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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Even passport is not required to travel between Georgia and Turkey

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was welcomed on Tuesday by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili at Batumi Airport.
Turkey and Georgia took their visa-free travel policy a step further on Monday, initiating a passport-free travel regime under which their nationals will be able to visit each others country with national identity cards alone.

The beginning of the new travel regime coincided with a visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Georgia. He had talks with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Batumi and the two later attended a ceremony for the opening of the modernized customs gate at the Sarp border crossing.

By implementing a passport-free travel regime at the Sarpi border gate -- through which approximately 2 million people pass each year -- the traffic at the gate will also be eased. It is the main gate between the two neighbors and accounts for almost 90 percent of road transport between the two countries. Turkey and Georgia lifted visa requirements for their nationals in 2009.

On Tuesday, the two countries also witnessed the first direct flight between Ankara and Batumi. An Anadolu Jet plane took off at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning from Ankara Esenboğa Airport and landed in Batumi at 11:40 a.m. Anadolu Jet is a subsidiary of Turkey's national carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY), and primarily offers domestic flights at more economical prices than THY.

THY executives and journalists were on the first Anadolu Jet direct flight from Ankara to Batumi. The passengers were welcomed by Levan Varshalomidze, chairman of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in southwestern Georgia, and Levent Burak, Turkey's ambassador in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

Speaking before their meeting, Erdoğan and Saakashvili both welcomed the introduction of direct flights and said they would further strengthen tourism between the two countries.

31 May 2011, Tuesday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM

Pirosmani's new masterpiece "The Wounded Soldier" found in Georgia

A new painting by Niko Pirosmani, a Georgian primitivist painter of the 19-20th centuries, has been discovered during the investigation of one of criminal cases by the prosecutor`s office of Tbilisi.

The law enforcers found eight paintings in total, one of which turned out a Wounded Soldier by Nicala. Seven other paintings belong to Russian and Italian painters of the 19-20 centuries.

Experts have already confirmed that the Wounded Soldier is the masterpiece by Pirosmani. All eight paintings have cultural value and they will be handed over to the National Gallery of Georgia.

The details of the case was reported at the special briefing held in Tbilisi prosecutor`s office today.
Reported by Rustavi2

Monday, May 30, 2011

Georgian Patriarch Ilia II - "Serious matters must be decided at assembly, not on streets"

"Big matters should no be decided on the street. Serious matters should be decided at an assembly, in a calm conversation, only then shall we receive a good result," Ilia II said during a Sunday prayer at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi. 

"Is it not possible to set up such a darbazi (assembly) to keep people off the street and to decide matters at such an assembly?!" the Patriarch said.

"The last such outing proved very hard and fatal," he said, while extending his condolences to the families of those killed during the dispersal of the opposition rally in Tbilisi in the early hours of May 26.

"Our today's existence is not a harmony among people. People take to the streets to express protest, often confronted by the authorities. I think, such relations should be stopped. There must be normal conversations and discussions," Ilia II said.

"Our main goal is for our cause to be the cause for God and useful for people. Unfortunately, we still have not learnt to listen to others," said the Primate of the Georgian Church. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nino Burjanadze agrees that killing 100-500 people is "Ok" if it brings her to power in Georgia

Georgian Interior Ministry released a recording of the conversation that allegedly took place between the oppositionist Nino Burjanadze and her son Anzor Bitsadze. They discussed the possibility of fomenting civil war in Georgia and agreed with each other that to achieve their goals it is allowed to have "the Egyptian scenario” and the death of 100-500 people”, summed up their conversation Georgian Interior Ministry.

Disclosure of records occurred after a night of riots, during which two policemen were killed in an accident with Nino Burjanadze’s husband and her son's car while they were leaving the protest area. There is a video that clearly shows how Nino Burjanadze’s husband car deliberately hits two policemen, kills them and doesn’t stop afterwards. (in the bottom of this post) President Mikhail Saakashvili accused Russia of organizing this "bloody night." In fact Nino Burjanadze, regularly goes to Moscow and as the opposition leaders meets with Russian authorities.

Oppositionists were expected to gather for their mass action around 30,000 protesters. However they managed to gather only 2000-3000 people. And many of those protesters were actually hired people for 5-10 dollars per day. According to Bitsadze, (Burjanadze’s son) the army is weak and will not stop them. For example, a battalion of Special Forces Kodzhory hardly dare to shoot at protesters, and if they will, after the first shot they will be attacked by Russian special forces “GRU”. Georgian Interior Ministry claims that the GRU they meant refers to the Russian military intelligence special group.

