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The News in Brief

Friday, October 31
President of Georgia to visit Sweden during European tour

As part of his European tour President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has left for Sweden on an official visit, where he will meet with King of Sweden Karl XVI Gustav and Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt, Black Sea Press was informed by the Administration of the President of Georgia.

Meetings at the Parliament of Sweden and the Institute of International Relations and a visit to the “Ericsson” company are planned. Members of the Government of Georgia will also hold meetings with their Swedish counterparts and it is planned to sign some economic agreements.

During the tour Saakashvili will be accompanied by Minister of Economy Eka Sharashidze, Minister of Energy Alexander Khetaguri, State Minister for reintegration issues Temur Yakobashvili and Members of Parliament Lasha Zhvania and Gia Arsenishvili. (Black Sea Press)

Russia continues to annexe Georgian regions – Giga Bokeria

According to the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Giorgi Bokeria, by ratifying the Friendship and Cooperation Treaties with Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia continues to annexe parts of Georgia.

“This is a continuation of the annexation of the two Georgian regions (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) by Russia. This is an infringement of fundamental principles of international law, a violation of the ceasefire agreement,” Bokeria told journalists late on Wednesday.

At the same time, Bokeria believes that Russia will have to pull back regardless of the decision it has made. “This will not influence Georgia’s goal. Russia will have to pull back step-by-step,” he emphasized.

The Russian State Duma unanimously ratified the aforesaid documents on Wednesday. Following the military conflict in August this year, Russia unilaterally recognized Georgia’s breakaway republics on August 26. Georgia considered Moscow’s move as a violation of the principles of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and broke off diplomatic relations with Russia.

On September 9, 2008, Russia established diplomatic relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while on September 17, the treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were concluded. Under the treaties, Russia has pledged to help the two republics to protect their borders, and their signatories have granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories. The treaties also formalized economic cooperation between Russia and the Republics, and allowed dual citizenship for Russian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian residents. Russia agreed to unify its transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure with those of the two Republics.

Following the ratification of the aforesaid document, it should be ratified by the Federation Council and finally signed by the Russian President. (Black Sea Press)

“November 7 Movement” protests in front of Interior Ministry building

Representatives of the “November 7 Movement” have held a protest action to demand the freedom of the mass media in front of the Interior Ministry.

Protesters fastened a padlock onto the gate of the main entrance to the Interior Ministry. As a result officials could not enter or leave the building. “The Ministry does nothing, criminals are working there and it doesn’t function,” protesters stated.

The Movement explained that its goal is to free the Imedi TV company from Government pressure and return it to its rightful owner. (Prime-News)

Teachers’ salaries to increase

Under the terms of Government programme “United Georgia Without Poverty,” the salaries of teachers will be increased in stages by GEL 50.

The salary will continue to increase over the next few years as part of a programme of improvements to studying processes and school infrastructure development. The Government has also promised that the state will encourage innovative studying processes and find new ways to encourage both the best teachers and pupils. (Prime-News)