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Compiled by Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, August 7
Shamba refuses to cooperate with Georgian historians

Rezonansi reports that Sergey Shamba, the de facto Abkhazian Foreign Minister, does not exclude the possibility that the tomb recently discovered at Bagrati Cathedral is of one of the Abkhazian queens, but Abkhaz historians will not participate in archaeological work there.

Shamba said that as in the 8th and 9th centuries Kutaisi was the capital of the Abkhaz kingdom it is very possible that the tomb belongs to an Abkhaz noble. As a historian himself, Shamba said that this supposition is probable because the residence of the Leonid dynasty was in Kutaisi. However he rejects the idea of any Abkhaz participation in the investigation of the tomb even if Georgian historians ask for help.

“I would not agree to this suggestion as l am already remote from academic work, although I still give lectures at the University. As for other Abkhaz historians I don’t think they would show a great desire to collaborate with Georgian historians in the present situation,” declared Shamba. He added that he would be interested in reading Georgian findings about this discovery.

Catastrophically small wheat crop in Georgia

Rezonansi reports a statement by Arkadi Mikerishvili, Chairman of the Wheat Producers’ Association, that due to drought and other climate conditions the wheat harvest in Georgia is catastrophically small this year. Mikerishvili noted that farmers are in very bad economic conditions, which is why the Ministry of Agriculture has established an assistance programme.

Mikerishvili added that the bad harvest will not cause an increase in bread prices as the Georgian market relies on imported flour.The Ministry of Agriculture explains that concrete details of the assistance programme for farmers will be established after counting the losses they have suffered.

The border was closed anyway

Sakartvelos Respublika writes that Soso Tsintsadze, a political analyst, considers the closing of the administrative border with de facto South Ossetia to be nothing more than a grotesque gesture. “Kokoity ordering the closure of the administrative border is really a grotesque gesture as the border was closed long ago,” he says. Kokoity’s dream is to start a new war and he is merely trying to irritate the Georgian side, says the analyst.

The leader of breakaway region officially ordered the closing of the border to combat the spread of the H1NI virus and frequent provocations from the Georgian side. Shota Malashkhia, Chairman of the Temporary Commission on Territorial Integration, says that this step was forced on South Ossetia by its internal problems. “There is a tension in the region, because ‘independence’ has made things worse for them. The breakaway regime is trying to control its people and isolate them, but there is no place for these kind of regimes in the 21st century,” says Malashkhia.