Georgia: electronic ID cards introduced

Effective August 1st 3 Georgian towns Tbilisi, Batumi and Rustavi introduced electronic identification. The new document will be available accross the country starting September. It replaces old paper based national identification as well as adds more functionality. New document allows for online and offline identification and it’s accepted to sign electronic documents with digital signature which has the same power as a physical signature. The card will also be valid for online banking, insurance policies and municipal transport. Old documents remain valid till the expiration date. New documents can be obtained at the price of GEL 30-65 ($18-39), cost depends on how quick the card is issued. Minimum time is 1 day and maximum is 10 days. President Saakashvili handed several cards to Batumi residents in front of Justice Palace. He made a statement about Georgia being among safest, least buerocratic and most tranparent countries in the world. The presentation was accompanied by a concert given by Nino Katamadze, a popular Georgian signer.
Georgia experienced Russian military intervention in summer of 2008 and lost a province called Osetia where residents were against Georgia government and reported being harassed by Tbilisi administration which was the official reason for intervention. Conflict was ended with French president Nicalas Sarcozy mediating in the of European Community. Relationship between Russia and Georgia remain tense since.

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