Verbatim

  • I promise to put all my energy, knowledge, and experience in developing education and science in Georgia. There are so many challenges. More specifically, I would like to say that every youngster in Georgia should feel that the state is taking care of them. We have many talented young people, a very good generation is coming and we should be the guarantee to create all the conditions for them to fully realize their potential.

    Education and Science Minister Mikheil Chkhenkeli speaking on his first day as Minister
    New Education Minister: Each Youngster Should Feel that State Cares for them
  • I would like to express my gratitude to Bidzina Ivanishvili. It was him who presented me as the Mayor of the capital. By putting great trust in me he gave me a lot of energy. I would also like to thank [former Prime Minister] Irakli Garibashvili. During the period when he was prime minister, I worked very actively. And I want to underline the very close and active cooperation with Giorgi Kvirikashvili, I remember him supporting me a lot.

    Outgoing Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania said today while evaluating his work as Mayor of the capital city for four years, according to Interpressnews reporting.
    Narmania: I Want to Express my Gratitude to Bidzina Ivanishvili, his Trust Gave me Energy
  • Under huge pressure from the opposition, [Tbilisi mayor] David Narmania was performing very important work. Today he made an impressive presentation about what he has been done in our capital, and he has a lot to be proud of. This includes many projects like the "New Tiflis" project, completely renovated roads, new gardens were opened, comfortable means of public transport was introduced. I want to thank David Narmania and wish him success in his future work. We all expect that Kakha Kaladze’s contribution as Mayor will be a significant step for Tbilisi.

    Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili evaluated Tbilisi’s Mayor David Narmania’s work for Georgia’s capital city over the past four years.
    Kvirikashvili: Under Pressure from the Opposition, Tbilisi Mayor Narmania Did Important Work
  • We saw, probably, the strongest support from Poland when Georgia was attacked by the neighboring nuclear state, and our friends stood by our side. We will never forget those moments when we suffered the most; we will never forget those people who could have spent a safe time in their own homelands, instead of being in bombed Tbilisi; those people who were driven only by humanity and human values to take these bold steps. Thus we are connected not only by our strategic goals, but the pain which generations went through just a couple of years ago, and the friendship that we saw in these difficult moments.

    Mr. President, we are similar as we both value liberty; we are similar because we know that protection of this liberty requires blood, and we have both experienced it. I am happy that all these emotions are translated into politics in the context of our friendship.

    President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili during his speech at an official lunch held in Warsaw on November 8, held in honour of President Margvelashvili. Margvelashvili started his official visit to Poland on November 7 to attend the Warsaw Security Forum on November 9
    Margvelashvili in Poland: We are Connected by Our Strategic Goals and the Pain of the Past
  • Exports rose by 28.5% in Georgia. We already have a record for tourist influx in the country - up to 6.5 million tourists visited Georgia. The volume of money transfers has also increased. All these factors are very important for the economic growth of the country, which now amounts to 4.7%. This is a very healthy trend that will surely be reflected in new investments and new jobs. I understand that this is not directly reflected in today's economic conditions of our population, but it is very important for our citizens to know that the trend in the country is very healthy.

    Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili at a government meeting on November 2, 2017.
    PM: Economic Growth not Directly Reflected for Population, but Trend is Healthy
  • I am deeply shocked by the terrorist attack in NYC that claimed lives of innocent people. Georgia condemns any form of terrorism and stands with the international community in the fight against this huge global threat. In this difficult time, on behalf of the Georgian people and myself, I show support to the U.S. Government and American people.

    President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili issued an official statement after last night’s terrorist attack in Manhattan, leaving 8 dead and 11 injured.
    Georgia’s President ‘Deeply Shocked’ by NYC Terrorist Attack
  • October 27 is the day of Abkhaz language and I want to congratulate everyone, especially our Abkhaz sisters and brothers. I want to present our initiative to you. We are creating a national program for the development and protection of the Abkhaz language and we think this program will be a very important basis in the process of restoring trust. This program covers multidimensional events. Obviously there will be a separate budget for that and I’m sure that society will get actively involved in implementing it. I believe that our sincere and deep attitude towards the Abkhaz language and culture will be very important in the process of restoring those burnt bridges which is a requisite for our unity.

    Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili speaking after a government meeting today.
    PM: We are Creating a National Program for the Defence of Abkhaz Language
  • I don’t know who made what statements. However, that fact that an anti-discrimination bill was adopted in Georgia under our leadership is welcoming. Freedom of expression is very important. We are a democratic country and every citizen has the right despite their nationality, religion or sexual orientation to express their opinions.

    Newly elected mayor of Tbilisi Kakha Kaladze responding to a question from Netgazeti regarding whether people should be discriminated in football based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The question comes after backlash against Georgian footballer Guram Kashia for wearing a rainbow...
    Kaladze: Everyone has the Right of Freedom of Expression Despite their Sexual Orientation
  • We will provide information about who will be my deputies and which positions my team members will take. It is very important for us for the people [in the team] to be competent, professional, and experienced... We will be very open and transparent about these processes throughout the following four years. We will have structural reforms and reforms in personnel changes. Many competent people are working in City Hall and we will try our best to make use of their professionalism for the benefit of the city.

    Newly-elected mayor of Tbilisi Kakha Kaladze, at a briefing today. Kaladze will start working in his new post from the second half of November.
    Kaladze: We Will Have Structural Reforms and Reforms in Personnel Changes
  • Today they’re talking about some land which was purchased for 1 GEL in which an investment worth 1 million GEL is being made. When I built McDonald's in Kutaisi, I paid 850,000 and invested 3 million. I think 1 GEL is a bit cheap.

    However, I don’t believe that the projects of Bidzina Ivanishvili are mistakes… I mean the “Panorama Tbilisi” project. But on the other hand, how timely is the development of such a project? The renovation of Old Tbilisi might be a bigger subject. What I’m talking about [the renovation of Old Tbilisi] is not a business, it is a charity. What Ivanishvili is doing now is business, mixed with charity… but it’s still a business.

    Georgian Businessman Temur Chkonia in an interview with TV Pirveli on October 18. Tbilisi City Assembly agreed during a session on September 29 to transfer land around Pushkin Square in central Tbilisi to a company owned by former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for the symbolic price of 1 GEL.
    Georgian Businessman on Ivanishvili land: 1 GEL is Cheap, I Paid 850,000 for McDonald’s
  • It is very unfortunate that in the middle of the pre-election campaign, Saakashvili and his surrounding people are continuing to seed dissidence within the opposition with such silly and dishonest accusations.

    Unfortunately, the main enemy for Mikheil Saakashvili is European Georgia, and not the Georgian Dream, whereas for us, Ivanishvili’s rule is the main problem.

    Saakashvili wants to be the leader of the opposition in Georgia and in Ukraine too. But in Ukraine, where he physically is, he is in favor of uniting the opposition, whereas in Georgia he is in favor of division, because he can’t physically be here. It turns out that there’s no success without him - this is his concept.

    In regards to the silly and absurd accusation that we didn’t let him come to Georgia… it has been a year since this party is split [from the UNM]. What is it that has hindered him from coming to Georgia now?...

    The truth is that he is not coming to Georgia for the same reason that he left Georgia. We should ask ourselves, when was he lying? When he said that the day after tomorrow he would be in Georgia, when two days before elections he says that he’s not coming, or when he publicly explained that apparently, this was all to frighten Ivanishvili and that he never actually considered coming? The truth is that he was always lying and Saakashvili made Ivanishvili use him to seed fear of disorder, then caused disappointment in his [Saakashvili’s] voters when he said that he’s coming, and now he is trying to cause dissidence within the opposition so that Ivanishvili’s regime isn’t stopped without him [Saakashvili’s involvement]. This is not in the interests of the Georgian people. Our interest is to stop this regime in a peaceful manner, that’s why all critical citizens should come to the elections and vote in favor of changing Ivanishvili’s regime.

    Member of Parliament of Movement for Liberty - European Georgia party Giga Bokeria, in response to a statement made by former President Mikheil Saakashvili on October 8 arguing that by splitting from the UNM, the European Georgia party strengthened Bidzina Ivanishvili.
    Bokeria: Saakashvili doesn’t Want the Opposition to Have Success without Him
  • European Georgia consists of people who made a conscious decision to separate from the United National Movement - and thus they strengthened Ivanishvili. This was for the profit of Ivanishvili. Whether they wanted this or not… this is an objective reality. Ivanishvili got stronger by this...

