GEL exchange rate will be stabilized in the nearest future - National Bank President

GEL exchange rate will be stabilized in the nearest future - National Bank President According to Giorgi Kadagidze, President of the National Bank of Georgia, the GEL exchange rate will be stabilized in the nearest future.

"The GEL depreciation is largely associated with the negative expectations of market participants regarding the ongoing processes in the neighboring countries. Unlike 2015, today depreciation is not affected by tax balance. To put it simply, the country's incoming and outgoing foreign currency flows are balanced.

The second factor is the aggregate of money – we have maximally restricted it. The growth of money aggregate is close to zero. Consequently, it does not affect the depreciation. That’s why we carry out point interventions. Given all this, we expect the GEL rate to be stabilized in the near future”, said Kadagidze.

Euro Parliament Human Rights Committee to hold discussion about Georgia

Euro Parliament Human Rights Committee to hold discussion about Georgia The discussion on Georgia will be held at the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament. As the official webpage reports, the committee will discuss situation in Georgia in terms of human rights protection on January 25.

The committee members will also discuss the report project on the so-called third countries and human rights and migration there.

Tamar Kintsurashvili and Giorgi Tugushi will attend the session from Georgia

Gocha Svanidze elected as President of Rugby Union

Gocha Svanidze elected as President of Rugby Union Gocha Svanidze has been elected as President of the Rugby Union of Georgia.

The announcement was made by Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Shalva Gogoladze after the elections.

Svanidze was supported by 35 members, while another candidate Zedgenidze received 32 votes.

Gocha Svanidze will lead the Rugby Union for the next four years. Prior to that, the post had been occupied by Gia Nizharadze.

Embassy of Belarus to open in Georgia

The Embassy of Belarus will be opened this year in Georgia. As local media reports, the ministers’ board has already issued the corresponding decree. According to the document, the Belarusian Finance Ministry will finance all the expenses related with the diplomatic mission opening.

According to local media, President Alexander Lukashenko discussed the issue in 2015 while visiting Georgia.

Georgia’s Embassy to Belarus has been functioning since 2007.

Azerbaijani President to visit Georgia in the nearest future

According to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the issue of natural gas has not been discussed during a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

As Kvirikashvili has told reporters in Davos, technical issues were discussed during the meeting and there is no controversy between Georgia and Azerbaijan.

‘The meeting with Aliyev was conducted in a very friendly and warm atmosphere. We have not discussed gas provision issues… There is no controversy between our countries. Our mood is very optimistic referring to the joint projects we are conducting. These are Silk Road Project, Baku-Tbilisi-Karsi projects. We will create a very important source for our countries’ economic growth,’ he said.

According to the PM the Azerbaijani President will visit Georgia very soon.

Russia should honor our sovereignty: Georgia PM

Russia needs to honor the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia so that the region can be attractive to investment and business, the country's prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili told CNBC on Friday.

Tensions have remained high between the two countries following a short conflict in 2008. Hundreds died in clashes over the sovereignty of South Ossetia and Abkhazia -- two breakaway Georgian regions which Russia recognizes as independent countries, CNBC reports.

Kvirikashvili said that several formats of dialog now existed between the two countries, and that there were positive dynamics in terms of trade.

"We are trying to decrease the tensions with Russia in order to allow ourselves to attract investments, because stability and security (are)... the main prerequisites for any investor," Kvirikashvili told CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

There were still issues, however. Russia was still signing agreements with both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Kvirikashvili said, something he described as "against all logic."

"But this is where we are," he said. "We will continue a pragmatic approach, we will continue from our side to decrease the tensions, and we welcome, of course, the recent decision of the Russian government to ease the visa regulations for Georgian citizens," he added.

"This was a positive step, and it is appreciated by (the) Georgian government and people."

Asked if he had a message for Vladimir Putin, Kvirikashvili said that, "Russia should honor Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty."

"This is the main entry condition to be met by the Russian side in order to start normal relations with Russia," he said.

"Honestly, we don't see enough political will today in (the) Russian leadership to resolve this crisis, but despite all that, we have (a) longstanding tradition of… relations with Russia, and I don't think that we need to scratch out everything," Kvirikashvili added.

"Culturally, Georgians, we are Europeans, we are a European country," Kvirikashvili also said during the interview.

On Friday the Georgian government announced that Kvirikashvili had met with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg while at Davos. The two parties discussed issues relating to Georgia becoming a NATO member, according to the prime minister's press office.

A former foreign minister, Kvirikashvili assumed his role as Georgia's prime minister at the end of last year, after the sudden resignation of Irakly Garibashvili, - concludes the CNBC.

