The summit in Chisinau reinforces the special status of the outpost of...

On Thursday, 1st June the Summit of the European Political Community will take place. 47 heads of state and leaders of the EU are invited. Global issues will be discussed regarding the war in Ukraine, the energy security of Europe and the diversification of the Russian energy resources.The route to China bypassing RussiaReuters news agency notes that Azerbaijan and Armenia are expected to sign a peace agreement in Chisinau.Despite the attempts of Moscow and Tehran, which have been reported by the Wall Street Journal, to disrupt the negotiation process, Baku with active participation of Brussels and Washington is making efforts for the sake of normalizing the relations with the neighbor and opening regional transportation routes. In particular, it applies to the “Zangezur corridor” project.With its opening the EU will gain a direct transport route to China bypassing Russia - through Turkey, Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea and Central Asia.The energetic base of the EU and MoldovaLately, particularly after the full-scale Russian invasion into Ukraine, Azerbaijan has become the main country by means of which the substitution of the Russian resources on the European market is being carried out.Baku supplies oil and gas to Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Austria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Italy. Negotiations are underway with Moldova, Hungary and Albania.In 2022 the volume of supplies of Azerbaijani gas into the EU reached 12 billion cubic meters, while by 2027 Baku is planning to have doubled that figure.According to the United Nations Development program from 28.04.23, for the last 2 years Moldova (apart from Ukraine) is the country that suffered the most in the energy crisis. In this regard the president of Moldova, Maia Sandu, said “Russia wants Moldova to have a pro-Russian government and it is blackmailing us with energy resources.”Speaking of cooperation with Azerbaijan, Sandu noted: “Partnership with Azerbaijan is crucial for Moldova in the context of our will to reach energetic independence. We hope for support and cooperation with Azerbaijan.”Many other European leaders and international organizations have pointed out the special role of Azerbaijan as of a reliable energy supplier uncontrolled by Russia: The German leader Olaf Scholz “Azerbaijan is a partner that has a growing importance for Germany and the EU, and this country can make an important contribution into the diversification of energy supplies to Germany and Europe.” The European Commission: “Azerbaijan is the key partner of the EU in its efforts to renounce the Russian fossil fuel”. President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev: “President Alyev proved that his country is a reliable economic partner. This is confirmed by the fact that Bulgaria has had regular supplies of gas from Azerbaijan for a year now under the agreement signed 10 years ago, which Azerbaijan has strictly complied with…” The President of the council of ministers of Italy Giorgia Meloni : “We are getting almost 60% of Azerbaijani supplies by TAP through Turkey, Greece and Albania.” EU Commissioner for energy Kadri Simson: “Europe survived this winter [2022] with half-full gas storages, more stable gas prices and a positive prognosis for the next winter. We were able to accomplish this thanks to our reliable partners, such as Azerbaijan.” President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda: Azerbaijan is a key partner for Lithuania in the Caucasus region… Lithuania is in favor of a more active cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of the EU in the energy sector.” Vice-president of the European Committee on Inter-institutional relations and foresight Maros Sefcovic: “Azerbaijan is a vital energetic partner for the EU” President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic: “With regards to the production and th export of gas, Azerbaijan is a mighty country, which will be exporting over 35 billion cubic meters of gas in 7-9 years” Thanks to the oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, whose construction was supported by the US and Britain, Azerbaijan has had a route of oil transportation which does not depend on the Kremlin since 2006. The presence of such an infrastructure is crucial for an independent energy policy of Baku in the interests of the European Union.For instance, Kazakhstan was not able to satisfy Germany’s request to increase the supplies of oil.On May 27 the Deputy Head of the national operator of Kazakhstan on main oil pipeline “KazTransOil”, Eric Sagyev, announced that the increase in export fully depends on the Russian Federation.