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The News in Brief

Friday, October 10
Development of Georgia continues – President

The economic development of Georgia is continuing, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili stated on Wednesday during a visit to the rehabilitated house-museum of Ilia Chavchavadze in Tsinandali (Kakheti, Eastern Georgia).

“Notwithstanding the fact that the Georgian economy has great problems, that have been caused by problems in the world economy and the Russian aggression against Georgia, we must continue our economic development,” Saakashvili noted.

He cited the harvesting of grapes this year as an example of economic stability. “Unlike in previous years, this year the grape harvest in Kakheti was carried out with few problems, as the state allocated subsidies to wine producers,” the President said. “We must show to all – enemies and friends - that large projects continue in Georgia, that Georgia’s development has not been suspended,” Saakashvili stressed. (Black Sea Press)

General Prosecutor’s Office and Ministry of Justice to be united by year’s end

The process of combining the General Prosecutor’s Office with the Ministry of Justice will be finished by the end of 2008 Minister of Justice of Georgia Nika Gvaramia has told journalists. The new department will be headed by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General and take general control.

Gvaramia also said that a new post of Senior Prosecutor, who will head the prosecutor’s office in the new ministry, will be created. “The Senior Prosecutor will be responsible to President and the Prime Minister,” he noted.

According to Gvaramia, the prosecutor’s office will not be part of the standard structure of the Ministry of Justice as it will have a high degree of autonomy. (Black Sea Press)

Lithuania insists on Russian withdrawal from Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Lithuania will not support the resumption of talks between the European Union and Russia if the latter does not withdraw its military contingent from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the ELTA news agency affirmed on Wednesday, quoting an anonymous diplomatic source.

“At present some people are saying that if Russia withdraws its military from the so-called “buffer zones” the European Union will continue a dialogue with Russia as if nothing has happened. Such statements contradict not only international law, but previous statements made in the name of the EU,” ELTA quotes the source as saying.

On September 1 the Council of Europe made a decision to suspend talks between the EU and Russia on strategic partnership “until forces are withdrawn to their positions of August 7.” A new round of talks is scheduled to begin at the sitting of the EU Council on Foreign Affairs on October 13 in Luxembourg. (Black Sea Press)

Georgian dies in blast in Gori district

A man of 45 has died as a result of a blast in Sakasheti village in Gori district. According to early information, a grenade exploded in his hand, Imedi TV reports. Another resident of the village was badly wounded. He was delivered to Tbilisi First Clinical Hospital.

Russian troops left the Gori district (a so-called buffer zone) on Wednesday. According to Imedi, the locals found the explosive device abandoned.

The Governor of Shida Kartli region, Vladimer Vardzelashvili, said that he would visit villages in the Gori district and familiarize himself with the situation in person. (Black Sea Press)

Tbilisi to impose sanctions on EuroNetwork

Tbilisi is preparing financial sanctions against Russia’s largest mobile retailer company EuroNetwork for its activities in Tskhinvali, the State Minister of Georgia for Reintegration told journalists.

The first EuroNetwork shop was opened in Tskhinvali on October 1, after the unilateral recognition of South Ossetia by the Russian side. “We have nothing against commercial activities by foreign companies in the Tskhinvali district but everything should be done in accordance with Georgian legislation and with the corresponding permission,” a spokesperson to the State Minister’s Office quoted Temur Yakobashvili as saying.

The Georgian Ministry of Justice will submit relevant documentation with international organisations with the aim of imposing financial sanctions on the EuroNetwork company, which is engaged in the retail sales of cellular phones, digital cameras and DECT phones. It also provides information services to customers and connections to network operators. According to 2007 data, the company had a turnover of USD 5.61 billion. (Black Sea Press)