Some commercial banks sell dollar for 2.51 GEL

1 USD costs 2.51 GEL at several commercial banks of Georgia. This information has been posted on their webpages.

At the moment consumers can buy 1 USD for 2.51 GEL and sell for 2.43 GEL at Bank of Georgia.

Dollar price is 2.5130 GEL at TBC Bank. Its selling price is 2.4370 GEL. Bank Republic sells the dollar for 2.5150 GEL and buys for 2.4280 GEL.

As for Cartu Bank 1 USD costs 2.4900 GEL here and its selling price is 2.4400 GEL.

Yesterday the GEL has reached its historical minimum against the dollar. Official price of 1 USD has become 2.4694 GEL.

On 23 February 1999 it reached the price 2.45 GEL for 1 USD, though it later decreased in two days to 2.38, while on 27 February the exchange rate was fixed at 1.93.

According to the National Bank of Georgia the new exchange rate will be set on January 25

GEL rate reaches its historical minimum

GEL rate reaches its historical minimum The GEL rate has reached its historical minimum. The national currency has started depreciation in December 1998.
On 23 February 1999 it reached the price 2.45 GEL for 1 USD, though it later decreased in two days to 2.38, while on 27 February the exchange rate was fixed at 1.93.

According to the National Bank of Georgia, today the price of 1 dollar has equaled 2.4694.

PM says there is nothing alarming in the depreciation of GEL

PM says there is nothing alarming in the depreciation of GEL We have all reasons for optimism, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said when commenting on the GEL exchange rate.

According to him, there is nothing alarming in the depreciation of GEL.

“It is just a correction of GEL in accordance with the devaluation that has taken place in our neighboring countries in the recent days. There is nothing alarming in it. We have all reasons for optimism. Georgia will have quite good economic growth this year and we cannot see anything negative in the long run”, said the PM.

There is too much noise around the Gazprom issue - Giorgi Kvirikashvili

There is too much noise around the Gazprom issue - Giorgi Kvirikashvili According to Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, too much noise has been created around the Gazprom issue.

As Kvirikashvili told reporters in Davos, the Gazprom talks are purely technical and they do not have any political meaning.

"As for the gas supply issue, I heard many allegations about Kakha Kaladze and the government. I would like to say that our government is committed to protect the interests of our country. Too much noise has been created around the Gazprom issue. The Gazprom talks are purely technical and they do not have any political meaning”, said the PM.

According to him, there is no need to discuss the issue at the Security Council meeting.

Giorgi Kandelaki, the member of the National Movement, called on the President of Georgia today to summon a special session of the National Security Council to discuss the Gazprom issue.

The European Parliament considering the idea to send an expert mission to Georgia

The European Parliament may send an expert mission to Georgia, - says the resolution adopted by the Parliament on Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine yesterday.

“The European Parliament endorses the idea put forward by the Georgian authorities of
sending an expert mission of high level advisers, comprising retired judges of the
European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, to oversee the
ongoing case regarding Rustavi 2”, says the resolution.

the mentioned idea was put forward by Georgian Prime Minsiter Irakli Gharibashvili a few months ago.

The European Parliament recognized the progress achieved by Georgia - Janos Herman

EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman has evaluated yesterday’s resolution of the European Parliament on Georgia.

As Herman told journalists, the European Parliament recognized the progress achieved by Georgia.

"The European Parliament paid much attention to this issue. During the discussion they recognized the progress achieved by Georgia. Georgia's progress is impressive, and I think this is quite natural.

They also mentioned the areas which require special attention. These areas are not new and you know them very well. The EU underlined the importance of the independence of judges", - said Herman.

He said that the EU will continue to pay attention to specific areas.

The government has responsibility to provide safe and favorable supply of energy - Janos Herman

The government has responsibility to provide safe and favorable supply of energy, - EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman said after meeting Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze.

According to him, he discussed two issues at the meeting.

"We have discussed two main issues. The first issue was the Gazrpom and the second issue concerned the cooperation between the EU and Georgia in the energy sector. This was not my first meeting with the Minister,"- said Herman.

When asked what he knew about the meeting held between Gazprom representatives and Kakha Kaladze in Vienna, he said: "I think this information should be released by Kaladze. However, I have general information on the ongoing negotiations. I would like to say that any government has responsibility to provide safe and favorable supply of energy. I think this is what the Georgian government is doing in these difficult economic conditions”, said Herman.

Health Minister to give his office car to Republican Hospital

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko will hand over his office car to the Republican Hospital in the next few hours. The Minister made the mentioned statement at a briefing.

