Latest Articles about The Caucasus

Russian Tycoons Swoop Down On Georgia

Kakha Bendukidze, one of Russia’s leading industrialists, is in Tbilisi today to accept appointment as minister of economics in the government of Georgia. President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania decided to appoint Bendukidze during the May 27-29 visit to Tbilisi by a group... MORE

Georgian Ngos Protest Prison Abuse

Torture in prisons, mistreatment of prisoners, illegal arrests and abused police discretion have reappeared on the agenda only five months after the Rose Revolution, the leaders of which publicly pledged to put an end to the violence and abuse by the law-enforcement bodies. Georgian human... MORE

Georgia Mulls Closer Economic Ties To Russia

The first conference on Russian business investment in Georgia held on May 28-30 was a logical consequence of warming Georgian-Russian political relations after the recent "rose revolutions" in Tbilisi and Ajaria. Continuous economic hardship requires Georgia to seek foreign investment from wherever it is offered.... MORE

Russian Military Blinks Before Georgia In South Ossetia

Georgian Internal Affairs Ministry troops, backed up by a special-forces unit, armored vehicles and helicopters, entered the so-called Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone on both sides of the demarcation line at noon on May 31. Tbilisi's move was an instant response to the 10 AM warning by... MORE

Lavrov And Gil-robles Differ Over Chechnya

Following a meeting on May 27 with Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that the issue of Chechnya "is dropping off the politicized agenda of our relations with the Council of Europe just as it has... MORE

Georgia Offers Political Settlements

Speaking at a rally and a news conference on the occasion of Georgia's National Day (May 26), President Mikheil Saakashvili reached out to Abkhazia and South Ossetia with proposals for mutually acceptable political arrangements between the central government and the two breakaway areas. "We propose... MORE

South Ossetian Elections Follow Moscow’s Script

Elections for the 34-seat Parliament of the self-proclaimed South Ossetian Republic were held on May 23. The Ossetian party claims that 70% of voters participated in the elections. Local laws consider the elections valid when over 50% of voters participate. According to Zaira Gagloeva, who... MORE

Change Expected In Abkhazia

Talks held by Georgia's State Minister for Conflict Settlement Giorgi Khaindrava on May 20-21 in Sukhumi with Abkhaz leaders indicate that changes are expected in Abkhazia, possibly in relations between Sukhumi and Tbilisi. Vladislav Ardzinba, president of the unrecognized republic for more than a decade... MORE

Ajaria Before Elections

The "Hand of Tbilisi" will be a greater presence in post-Abashidze Ajaria. On May 18, the Georgian Parliament overwhelmingly (117/5) voted for a resolution, which allows for a one-month public discussion on a bill concerning Ajarian autonomy. A special commission is expected to analyze what... MORE

Scandals Plague Saakashvili’s Party

The arrest of a 33-year old member of Georgia's Parliament on May 19 has seriously damaged the Saakashvili government's reputation. MP Giorgi Kenchadze, an activist in the National-Democrats ruling party, has been charged with influence peddling by extorting some US$100,000 from Ajarian businessmen.According to an... MORE