asking the local population for their ideas, too. I think that there is a lot of noise and dust, which, first of all, creates a problem for people living there,” said Kaladze. After the meeting, a poll was posted on City Hall’s Facebook page asking if people preferred to leave Varaziskhevi as is, or

install an asphalt covering. As of Thursday morning, the poll had 11,100 votes with 52% in favor of no changes, and 48% in favor of asphalt. Kaladze stressed that Varaziskhevi is not protected by historical status and so it would be possible to renovate the street, expanding sidewalks and better regulating the underground communications infrastructure. The Mayor announced that the Tbilisi Municipal Supervision Service has enforced regulations on up to 30 streets across the capital, in various marketplaces and trading areas. "Last week, as a result of the work of the Supervision Service, the streets adjacent to Eliava [Market] were regulated and cleared from construction materials and tires. This was a serious problem for people living there, in terms of free movement and from an aesthetic point of view. This must be maintained, and in other areas, the territories adjacent to marketplaces should be organized in the same way. In the span of one week, as soon as I gave the order, the Supervision Service

went to more than 30 streets and addressed violations such as were occurring near Eliava market,” Kaladze explained. "We are not trying to make trouble for businesses, but it's all in line with the legislation. I would be very happy if we did not have to penalize citizens. I would like to address all the people who are engaged in this activity – under no circumstances should we do business at the expense of the appearance of the city. This is categorically unacceptable and is a problem for people living around and those who visit these territories. Everyone's interests should be preserved and protected. We support all types of legitimate economic activity, but it should happen without damaging the rights of others,” Kaladze insisted. Closing his remarks, the Mayor congratulated Guranda Gabunia, Nana Jorjadze, Radish Tordia and Givi Shahnazzar on their birthdays and noted that they will be awarded for their special contributions to the development of Georgian culture.




AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018



eachers, students and students-to-be all took to the streets when the news broke that the International Black Sea University, one of the most highly regarded universities in the country, wouldn’t be admitting new students into its ranks this year. The Authorization Council for General Educational Institutions, a body that makes decisions on the authorization of general educational institutions, has slapped the IBSU with what would be an equivalent of a transfer ban in FIFA’s terms – the University is prohibited from accepting new students for one year. The decision of the Council (comprised of a board of members appointed by the Prime Minister of Georgia) was apparently a response to an ongoing financial dispute the government and the learning institution have been involved in for some years now. And while on the surface it seems to be a simple “Do bad things and bad things will happen to you” scenario, the reality is far more complex. According to the board, the debts that the university has might pose significant risks to the teaching process. “The University has unpaid debts worth 700,000 GEL that it hasn’t paid to the government, in relation to that, all its movable and immovable properties have been frozen, as a penalty to avoiding the payment obliged by Georgian legislation, reads the Council’s statement. The Council Chariman, David Afrasidze, also wasted little time in taking a swipe at the IBSU administration, branding them irresponsible “in man-

aging financial and material resources.” It all looks quite grim – an unpaid debt, frozen assets and a seemingly irresponsible administrative body – from this perspective, the Council might even have been surprisingly lenient, contending with only a one-year ban. Strangely, though, the very same council granted authorization to the university for another six years after an expert group, chaired by a UK specialist, presented its assessment of the education and logistic standards at IBSU. It gets even stranger when you look at what the other side has to say – The Head of the Quality Enhancement Department at IBSU, Diana Mchedlishvili, noted that the sum in question is not related to the university’s academic programming and has been in dispute since 2013. Furthermore, the IBSU administration claims it has no qualms about paying off “the debt” if the ongoing court process is against them. So, effectively, the government punished them for a crime they are not yet convicted of and one might construe it as a means to influence the ongoing legal dispute and strong-arm the institution into paying. Additionally, despite the seizure of its assets, there is no question that the university has been successfully able to continue the teaching process with the existing students (to which an absolute majority of said students affirm) and would without problems handle a new contingent. However, the “ban” will incur around GEL 3 mln loss to the university, which, if anything, would complicate the matter of paying the initial debt in the first place. This, coupled with the fact that it was granted a 6-year authorization, is why the University finds the Council’s decision both unjust and illogical. And entirely illegal too. The

Photo: International Black Sea University

administration posted a statement on their website in response to the Authorization Council’s decision: “The authorization board has unlawfully denied the International Black Sea University the right to receive a new contingent of students for a one year period... By the decision of the Authorization Board of Higher Educational Institutions on 20 August 2018, the International Black Sea University was granted authorization for six years. At the same time, the Board made a totally illogical and incompatible decision that contradicts the experts’ conclusion; it ignores the positive conclusion of experts and the University is forced to stop accepting new students until August 20, 2019. As a result, up to 800 students' choices to study at the

International Black Sea University have been ignored and the Board has compelled them to apply to other higher educational institutions. The decision constitutes a threat to students’ legal preferences during two academic years... “The irresponsible decision of the authorization board hinders the development of one of the leading and internationally recognized universities in Georgia...We apply to NGOs and international organizations, diplomatic corps and civil society to support the International Black Sea University in its fight against injustice. We refer to the Government of Georgia to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the damaging of the country’s international reputation, democratic values, freedom of entrepreneurial activity and to protect

the educational sphere from unhealthy influences.” And this is still not all: the conundrum is further complicated by loudly whispered speculation that external influences are behind the government body’s decision – The Erdogan government considers IBSU a terrorist organization, with Gulen links, and the Ambassador of Turkey in a recent interview said just as much, branding its rector “a terrorist who lives in Georgia” for good measure. So far, IBSU has spawned no terrorists or extremists of any sort, yet the Ankara-backed narrative has managed to achieve the closure of similar institutions, the Demirel College chief among them, in the past. Whether this too is a case of political strong-arming, time will show and soon, but the whispers are growing louder.

