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The News in Brief

Friday, August 15
Parliament of Georgia ratifies decision to quit CIS

The Parliament of Georgia has passed a resolution calling for Georgia to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States. The proposal received the unanimous support of all 117 Members voting.

The Members of Parliament also ratified unanimously an appeal to the Parliaments of friendly countries, in which the occupation of Georgia by Russia and large scale ethnic cleansing on the occupied territories were described chronologically. The appeal states that as a result of its actions against Georgia, Russia cannot be a mediator in the process of conflict resolution on Georgian territory. The appeal also calls for Russian Parliament delegations to be expelled from international parliamentary assemblies. (Black Sea Press)

NGOs set up centre to gather information on casualties

A coalition of NGOs has set up an independent information centre to collect information about people who have died, and are missing, as a result of hostilities in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, its representative announced at a press conference on August 14.

“We do not know exactly, or even approximately, how many people have died; we do not know their names. They deserve to be honoured by people as persons who died for the territorial integrity of the country. The Centre will gather information on dead, wounded and missing people and IDPs and will help clarify the real situation of those who have suffered,” the Head of NGO “Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights” Nana Kakabadze told the press conference.

Kakabadze considers that all those who have died must be found and buried in their towns and villages, but the authorities have paid little attention to this issue so far. Kakabadze also proposed an initiative to provide the families of dead people with social privileges.

The independent information centre will initially operate from the Office of the Georgian Ombudsman in Tbilisi, at 11 Machaberli Street. Contact numbers are: (+995 32) 92-24-80; (+995 32) 22-61-23. The center will later accept information at all offices of NGOs which are members of the coalition. (Black Sea Press)

Georgian Speaker and Peter Semneby Discuss Georgia

Davit Bakradze, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, and Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, have discussed the recent situation in Georgia at a meeting held on Thursday.

“The EU will provide Georgia with humanitarian assistance,” Semneby told journalists after the meeting. Semneby said the the EU concern over the current situation and is interested in regulating the conflict resolution process as soon as possible. (Prime-News)

Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Russia hold telephone discussion

On August 13 a telephone conversation was held between Foreign Minister of Georgia Yekaterina Tkeshelashvili and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the Russian party’s initiative. During the talk Tkeshelashvili made a strong protest about the most recent events in Georgia, as reported by the Department of Information of the Georgian Foreign Ministry. Her protest concerned the fact that, despite Russian statements about a ceasefire, during the previous two days new aggressive actions by Russian troops had been witnessed.

According to Tkeshelashvili, a cruel ethnic cleansing was carried in Georgia, and there were instances of robbery by Russian military men. Her Russian counterpart could not answer the allegations put to him, the Ministry informs. (Black Sea Press)

Ukrainian plane delivers 30 tonnes of medical aid to Tbilisi

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry plane Il-76 has transported 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Tbilisi, that Ministry’s press service announced on Wednesday. The shipment included medicines, sanitary items and bandages. The Government of Georgia has made a decision to allocate $6 mln for humanitarian aid to the population which has suffered as a result of recent events.

On its way back the Ukrainian plane evacuated 22 Ukrainians who expressed a wish to return home. The press service of the Government of the Ukraine says that 500 Ukrainians residing in Georgia have returned to Ukraine.

The Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Konstantin Yeliseyev, represnting the President of Ukraine, said that two more planes with humanitarian aid were to fly to Georgia. (Black Sea Press)