    They [European Georgia party] announced my return [to Georgia] to be a major problem - and not Bidzina Ivanishvili.

    Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili speaking in an interview with Rustavi 2 on October 8
    Saakashvili: European Georgia Party Strengthened Ivanishvili
  • There were many serious and severe mistakes made in Tbilisi under the United National Movement leadership. Of course, one of the mistakes also was the chaotic process of building up the capital, which is still ongoing, and that’s why we have the result that we have. I can’t take the responsibility for what I haven’t participated in, however this doesn’t mean that I can’t talk about the mistakes which the party [UNM] had during its governance.

    UNM’s Mayoral Candidate for Tbilisi Zaal Udumashvili, speaking on the TV show ‘Accents’ on October 8.
    Udumashvili: Severe Mistakes were made in Tbilisi under UNM Leadership
  • We should stop talking about the cyanide case. We’ve been talking about this for the whole year and have wasted a lot of energy and time. We have a lot to do in order to restore the image that the Church had, and unfortunately today we face conditions which tremor this image. We have to somehow restore the image and society’s trust

    Patriarch Ilia II’s secretary Father Botkoveli spoke on October 6 after Giorgi Mamaladze’s lawyers were questioned by the Prosecutor's Office. Mamaladze was a high-ranking clergymen in the Georgian Orthodox Church who was arrested in February 2017 and found with cyanide in his suitcase, with...
    Patriarch’s Secretary: A Lot Needs to be Done to Restore the Image of the Church
  • Nobody has the illusion that after four years there won’t be any problems left and that everything will be solved. This is impossible, these are problems that have been piling up for 20 to 25 years. The capital has been disfigured in every way possible, and the result is pretty obvious. However, if we don’t take specific steps today, trust me, progress of this city will be impossible.

    Georgian Dream’s Mayoral Candidate Kakha Kaladze Speaking with Rustavi 2 on October 6. Local self-government elections, including elections for mayor of Tbilisi, will take place on October 21.
    Kaladze: Nobody Has the Illusion that We Will Solve Everything in Four Years
  • My pre-election promises were always on my desk when I used to plan different projects at the beginning of each year. At the end, I analysed my pre-election program and promises and realised that I do not have any unfulfilled promises, except one - building a Youth Center, which I promised to our young people. However, the project of the building is already prepared. The area for the building is selected, but because of limited financial resources, we could not implement this project this year. However, I am sure that this project will be implemented. Our team's mayoral candidate program pays a lot of attention to the youth. I do not have any other substantially unfulfilled promises.

    Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania spoke to Interpressnews about fulfilling his promises during his time in office.
    Mayor Narmania: I Do Not Have Any Unfulfilled Promises, Except One
  • We will not let anyone seize our lands for Laris and pennies in such an impudent and brazen manner. They are walking well dressed, while citizens are living in poverty and in hunger, whereas billionaires are taking away our lands for one Lari. This will not continue... We all are telling them that this will not happen in Tbilisi anymore!

    I understand people are disappointed, some may think that there is no point in protesting, that if they force us to leave the hearing room, they can get away with this [protesting opposition politicians were kicked out of a Tbilisi City Assembly hearing on September 29].

    But no, they will not get away with this! No special ops officer, no misguided policeman, no billionaire and no oppressors will be able to stop our protest, because we are right. We fight for ideas, we don’t fight for money.

    Elene Khoshtaria, the Movement for Liberty - European Georgia candidate for Tbilisi mayor, speaking at a protest on October 1. The protest was against Tbilisi City Assembly’s vote to pass 1,900 square meters of land around Pushkin Square in central Tbilisi to the company Old City Development,...
    Tbilisi Mayor Candidate Khoshtaria: People are Starving and Billionaires Get Lands for One Lari
  • I’m announcing openly and publicly that I am leaving Tbilisi City Assembly. I will write the notice about it on Monday [October 2], and I am encouraging all my colleagues to leave. I am also encouraging opposition members of the Assembly to leave. Since yesterday [the City Assembly’s decision on September 29 to give lands to a company owned by former Prime Minister Ivanishvili], we just don’t have the right to enter that room.