Over 100 Highland Villages in Georgia to Be Provided with Internet, Electricity BY THEA MORRISON


round 100 villages in Georgia’s mountainous Pshav-Khevsureti and Gudamakari gorges will be provided with internet and electricity in the near future. The decision was made at a meeting of the National Council for Development of the Highlands of Georgia, which was held under the leadership of Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze. It was decided at the meeting that the cost of internet installation will be fully covered from the Fund for Development of the Highlands of Georgia. Solar panels and power supply to over 100 villages are being considered by the government for joint funding with the United States Agency of International Development (USAID). Overall, 400 households will get power supply. The PM underlined at the meeting that the Highlands Development Project is of the utmost importance for the government. Bakhtadze gave the example of Austria, noting how they had managed to develop mountainous regions to a high-level. “We eagerly invest in resources and energy. We have positive expectations. Effectiveness and efficiency should undoubtedly be increased," stated the PM. Within the Strategy of Inclusive Growth and Development, authorities will have new initiatives, but the PM noted that initiatives coming from the people themselves will have greater importance in this and many other fields. The second meeting of the National Council for

Development of the Highlands of Georgia discussed key components of the Strategy for 2019-2023. The strategy and action plan will be developed by the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. Programs to be implemented in the mountains of the country in 2018-2019 were also discussed, including the development of forests and tourism in forests as a main segment. After the meeting, Vice-Premier, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Maia Tskitishvili stated that after the adoption of the "Law on Mountainous Settlements" in 2015, the Government of Georgia has taken a number of important steps forward. "Of course, we know not all problems in the mountains are covered by this law. But we are discussing specific actions and steps to be taken in order to encourage the people to return and settle back in their home villages in the mountainous regions,” the Minister stated. Moreover, it was agreed at the meeting that the Ministry of Health will implement a program of first aid for the residents of high mountainous regions, which implies medical training for locals. Davit Sergeenko, Minister of Labor, Health, Social Affairs and IDPs from the Occupied Territories of Georgia, stated the training of locals in highlands is necessary, so they can provide first aid assistance before the ambulance reaches them. “However, I would like to underline that it does not exclude sending medical assistance to such regions…Many countries have such a practice,” Sergeenko added. The Law on the Development of Mountainous Regions was adopted in 2015. 1730 settlements were granted the status of High Terrain Communities and 330,000 people enjoy privileges provided by the law.




AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018

What to Expect from the Merkel Visit




n August 23, Angela Merkel began her South Caucasus trip. The German Chancellor will visit all the three countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) with her first visit to be Tbilisi. Merkel makes her trip to the region following her recent meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin near Berlin, Germany. There is a string of issues the German Chancellor will have to discuss. Each South Caucasus country has its own long-standing geopolitical problems with neighboring countries, but there are also issues which have regional repercussions. From a diplomatic point of view, Mer-

kel could voice support for each South Caucasus country in the spheres where Russia is a geopolitical contester and the German leader might use the South Caucasus as a negotiating card in dealings with Moscow. In Georgia, Merkel will again face the fact of the Russian military presence in Abkhazia and Samachablo (so-called South Ossetia). The country is aspiring to become a NATO member, while economic and political relations with the EU progress. For Merkel, Georgia is a sensitive issue. She will have to tread carefully so as not to offend the Georgian government nor risk deteriorating the relations with Moscow. However, she will be sending diplomatic signals to Moscow by visiting the occupation line (built by Russians) which separates Samachablo from the rest of Georgia. According to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Chan-

cellor will be accompanied by a group of German businesspeople, who will attend a joint Georgian-German business forum in Tbilisi. Moreover, Georgia is also an important component in the southern gas and oil corridor, which leads us to, arguably, the most important part of Merkel’s tour – Azerbaijan. Criticized by US President Donald Trump as being too close a partner of Moscow and relying too much on Russian gas supplies, for the German leader, the visit to Baku will be a good opportunity to discuss the development of a southern pipeline to deliver gas to Europe from the Caspian. This shows that Germany is hard pressed by the US, that a total reliance on Russians gas can be politically detrimental. This is not to say that Berlin will abstain from implementing the Nord Stream 2 through the Baltic Sea.

However, Merkel will encourage Azerbaijan to work further on increasing the capabilities of the southern gas corridor. Berlin understands that gas in Azerbaijan is not totally sufficient to replace the Russian resources. Azerbaijan plans to launch the second stage of a gas pipeline from the large Shah Deniz field to Europe, which is expected to produce some 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year starting from 2020. Approximately 10 bcm will go to Europe, the rest to Turkey and Georgia. If we compare this with what Russia can export via the Nord Stream 2, it is clear that Moscow’s plans to double Russia's export capacity to Europe to 110 bcm will remain dominant. However, there is also one interesting piece in this diplomatic tour which has remained largely ignored by the public. If the Shas Deniz is not able to fully compete with the Nord Stream, the

Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP) could potentially challenge this assumption. A couple of weeks ago, a consensus was reached between the Caspian Sea states to settle some of the most important questions considering the Sea. One of the provisions states that the countries can now lay pipelines underwater if all the parties, through whose territories the pipeline would go, agree. In Armenia, Merkel will acquaint herself with the revolutionary government of Nikol Pashinyan. The question of Nagorno Karabakh will be discussed as well as Armenia’s foreign policy prospects. Overall, Merkel might send some positive signals to both Baku and Yerevan on the EU willingness to deepen cooperation with the two countries. Thus, the energy, military and security situation in the South Caucasus will likely be the German Chancellor’s main topics of discussion.

Georgia Gov’t Eager to Welcome the German Reps, Baku Touchy about Nagorno-Karabakh BY DIMITRI DOLABERIDZE


n the framework of her tour of the South Caucasus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid an official visit to Georgia on August 23. August 24 and 25 will see similar visits to neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Georgia, Merkel will hold talks with Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and President Giorgi

Margvelashvili. In addition, a protocol visit to Heroes' Square in Tbilisi is expected, where the Chancellor of Germany will lay flowers on the memorial of Georgian soldiers who fell for the “territorial integrity of the country.” Commenting on the visit of the Head of Germany, the Prime Minister of Georgia noted that the occasion “confirms that Georgia is a reliable partner of the EU.” “This is the first official visit of the Chancellor to Georgia. A high-level visit

underscores the quality of close relations between Germany and Georgia ... A highranking official from a leading European country is once again confirming that Georgia is really a reliable partner for Europe,” Bakhtadze said. On the eve of the Chancellor's visit, the Bild drew the attention of its readers to the relatively small but still ongoing diplomatic conflict between Berlin and Baku which resulted in one of the deputies of the German Parliament, Christian Democratic Union member Albert Weiler,

being declared “persona non grata” in Azerbaijan. According to Bild, his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh in 2014 and 2016 served as an excuse for adding the parliamentarian to the black list, though his visits to the region were made as part of the parliamentary group for cooperation with the countries of the Caucasus. As of Wednesday, the German Foreign Ministry was in contact with the Azerbaijani Embassy in Berlin, trying to resolve the situation with the Weiler visa.

