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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 3
Mikheil Saakashvili – so-called Parliamentary election was held at military camp

Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President, has called the so-called Parliamentary election held in South Ossetia “the concentration camp election.”

Mikheil Saakashvili said the war in the Tskhinvali region was just an excuse for Russia to try and attack Tbilisi and Abkhazia. “The main target of Russia was Tbilisi, the second Abkhazia. They have never been interested in Tskhinvali, and I have heard this personally from the Russian leadership,” Mikheil Saakashvili stated.

“Today the Tskhinvali region is one big military camp and to hold elections in a concentration camp is very cynical and grotesque. To my mind we should not even pay much attention to them,” Saakashvili noted. (Interpressnews)

Georgian PM attends international energy exhibition in Baku

The International Energy Conference “International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition, Incorporating Refining and Petrochemicals” has opened in Baku. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev and Prime Minister of Georgia Nika Gilauri delivered speeches at the conference.

Aliev stressed the importance of energy projects. “Azerbaijan has confirmed that it is a reliable partner. We are establishing trilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, which will promote the supply of energy resources for Europe. This will create energy security, and energy security requires international support and investment,” Aliev declared.

The NABUCCO gas pipeline project will play a major role in European energy security, Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said. “Azerbaijan is becoming a more important country in the region in terms of ensuring energy security,” Gilauri said.

The international exhibition is supported by the Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Ministry and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). It also involves a number of partner companies, specifically the ITE Group PLC, Iteca Caspian LLC (Azerbaijan), ITE LLC Moscow (Russia), EUF (Turkey), GIMA (Germany), ITE China (China) and ITE Gulf (United Arab Emirates), which attract international companies to the exhibition.

The NABUCCO project, worth ˆ7.9 billion, will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. Construction of the pipeline is expected to commence in 2010. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic metres per year. (Interpressnews)

Robbery suspect detained

The Press Centre of the MIA reports that “Officers of the Vake-Saburtalo district police division of the MIA have detained resident of the Tskaltubo district Davit Pantskhava, born 1973, who has attacked and robbed women in the cemetery situated on University Street, Tbilisi.

“Davit Pantskhava is suspected of committing three armed robberies, one theft and three more instances of stealing. The detainee has already pleaded guilty. This investigation was launched under articles 179, 178 and 177 of the Criminal Code of Georgia and is being conducted by employees of the Vake-Saburtalo police division.” (Interpressnews)

Radiolocation centre starts working again

The radiolocation Radar system on the Makhata hill in Tbilisi has resumed operating. This radar system was bombed by Russian aircraft during the August 2008 war and a new one was therefore constructed on the same site. It is equipped with all necessary communication tools.

The centre delivers data to the flight control centre. Security at the radiolocation centre meets international standards. (Rustavi 2)

Benetton Turkey reverses its decision

Benetton Turkey has backed away from its decision to open a store in Abkhazia due to political pressure from Georgia, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The fashion company’s controversial plan to open a shop in a war-ravaged corner of the former Soviet Union has drawn it into a bitter political dispute,” the newspaper wrote in its weekend issue. “Benetton Group has revoked its decision to open the shop in the disputed Black Sea region of Abkhazia after senior Georgian politicians expressed anger and Benetton retailers in Georgia closed their stores in protest. This is the first time an international brand has been targeted over its links to Abkhazia.”

The plan to open a shop in Sokhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, met with protest from seven Benetton shops in Georgia, which closed their doors, the Journal wrote. Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze had described Benetton Turkey’s proposed move as “outrageous,” the newspaper reported. (Rustavi 2)