    Aleko Elisashvili, an independent Member of Tbilisi City Assembly and independent mayoral candidate for Tbilisi in the upcoming October local self-government elections 2017, speaking to Rustavi 2 TV on September 30. On September 29, despite protest from the opposition, Tbilisi City Assembly voted...
    Independent Member Aleko Elisashvili says he is Leaving Tbilisi City Assembly
  • The last actions of the Patriots’ Alliance party raises suspicion that they have chosen the path of being a satellite for [former Prime Minister] Bidzina ivanishvili. The current package on constitutional amendments passed with 4 votes [113 votes were needed for the quorum in parliament to pass highly-criticized amendments to the constitution. 117 MPs voted in favour of the changes. -ed.] and among them were votes from the Patriots’ Alliance too.

     

    Leader of the Democratic Movement party Nino Burjanadze speaking on September 29 about the Patriot’s Alliance minority.
    Burjanadze: Patriots’ Alliance Chose the Path of Ivanishvili’s Satellite
  • Georgia has its attractiveness, but is it good for us, or not? Of course, we can’t restrict [foreigners] from coming here, but a guest should know his place, and a host should know his place.

    Patriarch Ilia ll of Georgia spoke about foreigners coming to Georgia, after saying the ‘prayer on unification of the country’ at Tbilisi’s Sameba cathedral
    Georgian Patriarch on Foreigners in Georgia: They Should Know their Place
  • It has been two months since I started my political life. I can’t put a crown on my head because of the successes of this party [United National Movement], neither can I take the responsibility for the mistakes that it had in past. I’ve been in politics for two months, and I can take certain responsibilities for this period of time.

    UNM mayoral candidate for Tbilisi, Zaliko Udumashvili, who is a former news anchor for Rustavi 2 TV, speaking with TV Pirveli on September 22.
    Udumashvili: I Can’t Take Responsibility for the UNM’s Mistakes or Successes
  • Since the beginning of 2017, the Russian Federation has intensified its policy of occupation and factual annexation of [the] Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia. It has implemented so-called "integration treaties" and signed so-called "agreements" with the de-facto authorities to absorb Georgia's occupied regions into Russia's military, political, economic and social systems, and accelerated its military build-up in both occupied regions of Georgia. The Russian Federation has intensified the fortification of the occupation lines by installing razor wire fences, trenches, so-called "border signs," and other artificial barriers. Families have even suffered razor wires cutting through their dwellings or farmyards.

    Vulnerable groups, such as people in need of medical care and schoolchildren crossing to get an education in their native language, [which is] prohibited in the occupied regions, have been blocked by closed crossing points. Meanwhile, Russia continues to install motion detectors and other technologies to assert full control of all crossings along the occupation line.

    Georgia is firmly committed to the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict. The Georgian Government complies with the EU mediated Ceasefire Agreement. It has many times reaffirmed its adherence to legally binding non-use of force. Russia has not reciprocated

    Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili on the Russian-Georgian conflict, speaking at the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
    PM: Georgia is Firmly Committed to the Peaceful Resolution of the Russia-Georgia Conflict
  • Georgia is growing. Georgia is vibrant. Georgia is resilient in the face of challenges. Georgia carries its share of responsibility. Georgia is all of these things, because Georgia is its citizens. They are the center of our government's strategy, and this is where they will remain.

    As we have reached for the world, the world has come to us. Our citizens are the beneficiaries of greater connectivity to the world. Their economic success is a prerequisite for sustained well-being and prosperity both at home, and well beyond Georgia's borders. I speak today as one steward of our nation, with thanks to all who love and support Georgia.

    Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili speaking at the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations in New York
    Georgia’s PM at the UN Assembly: Georgia is Growing, Georgia is Resilient
  • We plan to introduce a new life to Old Tbilisi. We saw everything in the example of Aghmashenebeli Avenue, but more special attention will be paid to the visual aspect.

    I talked about it several times and still will not get tired speaking about it. It is really disappointing that walking on the renovated Aghmashenebeli avenue, you notice inscriptions in every language except Georgian.

    We do not oppose anyone, everyone has the right to make business and employ people, but the existence of Georgian letters and inscriptions will be seriously taken into consideration.