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2018, The Year in which Russia Boosted its Military Visibility



fter conducting the Sochi Olympic games and Football World Cup, Russia will add to its soft power investment a touch of hard power.

From August 21 to August 26, the city of Kubinka, Moscow Oblast, is hosting the international military-technical forum ‘Army-2018.’ According to Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugayev, the expo, taking place in the Patriot Expo Center, displays more than 26,000 exhibits. In

all, nine countries are hosting national pavilions ther: India, Belarus, Slovakia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Iran, China, Pakistan, and Turkey. Belarus alone has brought more than a hundred products, many never before presented to the public. One of the key discussions at the Army2018 forum deals with digital technolo-

gies, including artificial intelligence. That is why military experts, public figures, leading scientists and designers are to take part in several scientific and business events organized within the expo. Among the much-awaited innovations are the Su-57, Kinzhal hypersonic weapon and the Armata battle tank. Robotic systems and a military exoskeleton will also be revealing their abilities. The exoskeleton will help soldiers to carry more weight (50 kg more) and has already been tested in the field, as have the majority of the innovations being presented. Indeed, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that many weapons displayed were tested during the Syrian campaign. President Vladimir Putin said he hopes the forum will serve as a platform for international military cooperation. The international military-technical forum Army-2018 is another opportunity for the Russian Federation to show its ability to organize global events, and to be seen again as leader in the field of military innovations. But innovation without strategy is pointless, therefore, Russia will also conduct a huge war game in September. Between September 11 and 15, Russia will organize the Vostok 2018 (East-2018) exercises which are expected to be remarkable. First, because Russia has moved into high gear to make this event one of the biggest war games in the past four decades, but also because for the first time, China will join the game. Chinese authorities will send 3,200 soldiers, 900 tanks and 30 jets to the maneuvers. Mongolia will also take part

in the game. In total, more than 100,000 servicemen will contribute to the Vostok exercises. These exercises raise concerns for some Russia watchers, who accuse the Federation of making the world a more dangerous place. Indeed, Russia still backs separatists in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova as it keeps control on Crimea Peninsula after its illegal annexation. Yet, some argue that NATO is playing the same game. The organization still conducts military exercises at the Russian borders. In June, 19 countries took part in the ‘Saber Strike’ exercise in the Baltic States. On August 1, the Noble Partner exercise launched in Georgia gathering more than 3,000 troops. On August 20, Latvia set up the biggest military drill in its recent history. It seems that each side adds fuel to flame. However, the Vostok 2018 exercises is not to be observed closely for its scale, but for the close relations between Russia and China- closer than ever.




AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018

Investment Opportunities for German companies: Georgia, Anaklia Port, and SEZ projects INTERVIEW


erman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Georgia included important economic componants, including the Economic Forum and the visit of leading German businesspersons. Anaklia Port and City projects are developing intense relationships with various German companies. We spoke to with Keti Bochorishvili, CEO of Anaklia City to find out more.

HOW YOU SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GERMAN COMPANIES IN GEORGIA? First of all, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that Georgia and Germany have a long-lasting history of economic and trade relations, and today Germany is one of the key economic partners of Georgia. German business was among the first to recognize the strategic location of our country in terms of connecting Europe and Asia. Back in the 19th century, the prominent company Siemens developed the crosscontinent telegraph line from Europe to India. This was a tremendous project for this period, covering 11,000 kilometers of infrastructure between European capitals and South Asian states. The Siemens company made the decision to use the territory of Georgia part of this project and located their regional office in Tbilisi, underlining Georgia’s role as a natural shortcut between Europe and Asia. Since re-gaining independence, Georgia has become a home for many German

companies. Over the last decade, German business has already invested over EUR 350 million in Georgia. The investments are very diversified in terms of industries: banking, construction, transportation, services, etc. Importantly, many companies from Germany have invested in manufacturing facilities in Georgia like HeidelbergCement, HiPP, Henkel, Caparol and Knauf. In addition, we see the positive tendency that German companies select our country as a platform for regional activities. For example, BASF and BOSCH use Georgia as hub for their regional supply chains.

WHAT SECTORS DO THE ANAKLIA PORT AND SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (SEZ) TARGET FOR INTERNATIONAL AND GERMAN INVESTMENTS? The development of Anaklia Deep Sea Port and Anaklia Special Economic Zone will significantly boost the demand for transportation and logistics facilities and value-added services in Georgia to handle the increased transit cargo flows. In the frames of the SEZ, we are developing a modern logistics park powered by fiscal and regulatory incentives as a complementary platform for port activities. This park will be fully integrated with the port and national infrastructure: highways, railway and an international airport located less than 90km from the site. The second priority sector is the manufacturing industry. Georgia enjoys free market access to the largest consumer markets, with over 2.3 billion consumers: the EU28, EFTA countries, China (Hong Kong from January 2019), and the CIS region including Russia and Turkey. We also have preferential trade arrange-

ments (GSP) with the US, Canada and Japan. Moreover, the Government of Georgia is very active in terms of negotiating new FTAs, among the existing talks are India and the Gulf Region. For the manufacturing sector, Georgia offers competitive advantages in terms of production costs, such as dealing with bureaucracy, a very low tax burden, cheap costs of utilities, competitive cost of skilled labor and quality infrastructure approximated to EU standards in the frames of the Association Agreement. The country is ideally positioned to capitalize on these advantages, serving as production base at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. We and our procured consortium of professional consultancy companies (BuroHappold Engineering and Moffatt & Nichol), which works on the economic demand forecast for our SEZ project, consider this a significant opportunity for development of an export-oriented industrial park. We’ve already prioritized the manufacturing sub-sectors to which Georgia and our SEZ offer an attractive value proposition: automotive spare parts, building materials, FMCG products, cosmetics /beauty products, household chemicals, hygienic products, medicaments and pharmaceuticals, assembly of home appliances and electronics, plastics, and production of solar panels. Overall, the range of opportunities is very broad and almost any manufacturing company can find an opportunity in our emerging region. We already have precedents that companies relocate their production from China to Georgia, to be closer to the market while keeping costs optimized. In addition, we see huge opportunity for the developers of industrial, logistics and commercial real estate. Within our

