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The News in Brief

Friday, October 24
Moldova did not deliver arms to Georgia – Chief of General Staff

Moldova has never delivered arms to Georgia, the Chief of the General Staff of the National Army of Moldova, Ion Koropchan, has stated, RIA Novosti reports.

“During the last two years the Republic has not made any agreement on the sale of any armaments or ammunition to Georgia,” says a statement received from the Press Service of the Defence Ministry. Koropchan said that information disseminated by the media about a delivery of shells to Georgia was “groundless.”

According to the general, “the armaments and ammunition of the national army are strictly controlled and international inspectors, who visit Moldova regularly, say that our security system is in a good state and all the provisions of the Treaty on Conventional Armaments in Europe are being observed here,” the Chief of the General Staff stated. (Black Sea Press)

State Minister gives aid to IDPs

On Thursday State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues Yulon Gagoshidze handed over humanitarian aid to IDPs from the Liakhvi Gorge in the Tskhinvali region. 400 people received the aid, which was donated by the Georgian Diaspora of Great Britain.

As Black Sea Press was informed at the Press Service of the State Minister’s Office, IDPs living in the Tbilisi suburbs of Mukhiani and Gldani received the aid, which consisted of warm clothes, essential items, cots for children born in Tbilisi after the war and toys.

Representatives of the Georgian Diaspora collected the humanitarian aid with the help of British charity organization “The Order of Orthodox Hospitallers.”

The office of the State Minister for Diaspora Issues assisted with the delivery of the aid consignment. (Black Sea Press)

Georgia is satisfied with results of donors’ conference in Brussels

Representatives of the Georgian Government positively evaluate the results of the donors’ conference in Brussels, at which financial institutions and the Governments of different countries promised to allocate $4.55 billion (EUR 3.5 billion) for the restoration of the Georgian economy.

The donors’ conference was held on October 22. The USA (approximately EUR 750 mln), the EU (EUR 500 mln) and Japan (EUR 150 mln) promised to make the biggest contributions.

Georgian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Tkeshelashvili told journalists that the outcome of the conference demonstrated that “Georgia is a part of Europe.” “This is the answer of Europe to the events that took place in Georgia, to Russia’s aggression and occupation of the territory of Georgia. Europe has begun helping Georgia actively to show that Georgia is a part of Europe,” Tkeshelashvili noted after she arrived at Tbilisi Airport on Thursday morning.

According to Minister of Labour, Healthcare and Social Protection Alexander Kvitashvili, the allocated funds would be used for the improvement of the living conditions of IDPs, social projects and infrastructure restoration. Representatives of donor organizations and various countries would monitor this expenditure.

Journalists were told by the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration David Darchiashvili that the assets would be spent transparently. “Both civil society and the opposition can participate in the monitoring process,” he stressed. (Black Sea Press)

Georgia to quit CIS in August 2009

Georgia is to be expelled from CIS on August 18, 2009, Secretary of State of the CIS Nauriz Aidarov has stated, RIA Novosti reports.

A country can only formally leave the Commonwealth of Independent States one year after filing an application to do so. On August 18 the CIS Executive Committee received a note of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia confirming that it was quitting the CIS. Tbilisi made this decision in connection with the conflict in South Ossetia.

“As is stated in the note, Georgia correspondingly leaves the CIS”, Aidarov said at the 15th conference of Ministers of Education of the Commonwealth’s member states. He said that the CIS Executive Committee had begun carrying out the necessary procedure to formalize Georgia’s resignation, pursuant to Article 9 of the Charter of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“Pursuant to this article, a CIS member notifies in written form its intension to quit the Commonwealth 12 months before leaving it. Thus August 18, 2009 will be the date when Georgia formally leaves the CIS,” Aidarov noted.

The declaration establishing the CIS was signed in December 1991 by the leaders of 11 countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Georgia entered the CIS in December 1993, after an appeal by President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze. (Black Sea Press)

Norway to grant Euro 25.6 million to Georgia

Norway will donate 235 million kroner (approximately Euro 25.6 mln.) to Georgia to help rebuild the country following its armed conflict with Russia, Norway's Foreign Minister said on Wednesday, as RIA Novosti reports.

“One of the main purposes of this aid is for work with refugees. Norway also intends to assist in disabling explosive devices that were left unexploded after the armed conflict in August,” Jonas Gahr Store was quoted as saying in a Ministry press release.

During a meeting of international donors on Wednesday in Brussels to discuss aid for Georgia, the diplomat said that Norway would also help in reforming Georgia's judiciary and work to improve the country's energy sector, in particular hydro power. According to a joint assessment from the World Bank and the United Nations, Georgia will need around USD 3.4 billion in foreign donations over the next three years to support its economy, rebuild damaged infrastructure and help refugees who lost their homes during the conflict.

The European Commission had earlier pledged to donate up to Euro 500 million to the country until 2010, with the U.S. offering around USD 1 billion. The EU has also invited individual donor countries to contribute funds. (Black Sea Press)