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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 7

Baramidze leaves for Brussels

State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze left for a working visit to Brussels yesterday, where he was due to report to the committee on foreign relations at the European Parliament on Russia’s moves in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Today he arrives in Strasbourg to deliver a speech at a session of the committee of ministers of the Council of Europe. He will also meet Council of Europe secretary general Terry Davis before returning to Georgia tomorrow. (Black Sea Press)

Interior Ministry warns police officers against involvement in election campaign

The Interior Ministry released a statement on May 5 warning police officers against involvement in the election campaign in the run-up to parliamentary elections slated for May 21.

“The Ministry of Interior would like to remind its officers that [police regulations] prohibit any involvement in the election campaign in favor of any candidate. The ministry calls for observance of the law,” the statement reads.

“Police must ensure a secure environment for all candidates and their supporters so that each of them is free to carry out the election campaigns,” it continues. (Black Sea Press)

Austria calls for direct talks on Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik called on Moscow and Tbilisi to take immediate measures to de-escalate tension over the country’s breakaway regions.

“Both parties should make all possible efforts in order to de-escalate the situation,” Passnik said on May 5.

“Direct talks will be the most important step towards trust-building and settlement of discord. It is high time to descend from escalation and re-engage in concrete, result-oriented dialogue with each other,” she added.

Plassnik also said that Austria would continue to encourage international efforts toward a peaceful settlement of the conflicts.

“Together with the European Union we pursue a line toward peaceful settlement that implies respect to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. This was emphasized by the UN Security Council on April 15,” she said. (Black Sea Press)

Opposition party names ‘ineffectual’ ministers

The youth wing of the Christian Democratic Party listed three “ineffectual” ministers in the government yesterday.

Zaza Gabunia, the leader of the party’s youth wing, said the top three were Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili and Finance Minister Nika Gilauri. (Prime News)

Chechens to rally outside Russian Embassy

Chechen activists and Kists from Pankisi Gorge are due to rally outside the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi today, demanding the withdrawal of additional Russian peacekeepers that Russia deployed to the breakaway region last week.

The demonstration is being organized by the Our Country political party. (Prime News)

Border police workshop

Border security issues will be discussed during a workshop launched yesterday as part of the EU Career and Education Development Program.

Representatives of international organizations will discuss a number of issues with Georgian Border Police officials.

The project is being implemented with assistance from the Finnish Border Guard service. Border guard officers undergo compulsory regular training as part of the program.

“The new EU project provides a training system that has been approved in the EU and makes it possible to share experience,” commented the deputy chief of the Border Police of Georgia, Eka Gigauri. (Prime News)