“Presidentof Azerbaijan Ilham Alyev was able to grow out of Moscow’s control more successfully than almost all other leaders of former Soviet republics”, -Wall Street Journal wrote about a month ago.The strategic wedge of the EU in Russia-Iran allianceBeing the strategic partner of the EU Azerbaijan in between two fires, - Russia and Iran, whose military-political alliance opposes Europe and Ukraine.As early as in February of 2023 the authoritative edition Forbes reported that Moscow and Tehran posed the main threat to the supplies of Azerbaijani gas into Europe.“In 2021-2023 Azerbaijan became one of the main alternative suppliers of energy resources from Russia into the EU”, - the Romanian version of the Newsweek said. The outlet reported: in an effort to ensure a lever of pressure on Baku, Moscow has been involving Armenian separatists in Karabakh (which even the prime minister of Armenia has recognized as a sovereign territory of Azerbaijan).Iranians and Russians regard the separatist enclave in Karabakh as a “kill switch” of Azerbaijani supplies into the EU, one of the leading Israeli “think tanks” Begin-Sadat Center noted on 18.05.23.“Putin is using the Armenians of Karabakh as pawns, like South Ossetians and Abkhazians in Georgia or Russian communities in Ukraine…”,- stated the American Wall Street Journal.One of the largest Ukrainian publications, Focus, noted that “both states resist the pro-Russian separatism: Ukraine in Donbass and Crimea, Azerbaijan - in Karabakh. Ukraine is Europe’s bastion on Moscow’s way of aggressive expansion. Azerbaijan is one of the main suppliers of energy resources to the EU, compensating for the rejection of the Russian gas.”Reliable friend of UkraineDespite having hostile neighbors in the north and south, Azerbaijan is consistently supporting Ukraine.“Azerbaijan continues to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine”, - said foreign minister Ceyhun Bayramov several weeks ago.In 2022 alone Azerbaijan provided Ukraine with over 200.000 liters of fuel and over 900 tons of medication, medical equipment and food supplies.On May 16 the vice-speaker of Verkhovna Rada Elena Kondratyuk thanked the leaders of the South-Caucasus republic “for their constant support of their sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.Last week the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Azerbaijan for “its consistent position in supporting the sovereignty of our country [Ukraine]”.The leading power of the CaucasusTaking into account the threatening neighborhood of Russia and Iran, as well as the activity of separatists in Karabakh under the cover of the Russian military presence, Azerbaijan is forced to keep increasing its defense capability. Israel plays a special part in it, with the consent of the US. The military expenses of Azerbaijan in 2022 reached almost $3 billion.As a consequence, in “2023 military strength ranking” Azerbaijan took the 57th place among 145 countries. Thus, it is the militarily strongest state in the South Caucasus. Azerbaijan leads in the region based on other indicators as well.The population of Azerbaijan is 10,1 million, of Georgia - 3,7 million, Armenia - 2,9 million.GDP of Azerbaijan in 2022 grew to $78,7 billion, while in Georgia and Аrmania this figure amounted to $24,6 and $22,2 billion, respectively.Azerbaijan’s planed revenues in 2023 –$18,1 billion, those of Georgia - $8,4 billion, of Armenia - $6 billion.Azerbaijan is the only country of the South Caucasus included on the 2022 ranking of the best countries of the world according to US News & World Report.***The quotations and facts above show that Azerbaijan is an irreplaceable strategic partner of the EU in the Caucasus. That is why its participation in the Chisinau summit of the European political community is especially symbolic.It is significant, therefore, that a possible Azerbaijan-Armenia peace agreement in Chisinau promises the European community new economic and geopolitical dividends.Igor Chalenko, political scientist, Head of Center for Analysis and Strategies (Ukraine)

Asian Development Bank Supports Basisbank in strengthening internation...