Photo by Forbes Georgia

zone, we intend to introduce the concept of modern logistics and industrial parks, which is common to the European markets but not yet available in Georgia. Therefore, we will create the demand for the German developers and operators of industrial and commercial properties. With the evolution of the SEZ, there will be number of opportunities in other industries like trading, finance, services, education, etc.

WHY DO YOU THINK THE GERMAN INVESTORS MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THE ANAKLIA PORT, CITY AND SEZ PROJECT? Our projects are international. The Anaklia Deep Sea Port will be developed in accordance with European standards. We’ve already signed Mandate Letters with the leading IFIs on provision of debt financing; therefore, all studies were implemented by international companies in accordance with the highest standards, including the environmental and social impact. We also signed a contract with the leading Dutch company Van Oord, which will start the dredging for reclamation works in September. We have the US-based SSA Marine, which operates in 250 locations in the world, as our terminal operator and partner of the project. Anaklia Port will be a state-ofthe-art reliable maritime infrastructure with high quality services. The Anaklia Port will be the first DeepSea Port in Georgia able to handle large vessels, significantly cutting the costs and time of transportation to and through Georgia. Coupled with the logistics park within the SEZ, we are creating an integrated transport and logistics platform to improve the market access (inbound/ outbound) to the Caucasus, Central Asian states and beyond. German companies will be able to capitalize on the enhanced

infrastructure and connectivity for their business activities in the region. The concept of the SEZ envisages the development of modern logistics and industrial parks with related auxiliary facilities and services. The Anaklia SEZ will have a special regime which includes: fiscal incentives, special statuses for trading, wholesale, transit, bonded activities, manufacturing and many more based on the best practices. We’ll also be bringing in a special legal regime and intend to introduce within the zone international regulations and international dispute resolution solutions based on the rule of law. Therefore, companies could use the Anaklia SEZ as a regional hub for trade, logistics, distribution, production and value-added services while optimizing their regional supply chains. We’ve already initiated our cooperation with the state and donors to develop training centers and professional schools to prepare a pool of skilled workers to meet the demand of the industries to be attracted by our projects. Finally, our projects will contribute towards the attractiveness and capacity of the Middle Corridor as a competitive alternative to the overland transportation between Europe and Asia. We have active negotiations with a number of German companies which have business in Georgia or in the region. They’ve extended interest and consider our projects as a future platform for expansion of their regional business. We also have ongoing communication with several companies not presented in Georgia, which may be interested in investing, considering the developments, mainly from the logistics industry. We are keen to work with the German business community, since we truly believe that our projects will bring many business opportunities for them.




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AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018

Washington Revisited

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hate to go schmaltzy about my exploits, but I feel I must recount this one. Sightseeing in Washington DC makes no sense to me since I lived and worked here for quite a while. Yet, the other day, I waxed nostalgic when I found myself riding the familiar streets and avenues of DC in the company of my best American friend, Bill Thomas — author, journalist, and political analyst — and my son Boris, who is also living in the area and can riff like a local intellectual. The three of us made a smoothly operating bunch. Bill was an informed driver and an eloquent guide, and we were all ears throughout the tour. I didn’t know I’d missed this slick and tranquil city so much, whitely shining like alabaster in the sun. Bill’s story of Washington was unique in content and overtones. I thought I knew the place, but the more he talked, the less confident I grew. Have you ever heard a narrator tell you the story of a city and present every bit of its history mixed with the political shenanigans of the politicians who at some point in the past influenced what we are used to calling the American Civilization? We drove through a neighborhood called Kalorama Triangle (northwest quadrant of Washington) and saw Hillary Clinton’s house, Barack Obama’s new

residence, Ivanka Trump’s abode and Jeff Bezos’ two houses right next door to one another. Barack Obama’s street is now limited access, sealed off by the Secret Service, who only admit the people who live there. Ivanka Trump, the President’s billionaire daughter, lives right around the corner from Obama. I doubt they’re friends, though! in the Kalorama residential neighborhood can cost $10, $20, $30 million and up. It’s the sort of place where you can knock on the door and a butler answers. Jeff Bezos, now the richest man in the world, and who owns the Washington Post, is going to unite his two houses to make one big house. Clearly, he plans on making his presence known. There are 180 embassies in Washington. Some occupy palatial 19th century mansions. Others belonging to developing countries are not much bigger than bachelor apartments. Most ambassadors try to become a social presence in the city. Some countries, like France, are famous for their entertaining. The parties the then-Iranian Ambassador used to throw in the 1970s are legendary. For a time, the Iranian Embassy was Studio 54 South. Then came the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the hostage crisis and the end of all diplomatic ties between the US and Iran. Since then, the former Iranian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue has sat empty. For a couple of minutes, we parked the vehicle in front of the Russian Embassy, and Bill quipped that we had stopped in

Russia, and we began to suspect we were being watched by a vigilant Russian eye. The Russian Embassy, originally designed to be the Soviet Embassy, is the largest in Washington. It happens to be sitting in one of the highest parts in the city, which makes it easy for the Russians to listen to conversations in the White House and Pentagon. Not long after it opened in 1994, the FBI set up a listening post on the top floor of an apartment building up the street, where agents now listen to the Russians listening to the Americans. They deserve each other, don’t they? And finally, the current American president! Donald Trump has taken on the Washington Establishment and its increasingly socialist game plan for governing the country. That's why the corrupt Obama administration, the Democratic Party and liberal media have tried everything to get rid of him. But nothing they've tried is working. Americans used to look up to Washington. But those days are over. Washington is now seen as ‘the Swamp’ – a symbol of greed, corruption and everything that’s wrong with entrenched political interests. All of this has been exposed by Donald Trump. And polls show that millions of American voters approve of the direction he’s taken the country in. Bill Thomas, as much as he is in love with Georgia, tried but could not find the Georgian Embassy in the Row. It's probably not in a very conspicuous spot in DC, but it’s OK – there is always such thing as ‘next time’ for consolation.