He added that, in agreements with "112" service, a new protocol took effect today, according to which, family doctors, instead of ambulance doctors, will go to see patients of risk groups. According to him, family doctors are more qualified to render assistance to the certain category of patients.

The Minister said his office vehicle, as well as other cars of the Ministry, will be sent to the Republican Hospital in the coming hours.

“The cars will stay there until there will be need for it”, he said. He has not elaborated on the quantity of cars.

MPs listening to State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration

Davit Bakradze, State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, is visiting the Parliament of Georgia.

The State Minister is presenting the Action Plan of 2016 for the implementation of the Association Agreement and the Association Agenda.

"This is a document on which our office had worked for 6 months. The document is mainly distinguished from the last year's document by its quality, high standard. We sent appropriate action and guideline principles to all ministries and developed the Action Plan of 2016 according to those principles, which includes the results and indicators. This will allow us to mathematically calculate the performance indicators for the next year.

We had support from the European Union in this process; European experts' assistance was very important", - he said.

Price of 1 dollar hits 2.49 GEL in commercial banks

The price of 1 dollar has reached 2.49 GEL in some commercial banks.

The banks have published information about the exchange rate on their websites, though it is rapidly changing.
According to the National Bank of Georgia, official price of 1 dollar equals 2.4445 GEL.

The previous rate was 2.4317 GEL. The GEL has also lost value against the euro. 1 EUR costs 2.6635 GEL while the previous rate was 2.6583 GEL.

Russia remains involved in conflicts of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - European Parliament

According to the resolution on the Association Agreements / Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, adopted by the European Parliament yesterday, Russia remains involved in conflicts and internal divisions touching all three of the association countries.

“Russia remains involved, directly or indirectly, in conflicts and internal divisions touching all three of the association countries –the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali Region in Georgia, the Transnistria issue in Moldova, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and involvement in the conflict in the eastern parts of Ukraine”, says the Resolution.

The document underlines its firm support for the territorial integrity of all three countries; calls on the Russian Federation to end its occupation of Crimea, and to put an immediate end to all direct or indirect involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as in the frozen conflicts in Georgia and Moldova; welcomes the Council’s decision of 21 December 2015 to extend the economic sanctions against the Russian Federation following the non-fulfilment of the Minsk Agreements;

MEPs also welcome the Council’s decision of 21 December 2015 to extend the economic sanctions against the Russian Federation following the non-fulfilment of the Minsk Agreements.

European Parliament calls for continued efforts towards full independence, efficiency, impartiality and professionalism in the judiciary of Georgia

The resolution on the Association Agreements / Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, adopted by the European Parliament emphasizes that judicial proceedings should be transparent, impartial and free from political motivation in Georgia.

The document calls on Georgia to continue, and fully implement, the reform of the judiciary, including by strengthening its independence and depoliticising the Prosecutor’s Office; remains concerned about the lack of accountability of the Prosecutor’s Office and the blurred criteria according to which prosecutors and investigators are appointed; calls for continued efforts towards full independence, efficiency, impartiality and professionalism in the judiciary, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of the Interior and the newly established Security Service, including parliamentary scrutiny of the activities of the latter two; is concerned about the extensive use of pre-trial detention, especially of political figures and activists, which should be an exceptional measure applied only under urgent and clear circumstances;

MEPs recall the statement of 22 September 2015 by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on the undue pressure exerted on judges of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, and call on the Government of Georgia to take appropriate action, including adequate measures to protect the members of the court and their families, to investigate fully all acts of intimidation and to bring the perpetrators to justice;

EBRD to continue close cooperation with Georgia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will continue close cooperation with Georgia. Investments and financial aid will be increased in 2016, - Prime Minister of Georgia was told by the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Suma Chakrabarti at the meeting held within the framework of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

As IPN was told by the governmental administration, the two sides discussed prospects of increasing investment and business development. The EBRD President congratulated Giorgi Kvirikashvili on the appointment to the Prime Minister’s post and wished him success in the future.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili, in turn, thanked Suma Chakrabarti for their confidence in Georgia and the investments made by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Bank in our country.

European Parliament adopts resolution on the Association Agreement and DCFTA with Georgia

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Members of the European Parliament voted on the resolution at the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg.

The document stresses the importance of ensuring independence and transparency of Georgia’s judiciary, the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service. The resolution also expresses some remarks concerning the mechanism of pre-trial detention and notes it must be used against political officials only on special occasions.

The resolution also focuses on the media environment. MEPs underline the importance of media pluralism and specifically refer to the Rustavi 2 case.

Before the voting, the draft resolution was considered at the European Parliament’s plenary session and debates were also held.