Basisbank (the Bank) obtains technical assistance in strengthening the international financial sanctions framework and improving tools for managing Trade Based Money Laundering (TBML) risks. The project is supported by the Asian Development Bank's Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (TSCFP) and is implemented by experts from international consulting firm.AML/CTF is a high priority for Basisbank, along with observing high standards of compliance with international sanctions. Therefore, the Bank deems this project well timed and indispensable for meeting the rapidly changing requirements for monitoring the sanctions. Availability of reliable partnership in that area is always one of the strategic tasks of Basisbank, especially in the current reality of international sanctions. It is extremely important for the Bank to meet international standards and requirements vis-à-vis the regulator, partner banks, financial institutions and customers. The Bank remains committed to following this approach and principle.„We acknowledge the added value of the technical assistance project, believing that knowledge-sharing will equip the Bank with an even better opportunity to rise to a higher level with expanded and improved international cooperation. This partnership between Basisbank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will allow us to reinforce our position as a development-focused financial institution who takes care of funding international trade, by applying modern-day international-standard monitoring tools.The Bank devotes considerable resources to being in full compliance with applicable sanctions and anti-money laundering standards for international trade. New requirements and regulations are developed and implemented on an ongoing basis. Being one of the important contributors to the strategic development of the Bank's compliance with international standards, the project acts to promote further strengthening of the institution, with valuable insights of both current and new partners“ - said David Kakabadze, Risk Management Director of Basisbank.About BasisbankAfter the 30 years of activity on the market, Basisbank Holding is a solid universal financial institution that provides high-quality financial services to both retail and large and medium-sized businesses.The Group encompasses insurance and leasing businesses. According to the financial data of 2022, the total assets of Basisbank amount to GEL 3.2 billion.About the Asian Development BankEstablished in 1966, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) covers 68 countries, including 49 from the Asian region. With an AAA credit rating and over 250 partner banks, the Asian Development Bank’s Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (TSCFP) provides financial access to trade and supply chain with credit resources and guarantees, hence facilitating economic growth and new jobs, and subsequently improving living standards. TSCFP initiatives facilitate the global trade and supply chain participants to develop as environmentally conscious, sustainable, inclusive, transparent and socially responsible entities and aim for the successful, multilateral,
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Benedict Cumberbatch attacked in London

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch's home in London has been attacked by a former chef with a fish knife.Cumberbatch, his wife and their three children were at home when 35-year-old Jack Bissell kicked out the iron front garden gate. He shouted: “I know that you moved here, I hope it burns to the ground,” shouted the attacker.Bissell pleaded guilty to criminal damages at Wood Green Crown Court on 10 May and was fined £250.He was also issued a three-year restraining order forbidding him from approaching the Cumberbatch family and the area where they live.According to reports, he fled the scene but was soon arrested.A source close to Cumberbatch told the Daily Mail: “Naturally the whole family was terrified and thought this guy was going to get in and hurt them.“Fortunately, it never came to that. Benedict and Sophie have had many sleepless nights since they started worrying about being targeted again."Motives for the crime are unknown.
The National Bank of Georgia has set a new exchange rate. As a result of trading on May 29, the US dollar depreciated and amounted to 2.5823 lari. The current exchange rate was 2.5876 GEL.The euro devalued, the exchange rate of which is 2.7764 lari. While today's exchange rate was 2.7752 GEL.The Turkish lira was devalued, which is 0.1286 lari.The exchange rate established as a result of today's trading will be valid from May 30th.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the country does not need to join the Union State. His statement is published by the press service of the head of the republic in Telegram.So Tokayev responded to the corresponding appeal of the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. Earlier, he proposed to include Kazakhstan and other countries of the post-Soviet space in the alliance between Moscow and Minsk, so that they would be closer to nuclear weapons.“I appreciated his joke. I think that there is no need for this, since there are other integration associations, first of all, the Eurasian Economic Union,” Tokayev responded.The President also recalled that Kazakhstan has acceded to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and therefore the country does not need this type of weaponry. “We remain faithful to our obligations under these international documents,” the head of the republic stressed.Earlier, Lukashenka's idea was also rejected by Zauresh Battalova, a member of the Council of Senators of the Senate of Kazakhstan. She pointed out that the use of nuclear weapons should not be allowed under any circumstances.
“Maximum efforts are needed to restore air traffic between us and Russia,” said the de facto head of the government of Sukhumi, Aslan Bzhania, commenting on the restoration of direct air traffic between Russia and Georgia.“As for the restoration of air communication with Russia, we are working in this direction. We must sign an intergovernmental agreement on air communication between Abkhazia and the Russian Federation. While we were doing this, Russia restored air communication with Georgia. It's their business, it's none of our business. It is important for us that there is air communication between us and Russia. There are some difficulties, but work is underway," Bzhania said.For information, before that, representatives of the de facto government of Sukhumi stated several times that it was planned to restore the Sukhumi airport and this process should be completed by 2024.The restoration of air communication between Russia and Georgia caused dissatisfaction with the Abkhazian opposition, since, in their opinion, Moscow should have coordinated this issue with Sukhumi, as a strategic partner.
Incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan scored 52.16% after processing 99.85% of the ballots. His rival Kemal Kılıçdaroglu has 47.84%. This was announced on the evening of Sunday, May 28, by the head of the Central Election Commission, Ahmet Yener.According to the opposition news agency Anka, after counting 97 percent of the ballots, Erdogan scored 52 percent and Kılıçdaroğlu 48 percent."We have completed the second round of the presidential elections with the goodwill of our people. I would like to express my nation's gratitude for giving us a holiday of democracy," Erdogan said, speaking to his supporters in Istanbul. "I would like to thank all the representatives of our nations that once again entrusted us with the responsibility of running the country for the next five years, for the choices they have made."Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also indirectly admitted his defeat, expressing concern that the country will face very big problems. In his first speech after the election, he said that he would continue the fight for democracy.In the first round, 69-year-old Erdogan did not have enough to win, then he enlisted the support of 49.5% of those who voted, 74-year-old Kilichdaroglu had 44.9% of the vote. Sinan Ogan, a candidate of ultranationalist views, came third with 5%. Before the second round of elections, Ogan spoke out in support of Erdogan.Kılıçdaroğlu called on voters to end Erdoğan's 20-year authoritarian rule. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in the leadership of Turkey since 2003. Until 2014, he served as prime minister, and now he is elected president of the country for the third time in a row.
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Zurabishvili called for granting all Georgians the right to citizenshi...

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili advocated granting all ethnic Georgians the right to obtain Georgian citizenship. She stated this at the forum "Strong Diaspora for Unity, Peace and European Future of Georgia". The event was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was dedicated to Diaspora Day.According to the head of state, in order for the representatives of the Georgian diaspora to feel ownership of the processes in the country, it is necessary to provide them with a representative in the parliament and allow them to participate in the elections.“I believe, and my representatives in the commission for obtaining Georgian citizenship follow this to the end, that all Georgians by origin have the right to restore Georgian citizenship. Unfortunately, there are tests. For three years we have been negotiating endlessly with the Ministry of Justice to simplify the procedure. Are we really not interested in these people becoming Georgians tomorrow? When tomorrow Demna Gvasalia and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are born among them, then we want them to be Georgians,” Zurabishvili said.
The Union of Veterans of Abkhazia demanded the resignation of Aslan Bz...
The Union of Veterans of the Occupied Abkhazia "Ayaira" demanded the resignation of the de facto leader of Sukhumi Aslan Bzhaniya. This is reported by "Echo of the Caucasus".The delegation of this organization held a meeting with the Council of Elders of Abkhazia. At the meeting, it was decided to present Aslan Bzhaniya with an ultimatum "Ayair".We remind you that on May 30, a general opposition rally will be held in Sukhumi. The opposition demands the resignation of the de facto government of Sukhumi due to non-fulfillment of conditions.
Salome Zurabishvili criticized the government on Independence Day
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili at a ceremony on the Independence Day of Georgia, after congratulations, sharply criticized the government of the country.“It is incomprehensible and insulting for our people when the government does not think about the honor and dignity of its citizens,” Zurabishvili said.She noted that the government should make more efforts to develop a reasonable policy with international partners and use the historical moment for Georgia's entry into the European family.The president's speech was several times accompanied by dissatisfied remarks from the government rostrum.
Georgia celebrates Independence Day
On May 26 Georgia celebrates Independence Day. Festive events are held in Tbilisi and regions.The swearing-in ceremony took place in the morning in Tbilisi on Freedom Square.A wine space has been organized on Rustaveli Avenue, where a sommelier master class, tasting of different varieties of wine, and acquaintance with the characteristics of qvevri wine will take place. A cafe-radio will be organized in the musical and theatrical space, where a live broadcast will be carried out from Rustaveli Avenue with the participation of invited guests. In addition, the Literature cafe will provide a stage for young writers, poets and artists. Children's and sports spaces, a food zone will be organized.In connection with the 100th anniversary of Georgian aviation, an interactive installation dedicated to Petra Otskheli, an exhibition of aviation suits will be presented. Solemn events will be held in 15 cities of Georgia.The event will end with a gala concert dedicated to the Independence Day of Georgia.