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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 21
Large-Scale vaccination campaign launched in Georgia

A large-scale vaccination campaign against rubella and measles will be carried out throughout Georgia on October 20-November 2, 2008, on the initiative of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection of Georgia.

According to the Ministry of Health, the aforesaid campaign will cover not less than 95 percent of the population within the age group 6 to 27. Vaccination will be available in out-patient clinics (polyclinics) and ambulatories according to places of residence or study.

The campaign will be carried out by the Ministry of Health with the technical and financial assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Vishnevskaya-Rostropovich Foundation. The aim of the World Health Organization is to completely eliminate rubella and measles in Europe by 2010.

An outbreak of measles was reported in Georgia in 2004-2005. 8,000 people were infected during that period and 9 died. According to the Georgian Ministry of Health, the campaign will make it possible to prevent the spread of infectious diseases all over Georgia.
(Black Sea Press)

Kokoity believes international observers “complicate the situation” even more

The leader of the breakaway Republic of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, says that the presence of international monitors, observing the situation in the so-called “buffer zones” after the withdrawal of the Russian troops, will further complicate the already tense situation in the region.

“The tendentiousness of the international monitors is obvious. Their activity does not facilitate the improvement of the situation, on the contrary, it aggravates the situation in the region,” Kokoity said. According to the South Ossetian leader, “the Georgian side is violating the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan under silent observation by the international monitors.”

According to Kokoity, the situation in the buffer zone was aggravated after the withdrawal of the Russian troops and their replacement with international monitors. “Almost every day we receive reports of attacks on our law enforcement bodies and the kidnapping of people,” he said. He added that the mission the international monitors are carrying out is “rather strange.”
(Black Sea Press)

Giorgi Baramidze addresses summit

The State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Vice Premier Giorgi Baramidze, has addressed the Francophone summit in Quebec, Canada. This was held from October 17-19. The Georgian side was invited to attend in the capacity of observer. The Prime Minister of Canada, President of France and high-ranking EU and OSCE officials also participated.

As Black Sea Press was told by the State Minister’s Press Service, Baramidze focused on Russia’s aggression and its occupation of Georgian territories, ways out of the Russian-Georgian conflict and the importance of the international community’s support in these issues.

During his visit to Canada, Baramidze also held bilateral meetings with the leaders of European states. During these meetings the sides discussed the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, Georgia’s integration into NATO and the EU and the safe return of IDPs, the EUMM monitoring process and other issues important to Georgia. Giorgi Baramidze left Canada to participate in the Donor Conference for Georgia scheduled for October 22 in Brussels.
(Black Sea Press)

Medvedev submits Abkhazia, South Ossetia treaty for ratification

President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev has submitted to the State Duma for further ratification the treaty on friendship and cooperation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the Kremlin Press Office. Taking into account the political importance of the aforesaid document, Medvedev asked Parliamentarians to treat its ratification as a priority.

The texts of the treaties signed by Russia and the breakaway Republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are almost identical. Under them, Russia has pledged to help the two Republics protect their borders, and both signatories have granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories. The treaties also formalize economic cooperation between Russia and the Republics, and allow dual citizenship for Russian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian residents. Russia has agreed to unify its transportation, energy, and communications infrastructures with those of the two Republics.

The treaties were concluded for a period of ten years with the possibility of their automatic extension for a further five years.
(Black Sea Press)