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Giorgi Kvirikashvili

REUTERS: Georgia, with Eye on 2016 Election, Switches Prime Minister

London based international news agency Reuters publishes an article stating Georgia’s new prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s appointment by parliament yesterday.

“An appointment widely seen as an attempt to boost the ruling coalition’s flagging popularity amid an economic slump,” says Reuter.

Kvirikashvili, 48, who was also first deputy prime minister before his nomination, has said Georgia will continue its Euro-Atlantic integration and a “pragmatic” policy towards Russia, with which it fought a brief war in August 2008.

“Full European integration with an eventual goal of EU membership, as well as NATO membership, is our top priority,” he told parliament on Monday.

“Our pragmatic approach towards Russia aims first and foremost to lessen risks to prevent threats to our main foreign policy course,” he said.

Kvirikashvili spent most of his career in the financial and banking sectors and was director general of billionaire and former prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank in 2006-2011.

He has a Master’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois in the United States.