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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 11
MFA imposes responsibility for recent events in Perevi on Russia

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has published a special announcement.

“An illegal militia gang of about 50 men and 2 armoured vehicles under the control of the Tskhinvali proxy regime entered the village of Perevi on 7 June 2009. 15 members of the gang and the 2 armoured vehicles are still present in Perevi together with Russian occupiers. Several cases of robbery and burglary, including cattle theft, have been reported from the village of over the last two days.

“The situation also remains tense in the Gali district, populated largely by ethnic Georgians. On 8 June the Kharchilavas family was attacked by Russian occupiers and representatives of the Sokhumi proxy regime. Two women and two children were kidnapped and are now being threatened with death unless the children’s father presents himself at a police station in Ochamchire. This clearly indicates the grave situation of the population still living on the occupied territories.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reiterates that effective control of Georgia's occupied areas, including the village of Perevi in Sachkhere district, which was never part of the conflict zone, is being exercised by the Russian Federation, which should be held fully responsible for the lawlessness which has become rife on the ground. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the international community to employ all instruments at its disposal in order to make Russia comply with the norms and principles of international law and its international commitments, including the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, and urges international organisations on the ground to take appropriate action concerning the aforesaid facts.” (Interpressnews)

Foreign Minister receives letter from David Miliband

The Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs has received a letter from British Foreign Secretary David Miliband which outlines the concerns of the British Government about the extension of the OSCE mission in Georgia.

The letter says that Great Britain condemns Russia’s resistance to extending the OSCE mission’s mandate in Georgia and welcomes the presence of all international organisations, UN, OSCE and the European Union in the country, which should facilitate the reduction of violence and the imposition of peace in the region.

In the same letter, the British Foreign Secretary reiterates the British Government’s support of Georgia’s territorial integrity. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian Finance Minister continues meeting business representatives

Kakha Baindurashvili continues holding meetings with companies working in Georgia. The Finance Minister has presented a draft of proposed budget changes and legislative initiatives and an analysis of the current economic situation to representatives of the International Chamber of Commerce and the French Business Council.

Kakha Baindurashvili talked about the Taxation and Customs Codes and export regulations in detail. The Minister also accepted comments and proposals from representatives of the business sector.

“We are at the stage now, when the crisis may be solved very soon. At this stage, it is very important to have contact with business representatives, in order to give them full information that will allow them to use this period properly and turn the crisis into a success,” the Finance Minister said. (Rustavi 2)

Trade Unions of Abkhazia rally at UN Tbilisi office

The Trade Unions of Abkhazia object to the UN Secretary General’s latest report on Georgia, in which Abkhazia is no longer mentioned as a part of Georgia. Members of the organization have rallied outside the UN’s Tbilisi office. They see the last report of Ban Ki-moon as an attempt to modify the legal status of Georgia’s breakaway regions via diplomatic manipulation.

The Trade Unions of Abkhazia prepared a special note of protest and presented it to the UN Tbilisi office staff. (Rustavi 2)

Is the danger of new war real?

The former representative of the European Union to Georgia, Denis Corboy, says that fear of new Russian military intervention is not groundless. He asserts that the Caucasus 2009 military trainings conducted at the northern border of Georgia are either an attempt to put pressure on Georgia or preparation for a new war. Diplomats are warning the international community about the danger of a new war between Georgia and Russia.

“It is not a good sign when Russia sends its T-90 tanks and helicopters to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This is either an attempt to pressurise or preparation for a new war. In this situation it’s very important that political forces unite,” Denis Corboy said. (Rustavi 2)