In addition, the transcript shows, although in general conversation was conducted in Georgian, some words were borrowed from the Russian language - for example, "all", "general" and "at-large." 
Their conversation translated into the Russian language is placed in the blog information and analytical portal "Georgia Online». NB - Nino Burjanadze, AB - Anzor Bitsadze. 

English translation of the conversation between Nino Burjanadze and her son Anzor Bitsadze is below:

AB Nino, yesterday I thought for a long time ... or maybe not for long ... and now offer you such a thing: and in one week you can make a decision, and we’ll have "The Georgian party", or whatever ...

(...) AB We can still happen. If you take the responsibility, then why not decide on the civil war.

(...) AB On the death of 100 people, and even 500.

NB Yes indeed.

AB All nations that have achieved something, their land soaked with blood.

NB This land is also sufficient soaked (with blood).

AB Is that enough, it's not quite true. 200 years of blood is shed. Then you should know that if you start the process, there is one person breaks a leg and two heads are cut off, then this is it! ("All" - says in Russian) ... There you will not be back up. And the fact that 40% support Saakashvili - I have nothing wrong with it. If they (the government) had the brain to think then the revolution would not be necessary. On the basis of which they claim 40%? Is 40% say they will vote for Saakashvili?

NB Well, now so thoroughly, I do not know, but I was told so.

AB Do you think this is real?

NB I do not know Anzoriko, we are still moving in our own circle.

AB How much support do we have?

NB Who are "we"?

AB Revolutionaries.

NB 35 (%) dissatisfied, and 15 (%) are supported directly.

AB What do you want to then? Fifty-Fifty (Fifty-Fifty "is pronounced in Russian)

NB Well, yes, really well. Society is divided and in relation to Russia: 50 to 50.

AB That's why I say - Caucasian Chalk Circle. 50% of the country which was in war with Russia just two years ago, is it a little?

NB No, not a little, but too much. Feeling of hostility against Russian, 50% in general ("general" says in Russian) is totally absent.

AB How much support closer ties with Russia?

NB Have closer relationship supported by almost all.

AB And pro-Russian (in Russia) is 50%, right?

NB You know what, I do not want to cheat you, but in any case, it is clear that society is polarized. That's one person told me " on the one hand, relations with Russia partly harmed you, but on the other hand, he say (the society), almost split 50/50.

AB Will 30 000 people come out?

NB I think that much more. Oh how we need it!

AB That (number), fill in Freedom Square? And then let (someone) who comes to count how many they were 30 or 70 thousand.
NB Oh how we need it ...
AB Hopefully we have time, Nino? They do not need anything, the next day after the (money) transfer, I believe that it is all! ("All" - says in Russian). And  everyone is silent ...

NB Who? “nazi”?

AB Yes.

NB They are waiting to see what we’ll do. They are now in a difficult situation. At large (at-large, "says in Russian), we're going, and really they can’t find fault with us.

AB They can find videos and other stuff, and (we) will catch us on this one. Here and may be now, if they are listening us

AB We will have the Egyptian scenario. The interim government should be in any case. Why do you want then this Committee? Power of the Committee: - declare curfew ("curfew" - speaks in Russian) - and a state of emergency. But in Egypt it was over in three months and it settled down (again), tourists came back there, but they have strong army.

NB Yes, there's an army ...

AB Our Army, too, would have supported us, but why this is necessary, if it is such a weakling. In the army, a situation right now is oh-oh-oh!

NB Yes?

AB Oh no! What army? Forget about the army at all! (Spoken in Russian)

NB The police cannot defeat us. How do you think Kodzhorsky battalion would shoot at us?

AB No, it is such a stupidity. Kodzhorsky battalion may block the road, to block with a tank, but they will never shoot.

NB Why are you so sure?

AB You know what? If Kodzhorsky battalion will start shooting at me, I will handle the first attack. And then let him find out the relationship with the special forces of the GRU.( Russian military intelligence special group)


Nino Burjanadze confirmed to Georgia Online, the authenticity of the audio conversation with his son, but at the same time, noted that "phrases in the record are taken out of context." Interesting what “context” did she meant if she agreed that killing 30 or 70 civilians is “Ok”, civil war for 3 month in the country is “Ok”, involvement of Russian military special forces to attack Georgian Police is “OK”?

