Saturday 15 January 2005
January 03, 2005
Analysis: The Inequality Of Georgian Journalists
Mikheil Saakashvili: No friend of journalists? While the new Georgian leadership that came to power in November 2003 has tackled many of the negative phenomena that characterized the Shevardnadze era, one sphere in which conditions have not improved markedly is journalism -- at least in the estimation of many journalists.
December 30, 2004
Russia/Georgia: Moscow Vetoes OSCE's Border-Monitoring Mission
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has failed to reach agreement on continuing the monitoring of Georgia's border with Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Daghestan. Spokesman Richard Murphy said Russia vetoed a draft agreement to extend the mandate for another six months during a meeting today in Vienna.
December 23, 2004
Russia: Putin Defends Reforms, Condemns 'Revolutions'
Putin aired his views on a number of topics (file photo) Prague, 23 December 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin today used his annual Kremlin press conference to address many of the issues that made headlines in Russia and abroad in 2004.
December 22, 2004
Georgia: Reformist Priest Blasts Church Leaders Over Intolerance, Corruption
Religious intolerance has slowly but steadily increased in Georgia over the past 13 years. Despite President Mikheil Saakashvili's pledges to treat all confessions on an equal footing, violence against religious minorities remains a major concern. Intolerance mainly targets Catholics and Protestants, but its victims can also be found among followers of the predominant Orthodox faith. The Patriarchate last week decided to reprimand a priest who not only favors ties with other confessions, but advocates in-depth internal church reforms. In an interview with the outspoken clergyman, RFE/RL correspondent Jean-Christophe Peuch examines what is known in Georgia as the "Kobakhidze affair."
December 21, 2004
Russia: Freedom House Downgrades Country To 'Not Free' Status
A U.S.-based organization that tracks the progress of political rights and civil liberties across the world says Russia has fallen to the status of "not free." Freedom House points to a growing trend under President Vladimir Putin to "concentrate political authorities, harass and intimidate the media, and politicize the country's law-enforcement system." Elsewhere, Belarus, Armenia, and Romania also saw setbacks, while the organization found encouraging democratic gains in Georgia and Ukraine. Turkmenistan rated among the most repressive countries.
December 20, 2004
Iraq: Georgia, Romania May Boost Small UN Protection Force
Fijian peacekeepers this month became the first to answer the call of a seven-month-old UN Security Council resolution urging a special protection force for United Nations workers in Iraq. Georgia and Romania are the only other countries known to have pledged troops. But it is unclear whether these or any other forces will lead to what Iraq's interim government wants: an expanded UN presence across Iraq ahead of next month's scheduled elections.
December 17, 2004
Russia: Moscow Seeks Changes In Monitoring On Russian-Georgian Border
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo) A challenge by Russia has led to a crisis at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Russia said it might veto next year's budget unless other members agree to modify the OSCE's monitoring operation on the Russian-Georgian border. OSCE officials told RFE/RL that a compromise is not yet in sight.
December 17, 2004
Georgia: Saakashvili Blows Hot And Cold On Separatist Issue
The president of Georgia has sent mixed signals this week to the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Following a government reshuffle aimed at enhancing Georgian defense and security capabilities, Mikheil Saakashvili on 15 December suggested he might resort to force to bring the rebellious provinces back into the fold. The next day, however, he reiterated a previous commitment to restore Georgia's territorial integrity through peaceful means.
December 17, 2004
Georgia: Education Minister Determined To Proceed With Controversial Reforms
Like other CIS countries, Georgia inherited a well-developed education system from the Soviet Union. Since 1991, however, economic hardship and corruption have progressively eroded the quality of its education sector. According to the European Training Foundation, a European Union agency specializing in education assistance to developing countries, the skills and knowledge being offered to Georgian students have become obsolete on the labor market. Earlier this year, the Georgian government said it would remedy the situation by reforming the entire education system.