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The News in Brief

Friday, June 12
Grigol Vashadze to meet Clinton in June

Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze will meet the US Secretary of State at the end of June, he has told journalists.

“At the end of the month a meeting will be held with the Secretary of State. The main subjects of this will be security matters and the Co-operation Charter signed by Georgia and the USA. The meeting will provide confirmation of whether the new US administration supports Georgia, or its attitude has changed. The answer to that is that the US attitude has not changed” Grigol Vashadze said. (Interpressnews)

Police arrest group of suspects

As the result of an operative search conducted by the officers of Counter Terrorist Department of the Georgian Interior Ministry five people, Ioseb Tadiashvili, Paata Svanidze, Zaza Suladze, Lasha Didebashvili and Ivane Kvelashvili, have been detained for forming an organised criminal gang and the illegal purchase and possession of firearms and other ammunition. During the search the following items were found: three Kalashnikov machine guns, one mortar shell, nine hand grenades and other ammunition.

An investigation is in progress under article 223 part I and 236 parts I and II of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The case is being investigated by employees of the Counter Terrorist Department of the Interior Ministry. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian crime boss arrested in Moscow

Georgian-born crime boss Tariel Oniani has been arrested by Russian militia in Moscow, Russian news agencies have reported. Reportedly, his bodyguards have been also arrested.

Oniani is suspected of organising the kidnap of a Georgian businessman who was held for two days while a 250,000 dollar ransom was demanded from his family. The hostage was released but the abductors have continued to intimidate the family.

Tariel Oniani has lived in Europe since the 1990s. The Spanish police conducted a large-scale special operation against him in 2005 but he managed to escape. He returned to Russia in 2006 and took Russian citizenship. He has been wanted by Interpol for many years. (Rustavi 2)

Ramaz Sakvarelidze – offering positions will not solve the crisis

Political scientist Ramaz Sakvarelidze considers that the President offering Government positions to opposition members won’t solve the crisis in the country.

“The people taking part in the protest actions aren’t fighting for opposition members to be given Government posts. They are demanding a change of the current Government and systemic changes in the governmental structure,” Sakvarelidze says.

Sakvarelidze states that opposition leaders have recognized that the Government’s proposal is a trap. “If the opposition accepts the proposal it will lose support and the protestors will be left without leaders. This is bad for the Government itself, as if protest actions increase, the chance of chaos gripping the country will grow and what happened in Kyrgyzstan may be repeated here,” he maintains. (Interpressnews)

Ukraine’s President dismisses Ambassador to Georgia

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has dismissed the Ambassador of Ukraine to Georgia, Nikolay Spis. The President’s official website reports that Vasil Tsibenko has been appointed into replace him and Mr. Yushchenko has already signed the relevant decree.

Nikolay Spis has been leading Ukraine’s diplomatic mission to Georgia since 2003. Vasil Tsibenko was the Ambassador of Ukraine to Kazakhstan from 2001-2005. (Rustavi 2)

Opposition leader sends recommendations to President

The leader of the Party of the Future, Gia Maisashvili, has recommended to the President that he form a government of National Consent.

Maisashvili has outlined his ideas and recommendations in a 36-page document he has sent to the President. He believes that members of the current Government, the opposition and non-governmental organisations should be members of this transitional Government. (Rustavi 2)