Georgian Wine Ranked 5th in World by Export Price BY THEA MORRISON


he Georgian National Wine Agency (NWA) reports that according to American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) ratings, Georgia was ranked 5th place in the world by wine export price at $3.49 per liter in 2014-2016. AAWE ratings place France in first place with an average cost of $6.59 per

liter of wine, followed by New Zealand at $5.39 and the United States at $3.68. Austria is just ahead of Georgia, taking fourth place with $3.51 per liter of wine. In the rankings, Georgia is ahead of countries such as Croatia ($3.41), Argentina ($3.11), Portugal ($3.07), Germany ($3.06), and Italy ($3.06). Irakli Cholobargia, Head of the Marketing and Public Relations Department of National Wine Agency, says that this rating is indicative of the high quality of Georgian wine. Together with Georgian wine exports,

the quality and price of Georgian wine is increasing on the international market. The current conditions were preceded by agreements within the wine industry, the right marketing campaign, and concrete steps taken in recent years to improve the quality of Georgian wine,” he said.




Stroke Death Rates Decreasing Overall BY SHAWN WAYNE


he European Heart Journal published new research on 15 August showing that deaths from conditions affecting blood supply to the brain are declining in most of Europe, however, in some countries the death rates are increasing. Cerebrovascular diseases include strokes and narrowing, blockage or rupturing of the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain, occupying the spot of second largest cause of death in Europe after heart disease, accounting for 9% of deaths in men and 12% of deaths in women each year. The study used data from the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine mortality trends in three particular types of cerebrovascular disease in Europe between 1980 and 2016: ischaemic stroke (a lack of blood flow to the brain), haemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain) and sub-arachnoid haemorrhage (SAH),

in which bleeding occurs between the brain and the surrounding membrane, not all countries had data available for the full 37 years however. Researchers led by Dr Nick Townsend, Associate Professor in Public Health Epidemiology at the University of Bath, UK, found that across the WHO European region, for the most recent data available, there had been a 65% decrease in death rates from all three types of cerebrovascular disease in 33 countries for men and women. However, there had been a 6% increase in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Tajikistan for men and 4% increase in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan for women. Age-standardized mortality rates from stroke, which adjust to take account of differences in population size and age structure, were higher in men than in women for all countries. For stroke, they were much lower in Western Europe than the rest of the continent. In Central Asia, they ranged from 152 in Armenia to 345 in Azerbaijan per 100,000. In the UK, the death rate was 68 per 100,000 in men and 65 per 100,000 in women. When the researchers looked at each of the three types of stroke individually, data were only available by stroke subtype for 43 countries; most of the countries with missing data were in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Over the whole period since 1980, more than half of coun-

tries with available data had significant decreases in age-standardized death rates from ischaemic stroke, 56% of countries in men and 51% in women, and haemorrhagic stroke 58% and 67% of countries respectively. However, eight countries had a 19% increase in death rates from ischaemic stroke among men and nine countries had a 21% in women, compared to none for haemorrhagic stroke. “When we looked at the type of stroke and for the most recent period for which data were available, the trends could be quite different,” said Dr Townsend. “This shows that considering all cerebrovascular disease over the whole period hides a lot of the story. In the most recent period, there were increases in ischaemic stroke in eight countries among men and nine for women, increases in haemorrhagic stroke in three countries in men and one for women, and increases in SAH in five countries for men and eight countries for women. Over the last 35 years there have been large overall declines in deaths from cerebrovascular disease in the majority of European countries. While these declines have continued in more than half of the countries, these have not been consistent across Europe and our analysis has revealed evidence of recent plateauing and even increases in stroke deaths in certain countries. We have seen this in

New Charity Campaign Launched to Help Orphanage Children BY THEA MORRISON


axi Company Maxim is organizing a collection of various items and clothes for the children of the orphanage “Sparrows.” The company calls on everyone will-

ing to help the children, to bring items to the Maxim offices in Mukhiani Micro Region 2 office, 11 Noneshvili Str., 78a Sairme Street, from September 2 to September 27. The children need notebooks, pens, pencils, clothes and shoes. The girls need shoes of 36, 37, 38 size and the boys 32, 33, 38 and 41 size shoes. Any items for children aged from 1 to 19

will be welcomed. “In our center there are orphans and children without parental care. They grow fast and study, so clothes and stationery are the things they need for primary needs. Our children always welcome the guests with pleasure and they are happy when they get gifts,” Nana Iashvili, Chair of the "Child and Environment" Board says.

both sexes and in countries across the whole of Europe, particularly in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia. We have also found differences in death rates by stroke type. Therefore, it is not enough to consider cerebrovascular disease as just one condition and we must consider each individual stroke type.” “Our findings highlight a need to counter inequalities by understanding local contexts in disease occurrence and treatment. In particular, we need to encourage the implementation of evidence-based recommendations in the prevention and treatment of stroke in all countries. Many countries have been able to reduce the mortality burden from stroke in recent years. We must understand why this is not happening in all countries and identify barriers to the implementation of evidence-based recommended practice in countries that are slow to adopt them. In addition, we only studied betweencountry inequalities, but we must consider within-country inequalities as well if we are to have an impact on the disease.” The researchers say that SAH amongst women was the only type of stroke for which more countries demonstrated increasing trends than decreases in recent years. A less pronounced decrease, no significant change, or a significant increase in death rates from SAH, was found in 25 countries for women.

