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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 28
Swedish Government to contribute 50 million euros to Georgia

The Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reports that on 27 January 2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze received the Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden, Gunilla Karlsson.

At their subsequent meeting the sides focused on the prospects for the development of cooperation between the two countries. The Georgian side briefed the International Development Cooperation Minister on the situation in Georgia’s conflict regions.

Mrs. Karlsson emphasized the necessity of finding ways to strengthen relations between Georgia and Sweden and reaffirmed Sweden’s support for Georgia’s integration into Europe and visa regime simplification. The Swedish Government will continue to support Georgia and will contribute 50 million euros towards the implementation of reforms in the country.

Grigol Vashadze referred to Sweden as one of Georgia’s most steadfast allies, providing Georgia with substantial assistance in recovering from the consequences of the war with Russia. (Interpressnews)

Russian soldier surrenders to Georgian Police

The Press Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that on January 26th of the current year a soldier of the Russian regular army, Aleksandr Glukhov, abandoned his occupational military unit in Akhalgori due to the unbearable living conditions there and surrendered to the Georgian police, asking them for help.

Issues connected with the rehabilitation of the Russian soldier and his possibly remaining in Georgia are being discussed at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. (Interpressnews)

PM is in good health, returns to his office

Georgian Prime Minister Grigol Mgaloblishvili returns to work today. Mgaloblishvili is in good health and returned to Tbilisi late last night.

The Prime Minister went to Munich to undergo treatment after being hospitalized for a kidney inflammation in December 2008. He returned to Georgia after treatment. However after his health deteriorated again on Jan. 17, he was taken to the Republic Hospital in Tbilisi. German and Georgian doctors recommended that he continue his treatment in Germany. (Rustavi 2)

President opens TBC Bank branch in Batumi

The President of Georgia has opened the Batumi branch of TBC Bank. Mikheil Saakashvili was accompanied by Minister of Economic Development Lasha Zhvania.

The President thanked TBC Bank President Mamuka Khazaradze for the new branch and said that the opening of every new office in Georgia meant new jobs.

The President spoke about the influence of the world economic crisis on the Georgian economy, saying that it did not affect Georgia as seriously as other countries.

“We have managed to balance our budget and maintained the stability of our banking system, which has collapsed in many other countries. Even today, at our stock markets the request was for Georgian lari and not US dollars. We have succeeded in maintaining the stability of our currency,” the President said.

Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke about the growth of pensions and allowances. He said adding 10 or 30 lari to pensions was not serious growth, but the fact that pensions had not been frozen and the pensioners received their money in time was already a great success. He said pensioners would live in better conditions in future. (Rustavi 2)