Video: Bitsadze and Burjanadze's escort cars rapidly leaving the Tbilisi downtown where they tried to arrange a riot. On their way they killed two Georgian policemen.

China Southern Airlines start regular non-stop flights to Tbilisi, Georgia

China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd. will start service on the international route between Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, and Tbilisi, the capital and largest city of Georgia, on June 9.

The route to be operated by the air carrier, one of China's Top Three, will become the first non-stop route connecting China with the country in Asia Minor. At that time, Urumqi will enjoy a larger route network around the globe.

Urumqi, because of its unique location, is gradually becoming an air hub in Central and West Asia and playing a more important role in formation of the Silk Road in the air.

At the end of April, the upgraded T2 terminal of the Urumqi Diwopu International Airport formally came into operation. It is just part of the airport's great efforts to improve its infrastructure. In March 2010, the T3 terminal, with an investment of nearly CNY 2.5 billion, started operation at the airport.

Original article

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer after Wal Mart, starts business in Tbilisi, Georgia

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Carrefour SA, the world's second- largest retailer, will open its first store in Georgia after signing an agreement with a real-estate developer to expand in the eastern European country.

The outlet will be in the Uptown Tbilisi mall, which is located in the Georgian capital and must be completed by the end of the year, according to an e-mailed statement today from Rakeen, a developer owned by the Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.

Carrefour's business in eastern Europe includes stores in Romania and Bulgaria. Calls and an e-mail to the retailer's press office weren't immediately returned.

Read more:

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Junior World Rugby Trophy (Under-20) tournament kicks off in Tbilisi, Georgia - Watch for FREE - at stadium, on TV, or web

The Junior World Rugby Trophy (Under-20 World Rugby - Eight-team tournament) kicks off on Tuesday, May 24. Samoa, Russia, Uruguay and USA will compete in Pool A while Japan, hosts Georgia, Canada and Zimbabwe are in Pool B.

The Georgian Rugby Union has also announced that there will be free admission to all matches at the Shevardeni Stadium and matches at the Avchala Stadium will be priced from 5-10 Georgia Lari.

In addition to providing a significant boost to Rugby in the Host Union, the Under 20 tournament plays a vital player development role for all the participating Unions. Seven of the eight Unions are currently included in the IRB's Strategic Investment programme and there will be fierce competition between the teams to win the title and with it promotion to the IRB Junior World Championship 2012.

Six pool matches, including all three of Georgia's games will be broadcast live along with the third place play-off and the final on Sunday, June 5 in Tbilisi.
Schedule (link)
No. Kick-off Group Match Venue
1. 1400 B Japan v Zimbabwe Shevardeni
2. 1400 A Samoa v USA Avchala
3. 1600 A Russia v Uruguay Avchala
4. 1800 B Georgia v Canada Avchala
No. Kick-off Group Match Venue
5. 1400 A Samoa v Uruguay Shevardeni
6. 1400 B Japan v Canada Avchala
7. 1600 A Russia v USA Avchala
8. 1800 B Georgia v Zimbabwe Avchala
No. Kick-off Group Match Venue
9. 1400 B Canada v Zimbabwe Shevardeni
10. 1400 A Uruguay v USA Avchala
11. 1600 A Samoa v Russia Avchala
12. 1800 B Georgia v Japan Avchala
No. Kickoff Match Venue
13. 1330 4th Group A v 4th Group B Shevardeni
14. 1330 3rd Group A v 3rd Group B Avchala
15. 1545 2nd Group A v 2nd Group B Avchala
16. 1800 FINAL
1st Group A v 1st Group B Avchala
Official Tournament website with latest news, standings, and schedules:

To watch games for free as a live streaming video, follow either link below. It's the same channel, but different supporting servers:

Georgian TV – Georgian server:
Georgian Public TV – European server:
Georgian Public TV – American server:
From my own experience, local Georgian servers works better than European or American. Just click on one of the Georgian Public TV links on time when game starts. Kick-off time in the schedule is in local Tbilisi Time (which is set for GMT + 3 hours), 24h format.
Also the International Rugby Board (IRB) will deliver a live streaming service of the eight matches plus four additional matches produced by the Host Broadcaster via the official tournament website: