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Compiled by Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, November 13
NATO Foreign Ministers meeting will be held on December 2-3

A very important meeting for Ukraine and Georgia, that of NATO member states’ Foreign Ministers, will be held on December 2-3, 2008, 24 Saati reports. According to Russian media, the members of the alliance have varied views on accepting these two countries into NATO. Their positions on giving a Membership Action Plan to these countries also vary.

The conflicts on Georgian territory and the unregulated relations with its neighbour country have been cited as the major deterrents for accepting Georgia as a NATO member. In Ukraine there is no united public opinion about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its internal political situation is unstable.

There is one more deterrent common to both Georgia and Ukraine. Some NATO member states, including Germany and the Benelux Countries, argue that Europe does not want to provoke Russia, which is aggressively hostile to NATO expansion.

6 Georgian hostages released by Ossetians

Yesterday evening 6 Georgians who had been captured by Ossetians were released after being illegally imprisoned for a week, 24 Saati writes.

Armed Ossetians had captured the 6 men from the village of Kirbaleti while they were cutting wood on the outskirts of the village. At first, the Ossetians gave an ultimatum to the families of the hostages, but there had been no communication from the Ossetians for the last few days.

Yesterday morning, the relatives and family members of the hostages blocked the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze highway and demanded that the Government do its best to release the hostages. The Ossetian side released all 6 men. No comments have yet been made about the hostages’ state of health or whether any physical pressure was put on them.

EU has not enough power to change Russia’s policy

According to Ramaz Sakvarelidze, resuming EU-Russian dialogue is a sign of political weakness which shows that the EU has not enough power to change Russia’s policy, Alia reports.

“The EU has been living under political illusions, supposing that Russia would act according to Europe’s directives. During the August events, the EU was backed by the USA, but right now the US position on this issue is unknown. I don’t exclude that directives about softening relations between the EU and Russia have come from the USA.

“The EU does not have enough power to change Russia’s policy. We have heard quite often, that Russia has met all the demands of Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement. Most frequently this has been said by the authors of this document themselves. I mean Sarkozy and Kouchner. If Russia has met its obligations, then why is the situation in Perevi and Akhalgori the same?” Sakvarelidze asked.

Anti Crisis Council might call acting General Prosecutor

The Anti Crisis Council might hear testimony from acting General Prosecutor Giorgi Latsabidze once more, Akhali Taoba reports. At the bureau session the leader of the Strong Georgia party and the head of the Anti Crisis Coucil Gia Tortladze raised the issue of imposing sanctions against the separatist leaders and asked the Parliament Speaker to ask the Justice Ministry to hasten this process.

Tortladze says that if the process of imposing sanctions is quickened, they (separatist leaders) would not be able to make political statements in Russia. Tortladze added that it will be possible to call Kokoity and Baghapsh “criminals” during meetings with foreigners after the sanctions are imposed.