EU Parliament OKs visa free travel, Borjomi Bishop solicits fifteen year old, Ukraine releases Tsertsvadze, Misha split off now called Movement for Freedom European Georgia, Pres pardons innocent Def Min employees, CoE guy in town, Kaladze says Enguri will close for rehab, Congo chopper crash, Abashidze says no Russian diplomatic relations, drunk cops arrested, Vagzal fire, Gali protests border closures, Def Min protests re firings, Russian soldiers kidnap Gali man, more new blue airport busses, new Batumi bypass, Sachkhere fish, Beeline contract, rental cars, steep chacha, new Lelo shirts, Jr Eurovision, Paris models, idiotic surveillance draft, migrant numbers

3 thoughts on “TBLPOD2feb2017

  1. The MEME this week is a photo project on Instagram that superimposes classic film characters and scenes onto post-Soviet settings. Check it out, you’ll see some of your favorite characters in strange but familiar settings.

    Link: http://bit.ly/2ktoELS


    The Foreign Policy Research Institute, or FPRI, previews the movements and events that will shape the South Caucasus in 2017. For Georgia, the relationship between the ruling party and the opposition is the most important. Georgian Dream has a constitutional majority; the opposition is fragmented, especially after the split of the national movement. According to Maia Otarashvili, a research fellow at the FPRI, the split will create two strong opposition parties, rather than one. We’ll see.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2jZ1IAz

    Josh Kucera, the South Caucasus editor at EurasiaNet, is working on a series of pieces about Eurasia and the borders between the two continents. This piece for Slate magazine is about Georgia and its confusing status between Europe and Asia. Kucera travels by ferry across the Black Sea from Bulgaria to Batumi, then around Georgia by marshrutka. He meditates on Georgia’s history and its relationships with both Europe and Asia, and meets a lot of memorable people along the way. This is a long read that is definitely worth your time and attention.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2kkKLBE

    In a separate piece for EurasiaNet, Josh Kucera covers the release of Giorgi Tsertsvadze, who is out of prison but still could be extradited to Russia. Kucera is optimistic he won’t be sent to Russia, however, given his importance to Georgia’s state interests.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2k2V9iE

    Joseph Jorjoliani writes for the Huffington Post about Georgia’s foreign policy in the current atmosphere of uncertainty. He considers how the National Movement’s breakup affects Georgia’s ties with the West, and in his view, the less Misha, the better, when it comes to foreign policy. He also assesses Otsneba’s balancing act between the West as Russia as mostly positive.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2kWyumJ

    Transparency International publishes its statement on the President’s veto of the Judicial Reform Bill passed by Parliament last month. The organization agrees with most of the President’s objections, including his position that the law should define the precise number of judges who can serve in the Supreme Court. Currently that’s decided by the Court itself.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2kZtNYF

    Freedom House publishes its Freedom in the World 2017 report. Georgia is classified as partly free, where it has been for several years. The country lost its Freedom House status as an electoral democracy in 2009, but got it back in 2013, following the 2012 parliamentary elections. In this year’s report, Georgia gets a 3 out of 7 on both political rights and civil liberties, with one being the highest and seven the lowest. PAUSE Abkhazia is classified as partly free and Ossetia as not free, in the same report.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2jGDev1

    Foreign Policy covers the renewed Russian assault on Ukrainian government forces near the town of Avdiyivka. This week, roughly a dozen Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and civilians have been evacuated from the area. It’s the first major international test of the Donald Trump administration. The Russian assault started just a day after Trump and Putin spoke over the phone for the first time, talking about forming an alliance to defeat Daesh. A Pentagon official told Foreign Policy that they expected Russia to get more aggressive in order to see what Trump will let them get away with.
    Link: http://atfp.co/2kt2w3F

  2. Georgia has never provided military or police officers to the peace keeping operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

  3. “The Georgian Orthodox Church is wildly corrupt.” Really? Most Georgian Orthodox Christians and many Orthodox Christians around the world would disagree with you — including myself. I spend a lot of time in Georgia. Mark, it seems that you delight in running negative stories about His Holiness and the Georgian Orthodox Church, the rock of faith for the Georgian people. I wonder why? An institution may be flawed, but the Church established by Christ is without blemish. I don’t want to deal in rumors. Prayer is what’s needed for Metropolitan Serapime and this situation — which sounds as if it’s certainly caused dissent. Disappointed again in your podcast.

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