“General risk factors for SAH include familial predisposition and disorders of the blood vessels, leading to aneurysms. Smoking, hypertension and heavy drinking have also been found to be significant risk factors, as with other stroke types and cardiovascular disease,” said Dr Townsend. “Interestingly, when we compare mortality from stroke sub-type by age, we find that death from SAH is more common at younger ages. In the UK, for example, around 60% of deaths from SAH in women occur before the aged of 75, commonly termed premature. This is much lower in cerebral haemorrhage, which is closer to 25%, and lower still in ischaemic haemorrhage, which is around 15%. Despite SAH being much less common than the other stroke subtypes, this greater mortality at younger age groups needs further investigation and intervention.” – said Dr Nick Townsend Although this study did not look at the reason behind these changes, he said it was unlikely that there was a single reason for the overall decline in cerebrovascular disease. Improvements in treating the disease, including new drugs and improved surgical techniques, played a role, as did prevention strategies that encouraged people to improve their lifestyles by stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, improving their diet and taking more physical exercise.




AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018

Apprentice Guide Meets Muse: EtseriBecho, Svaneti



an one have too much of a good thing if the thing in question is Mt. Ushba? I have certainly been able to put this question to the test over the past week, with three separate occasions to view the magnificent mountain up close or far away from different angles. The first was in Becho, a village spoiled for viewing choice: You can see Ushba from practically everywhere on the main road through, from bottom to top. IF the mountain is cooperating; if not, it’s simply not there, or its peaks aren’t, shrouded in the cloud which it seems to make around itself on a whim. The #1 rule for Ushba-seekers is: if you see it, shoot it straight away, because you may not get a second chance in your available time-frame! Taking guests on a tour there, we had a few precious seconds of the peak peeking through said clouds. I was ready, knowing full well its caprices, and shot the few frames I needed to make me happy. Due to changes in light angle, season and weather, literally every successful viewing is unique. The second time was a couple of days later and from much further away, having driven our guests through Mestia to the new Tetnuldi ski resort, between Mulakhi and Ipari on the road to Ushguli. Again, clouds came and went. Ushba has such a presence that if you know it’s supposed to be visible but it isn’t cooperating, you feel like not shooting at all, the disappointment is that crushing, the glimpsed glory that great. When we got to the top of where I could drive, about 3200 m above sea level, I had a few short seconds of the pyramidal peak of nearby Tetnuldi through the clouds, but none at all of Ushba’s twin peaks, which from this angle are side by side, differing by a single meter in height. But I waited long enough for the magic to happen, and again came away satisfied. Patience paid off, which is not always the case here. Finally, just two days ago, I was asked in advance by another group of our guests to provide a guide

for their hike from our house to Becho. I arranged this, but decided to tag along, learn the route myself for future money-making opportunities, and perhaps get more of my muse into the bargain. The guide, a friend and neighbor of ours, took us on a walk which avoided the full sun of the main road up, much of it in forest for shade. Near the top point, we found fresh raspberries and blueberries to cheer us on, as well as rose-hips for future jam; on the other side it was hazelnuts in the steep forest as we descended. My guests, Germans, had a German-speaking Georgian guide with them, and she had a copy of a book in that language describing and picturing all the trees and flowers of the Caucasus. Apparently, it’s also available in English, but sadly not in Georgian! There were some keen botanists in the group, and this resource proved invaluable to them. At the top, before I could even whip out my camera, I saw Ushba’s peak just dressing itself up in its cloudy veil, too fast for me. I resolved to wait, and we needed a break anyway. This was amply rewarded, as the clouds did indeed part for brief moments. After a while, we ambled down a bit, half an hour later reaching tiny Lake Mazeri, which can double the pleasure by offering the mountain reflected. Would the clouds part again? Indeed they did, again just for seconds, and I had to ask my paddling friends to scram out of the water to let it settle for photos. They obliged, and I lay down on my front inches from the water’s edge to get as flat a horizon as possible. I had only been at this spot once before, on horseback 17 years ago, and had similar short-lived luck. But it was enough, both times. We turned our backs, walked away into the longwooded descent towards Becho, and I was able to rejoice in my luck again. It isn’t always so with Ushba. Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1900 members, at www.facebook. com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri:




Georgia to Be 'Host Country' Verdi Opera Festival at Frankfurt River Bank Festival to be Held in Tbilisi BY THEA MORRISON


bilisi Opera and Ballet Theater is to host the Verdi Opera Festival in 2019. The theater Director, Badri Maisuradze, signed the contract with the Verdi International Festival, which is held annually in Parma, Italy, and allows thousands of people to listen to opera performers from differ-



eorgia is to be presented as the host country at the Frankfurt River Bank Festival August 24-26. The festival is visited by 3 million people annually. The project is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and organized by the National Music Center of Georgia. There will be three days of concerts, with the participation of modern musical groups and performers: Jazz-sextet Quin-

tessence, Ensemble Iriao, KORDZ / Zagareli & Strings, Luka Nakashidze and Misho Urushadze, Nino Katamadze and Insight, Nikoloz Rachveli and National Symphony Orchestra; Children's Ensembles - Little Georgica and Lamprebi. Within the framework of the festival, Georgian folk art will be represented. Participants will include modern musicians, interactive and spectacular elements of pantomime and motion theater, and child opera singers. Georgian children will be involved in the process of preparing souvenirs about the Georgian alphabet within the project 'Souvenirs from Georgia.' An exhibition of Georgian crafts will also be arranged.

ent countries of the world. Georgia is officially authorized to conduct the Verdi Festival. Performances will be held not only in Tbilisi but also in different cities throughout the country. In 2019, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater will also have a tour in Parma at the Verdi Festival, which is part of the agreement made by the sides. Next year, Parma will be the European Cultural Center, which is implemented within the framework of the European Union program "Creative Europe."

Georgian wine tasting will also be offered at the festival. The River Bank Festival is one of the components of the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Georgia will be represented as the guest of honor. Since 1976, every year the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Book Fair) welcomes a country as its Guest of Honor. After France, Georgia will present itself to the fair’s international public as the Guest of Honor. Before the fair, Georgian writers, as well as creative and cultural minds, will make appearances in German cities. The fair will open on October 10, 2018 and will conclude on October 14.

