Georgian prime minister addresses FSI scholars, students

On Dec. 7, 2006, Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli met with FSI scholars and students and reported on his administration's reforms, negotiations with the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whether Georgia sought NATO membership, and energy security vis-à-vis Russia. Noghaideli, who became prime minister of the Republic of Georgia in February 2005, was considered a member of a team of young reformists headed by Zurab Zhvania and Mikheil Saakashvili in the years leading up to the Rose Revolution. He also discussed Russian sanctions on Georgian exports, and was optimistic about Georgia's ability to adapt to and rebound from such constraints. As an example he pointed to the success of a recent advertising campaign in neighboring Ukraine, in which billboards advertise, "Promote democracy. Drink Georgian wine."