    Tbilisi Mayoral candidate of the Georgian Dream party, Kakha Kaladze, spoke while presenting the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate of the Didube district,
    Kaladze: On Agmashenebeli Avenue You Notice Inscriptions in Every Language Except Georgian
  • Saakashvili represents a very unfortunate political past... What’s also unfortunate is what we see today. Regarding the judicial aspects it’s better if comments are made by the respective institutions.

    Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili on former President Mikheil Saakashvili’s forceful entrance into Ukraine on September 10.
    PM: Saakashvili Represents a Very Unfortunate Political Past
  • Saakashvili committed a crime in front of everyone, and now it is up to the Ukrainian government what fate the former President of Georgia will have.

    The ex-President is charged with many serious crimes in Georgia, and thus these processes will continue in a legal manner. As far as I know, the Prosecutor’s Office [of Georgia] has addresses the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities on numerous occasions and these actions have gone on in the recent past

    Minister of Education of Georgia Aleksandre Jejelava on the potential extradition of former President Mikheil Saakashvili from Ukraine to Georgia. Saakashvili forcefully pushed through a police cordon to enter Ukraine on September 10. He was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by President Petro...
    Education Minister: Saakashvili Committed a Crime in Front of Everyone
  • We are planning to collaborate with Elon Musk [CEO of Tesla] in order to build a blockchain city, and have Tbilisi as the first city working on solar energy.

    The terms that we should all remember: bitcoin, blockchain, fourth industrial revolution, ICO [initial coin offering]… This is not a lecture, I am telling voters to remember these terms if we want to achieve success. This is an opportunity for development.

    It was really hard to use the word ‘innovation’ in Georgia and I was actually one of the first ones to start using this term. Today it’s an easy term to use it - and so ICO will be [easy to use] tomorrow.

    Giorgi Vashadze, New Georgia party’s candidate for Tbilisi mayor, speaking with Rustavi 2 TV about his plans if he is elected in the October local self-government elections.
    Tbilisi Mayoral Candidate: We’ll Turn Tbilisi into a Blockchain and Solar Energy City
  • I am ready for any kind of scenario. It would be better for [former Prime Minister of Georgia] Ivanishvili if he gets ready for this scenario, as he has problems with it. I am ready to defend my positions until the end. Are they ready? Let them prepare well and wait for me. . .Take a look - on the left or right, is anybody putting shackles on me? Is anyone arresting me? Is anybody taking their accusations seriously?

    Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili spoke in Belgium on his plan to return to Ukraine. Saakashvili was stripped off his Ukrainian citizenship in July 2017. He earlier announced plans to arrive in Kyiv on September 10.
    Saakashvili: I’m Ready for Any Scenario, It Would be Better if Ivanishvili Got Ready
  • Russia expressed readiness for support [in putting out the forest fire in Borjomi], and we think that this gesture is welcoming. We have a high sense of responsibility before our people and country, and that’s exactly why under the current conditions, when we have complex relations with Russia, such a gesture is welcoming.

    Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili speaking on Russia’s offer of support in putting out the forest fire in Borjomi gorge, which Georgia. The government was criticized by the Patriots’ Alliance opposition party for not accepting the support offered by Russia.
    PM on Russia and Borjomi Fire: We Have Complex Relations, but Readiness for Help is Welcoming
  • I’ve been in close contact with senior officials from this government starting last night, late last night, continuing into today. We understand that the fire is extremely worrisome, extremely difficult. We know that hundreds of Georgian firefighters are in harm’s way.

    We, as Georgia’s partner, would like to support your efforts, and so I’ve requested from the U.S. Government additional assistance. We’ve been in touch with both U.S. military, the European Command in Germany, and with the U.S. Agency for International Development, and I think the key will be to see where we can provide additional assistance. I know that other countries have also stepped up. Countries that are close-by have been able to provide some immediate response equipment to extinguish the fire and we’ll be in close contact with the government to see where we can also give assistance.

    And, again, our thoughts and prayers go to the brave firefighters who are fighting this fire in a very beautiful area of Georgia, one of my favorite areas, Borjomi.

    US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly speaking about the possibility of U.S. assistance to extinguish the forest fire in Borjomi which started in the afternoon of August 20. More than 500 firefighters, 100 forest guards, 500 employees of the MIA’s Special Tasks Department and three helicopters are at...
    US Ambassador Kelly says he requested additional assistance from US for Borjomi fire
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