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AUGUST 24 - 27, 2018


AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 Every Wednesday ticket: 5 GEL August 24-30 ALPHA Directed by Albert Hughes Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama Language: Russian Start time: 12:00, 14:45 Ticket: 13-14 GEL MILE 22 Directed by Peter Berg Cast: Lauren Cohan, Mark Wahlberg, Ronda Rousey Genre: Action Language: English Start time: 21:45 Ticket: 14-15 GEL MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN Directed by Ol ParkerThurber Cast: Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Dominic Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard Genre: Comedy, Musical Language: English Start time: 21:45 Ticket: 13-14 GEL SLENDER MAN Directed by Sylvain Whiteurber Cast: Joey King, Javier Botet, Julia Goldani Telles Genre: Horror Language: Russian Start time: 14:00, 22:00 Ticket: 12-15 GEL CAVEA GALLERY Address: 2/4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 200 70 07 Every Wednesday ticket: 8 GEL August 24-30 ALPHA (Info Above) Language: English Start time: 16:30 Language: Russian Start time: 11:50 Ticket: 10-16 GEL MILE 22 (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 14:15, 22:30 Ticket: 11-19 GEL MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (Info Above) Language: English Start time: 19:30, Language: Russian Start time: 11:45, 14:00, 16:45, 19:30, 22:15 Ticket: 11-19 GEL

SLENDER MAN (Info Above) Language: Russian Start time: 18:00, 20:15 Ticket: 14-19 GEL MUSEUM

GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 Exhibitions: GEORGIAN COSTUME AND WEAPONRY OF THE 18TH-20TH CENTURIES NUMISMATIC TREASURY 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 May 26 – September 30 THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA - 100 YEARS June 12 – August 31 Georgian National Museum presents the exhibition CAUCASUS BIODIVERSITY Animal and plant life throughout the Caucasus. 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 MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 PERMANENT EXHIBITION ETHNOGRAPHIC OPEN AIR MUSEUM Address: 1 Turtle Lake Telephone: 223 09 60, 222 63 02 The museum hosts houses and household buildings brought from

around Georgia and represents 14 ethnographic zones: Kartli, Samegrelo, Adjara, Abkhazia, Svaneti, Khevsureti, Kakheti, Meskheti, Javakheti, Guria, Imereti, Racha, Lechkhumi and Ossetia. SIGHNAGHI MUSEUM Address: 8 Sh. Rustaveli Blind-alley Exhibition PORTRAITS OF KAKHETIAN NOBLES – FROM THE BEGINNING OF GEORGIAN EASEL PAINTING UP TO 20TH CENTURY SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI MUSEUM Address: Rabati Fortress, 1 P. Kharistchirashvili Str.1, Akhaltsikhe The Georgian National Museum presents the renovated exhibition spaces at the Samtskhe-Javakheti Museum, which see the addition of recently discovered exhibits, and technical updates according to modern museum standards. 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 parts of the exhibition are the Ispani sphagnum peatlands and the Kintrishi forest illuminated lightboxes. GALLERY

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. 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. GENIUSES OF RENAISSANCE The Georgian National Museum and the Embassy of Italy to Georgia, within the Museum Fest, present the exhibition LADO GUDIASHVILI ART GALLERY Address: Gudiashvili Atr. Telephone: 293 23 05

Tickets: General - 5 GEL, Ages 6-18 - 3 Gel, Students and Pensioners - 3 GEL, Free admission for orphan groups and children under 6 EXHIBITION OF PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN ART PIECES CREATED BY LEGENDARY ARTIST LADO GUDIASHVILI: 1 + 70 UNKNOWN MUSIC

BLACK SEA ARENA Address: Natanebi village (Shekvetili), Guria August 24 Check in Georgia and Black Sea Arena present the concert of ‘Sakhe’. 20 YEARS WITH SAKHE Concert dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Georgia's independence. The special guest of the concert will be a member of the group ‘Poetry ‘N’ Motion’, Michael Williams. Participants: ‘Sakhe’: Dato Khudjadze, Dato Porchkidze, Boriko Shkhiani Poetry'N'Motion- Michael Williams Band: Sandro Sakhamberidze, Luka Topuria, Zura Kiknadze, Akaki Maghaladze, Zura Makhniashvili. Directed by Basa Potskhishvili Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 5-30 GEL August 28 Check in Georgia and Black Sea Arena, together with the creative union ‘Lion’ and legendary esnemble ‘Iveria,’ present the famous musical ‘CHKHIKVTA KORTSILI’ Participants: Jemal Bagashvili Nutsa Buzaladze, Andria Gvelesiani, Boris Bedia, Khvicha Maghlakelidze, Vakhtang Tatishvili, Guram Jashi, Manana Todadze, Keti Tsiklauri, Zura Laliashvili, Gia Baghashvili, Pridon Sulaberidze (Junior). Composer- Alexander Basilaia Authors- Jemal Baghashvili and Avtandil Gelovani Music Director- Gia Baghashvili Directed by Jemal Baghashvili Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10-40 GEL ANAKLIA MUSIC FESTIVALECHOWAVES POWERED BY EXIT Address: Anaklia Day Pass: 60 GEL, Season Ticket: 150 GEL, Camp (tent for 2 person): 250 GEL. August 23-26 There will be several stages with diverse music genres – Main Stage, KHIDI Stage, EYE Stage, Taiyo stage and Aqua stage, that will host 150 international and local artists, including: Die Antwoord, Tricky, Solomun, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Juan Atkins, Function, Kayakata, NU, Woo York, Henrik Schwarz, Antigoe, DJ TENNIS, Greenbeam & Leon, and more. Top Artist Line-Up: August 24 Day 2: Tricky live, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Shpongle dj set, Function, Derrick Carter, Blond:ish, Butch, Christian Loffler live, Bjarki, Anetha, Woo York live + more. August 25 DAY 3: Solomun, DJ Tennis, Ancient Methods, Detroit Swindle, Viken Arman live, Sailor & I live, Sigha, Johannes Brecht live, Aril Brikha live, Rayko, Ison, Stojche + more. August 26 Die Antwoord live, Kayakata live, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, NU live, Matthew Dekay, Moritz Von Oswald, Shlomo, Francois X, Antigone, Moscoman, Regal, Marc Romboy + more.

ADJARA MUSIC BATUMI SUMMER THEATER Address: Batumi Boulevard August 25 The renewed concert of The FIRE OF GEORGIAN DANCE The legend returns in Batumi. Lots of new dances, novelties, and miniatures. Artistic Directors: Gela Potskhishvili and Maia Kiknadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15-35 GEL THE 10th ANNIVERSARY of INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL NIGHT SERENADES August 26 IOSEB BARDANASHVILI'S JUBILEE EVENING Artistic Directors– Liana Isakadze and Giorgi Isakadze Chamber Orchestra ‘Georgian Virtuosi’ Conductor– Vakhtang Machavariani (Germany/Georgia) Soloist– Gia Iashvili– Violin (Austria/Georgia) Program: I Part W. A. Mozart – Little Night Serenade in G Major, K. 525 II Part Bardanashvili– Serenade for Violin and Strings Performance dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the Composer Dvorak– Serenade in E Major, Op. 22 Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 30-90 GEL Venue: Sheraton Batumi Hotel August 28 DEVIL OF VIOLIN GEZA HOSSZU-LEGOCKY Artistic Directors– Liana Isakadze and Giorgi Isakadze Chamber Orchestra ‘Georgian Virtuosi’ Conductor and Soloist– Geza H. Legocky- Violin (Hungary/Switzerland) Program: Saint-Saens, Sarasate, Debussy, Bartok, Kreisler Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 30-90 GEL Venue: Sheraton Batumi Hotel August 29 EVENING OF TANGO ZSÓFIA BOROS, MARIO STEFANO PIETRODARCHI Artistic Directors of the festival are Liana Isakadze and Giorgi Isakadze. Participants: Gia Iashvili– Violin (Austria/Georgia) Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi– Bandoneon (Italy) Zsófia Boros– Guitar (Austria/ Hungary) Chamber Orchestra ‘Georgian Virtuosi’ Program: A. Piazzola, R. Di Marino, L. Bakalov, E. Morricone Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 80-160 GEL Venue: Sheraton Batumi Hotel UP2YOU Address: Batumi Beach Club Telephone: 577 43 39 39 August 24 DJ MEME MUSIC FROM IBIZA Start time: 23:00 Ticket: 30 GEL KOBULETI OZONE FEST Address: The beach at Kobuleti Pinewood August 25 Line up: DDT, Soft Eject, Green Room, Gamouvali Mdgomareoba, Nemra, Asea Sool, Sevda, Vako T Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 30-55 GEL




Photo Book on “Timeless Georgia” HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR WORK? I wanted to deal with the picturesque and the special. For instance, the Georgian hospitality. In a village I visited, a man invited me to a “supra,” this large feast which brings people together. He said “You are the guest, sent by God.” At that moment, I understood I was on the borderline between the West and the East. Georgian hospitality is a key part of my work. I remember that a seller gave me a watermelon and a few weeks later, the former Prime Minister wished me success during a toast at a local event. I hope it will pay off! There’s nothing superficial in my work. My pictures not only capture life, but also live the life like the “supra,” as strange as it sounds. The spirit of Georgia is not only in the pictures but also in the soundtrack, a repertoire of traditional Georgian and polyphonic songs.


HOW IS THE GEORGIA YOU DEPICT IN YOUR BOOK? The real one! I tried to capture all parts of the country including the Georgia which is disappearing, like a testimony of traditions. For example, in Svaneti, I had the opportunity to see the mix between religion and paganism during rituals, a kind of syncretism. You can find all these examples with more explanation in my photo book. If I had to tell you all the topics my pictures deal with, we'd be here all day, but among others, in my work a part is dedicated to Abkhazia, one of the most beautiful Georgian regions. There are also some photos about the “medieval Manhattan,” Ushguli. It is incredible, the place had more than



modern-time French nomad, Nicolas Pernot is an adventurer, photographer and a lecturer. For him, as inveterate traveler, venturing is not settling for touristic roads seen and reviewed. Rather, the true adventure comes in meeting people and living among the natives, in other words, really feeling the environment. Therefore, for the past 13 years, he was living in Dushabe, Tajikistan’s capital city, and has walked around Siberia and Lake Baikal. Now he’s in Georgia, a country he has fallen in love with, and he will soon release the result of his passion: a photo book and documentary on Georgia, this “Timeless Country.” The book will be released in France mid-Septem-

100 towers in the 11-12th century. It was a really important and lively place before. You will also see the place in which Georgians became the masters of metallurgy, where iron weapons were seen in that era like nuclear weapons are today! Transhumances, and the Tusheti Towers, Caucasus sentinels, etc. everything you want to see about the country! For food-lovers, the documentary will also give you a nice tutorial about how to cook and how to eat the best khinkali ever. A major part of the book is related to rituals and everyday life. Normally, it is really hard, maybe impossible, but I got permission to capture funerals in Svaneti. At the end of the day, I tried to show the “Greatest of the small lands.” Georgia is geographically small, but culturally huge.

I really liked the days I spent in Svaneti. Why? Maybe I prefer the Svan stone towers to the Batumi concrete towers. But there is a lot to see in Georgia. Georgian landscapes are an honor for our eyes. One of the “greatest sides of the small land,” but not the only one. The photo book and documentary are currently in presale. The movie will be available online in English. Website: Instagram: Facebook:

ber and then in Georgia mid-December, but you can already pre-order them on the website you will find at the end of the article. The 112-page book is written in French and in English. GEORGIA TODAY met Nicolas Pernot who agreed to show us his work.

WHY GEORGIA? To begin with, nothing too original: the people are really friendly. But there is something else. Georgia is a paradise, the one of my childhood. It reminds me of the lifestyle we lost in France. I grew up in a village and the thing I love here is this everyday village life: the village produces what you eat, vegetables, honey, bread. Everyone know everyone else. But in fact, I came here because people from post-soviet countries often recommended Georgia. And they were right. This country is amazing, it has its own alphabet and language, the oldest winemaking tradition, the polyphony…! And I wanted to share it through my book.

Photos by Nicolas Pernot



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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1077  

August 24 - 27, 2018

Issue #1077  

August 24 - 27, 2018