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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 2
Gas pipe explosion reported in Ingushetia

A break in the Stavropol-Tbilisi gas pipeline has been reported in the village of Upper Achaluk in the Ingush Republic. Local sources say the burst was a diversion, but Russian news agencies report damage to the pipe, citing information from the regional centre of the Russian Emergencies Ministry. No one was injured in the break and there is no danger of pollution, local experts assert.

The damaged sector of the pipe is one kilometre from Upper Achaluk. The Emergencies Ministry will repair the damaged part of the pipe, but before they begin the gas left in the pipe must burn away completely. (Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili opens new concrete factory in Poti

The Georgian President opened a new concrete factory in the city of Poti today. The plant will refine concrete to begin with but later produce concrete tiles and other construction materials.

Saakashvili said at the opening ceremony that the city would soon need about 30 factories of this kind, because the construction of the free industrial zone in Poti and a new airport are proceeding. The President saw the first production roll out of the factory and talked with staff about their working conditions and salaries.

Saakashvili said that Poti would soon have no more employment problems. “We shall no longer have problems of employment here soon because we’ll see a construction boom here,” Saakashvili said. (Rustavi 2)

Foreign Ministry makes announcement on 70th anniversary of World War II breaking out

The Georgian Foreign Ministry has announced that Georgian people made a tremendous contribution to the fight against fascism. Of 700,000 Georgians who fought in World War II, 350,000 gave their lives heroically on the battlefield.

“The flag under which Georgian soldiers fought was not, however, one they had chosen of their own free will. In 1921 Bolshevik Russia occupied democratic Georgia in violation of all international norms, including a peace treaty signed with Georgia. Despite this, the Georgian people pride themselves on having contributed to the efforts to eradicate fascism and take their well-deserved place alongside the member states of the anti-Hitler coalition,” the announcement reads.

The Ministry also states that the lesson to be derived from those tragic events is that appeasing an aggressor by fulfilling its wishes at the expense of a small country can only fuel its appetite for further aggression, especially if this appeasement involves turning a blind eye to flagrant violations of universally recognised norms and principles.

“The actions currently being taken by the Russian Government against Georgia are in no way different from the fatal steps aggressor countries have taken throughout the course of history. The international community should no longer tolerate any attempts to divide the world into spheres of influence along ‘Molotov-Ribbentrop lines,” the announcement says.

On 1 September 1939 Fascist Germany made an incursion into Poland and occupied its territory after a month of devastating conflict. This aggression led to the outbreak of the Second World War. (Interpressnews)

Temur Gutsmazti sentenced to 16 years for “spying for Georgia”

The Tskhinvali puppet regime has sentenced one of its ‘citizens’, Temur Gutsmazti, to 16 years of imprisonment for “spying for Georgia,” as reported by the regime’s Information and Printed Word Committee.

The so-called South Ossetian Supreme Court found that Gutsmazti, who works for the South Ossetian ‘State Security Service’ had been won over by Georgian counter spy Aleksandre Medzmarishvili and had entered into long-term cooperation with him. Gutsmazti allegedly gave Medzmarishvili defence information. The ‘spy’ was also fined 100 thousand Roubles.

Tutsmazti had been detained by Tskhinvali’s so-called State Security Committee on 19 September, 2008. (Interpressnews)

Gas tariff to be decreased

Minister of Energy Aleksandre Khetaguri stated at a press conference yesterday that an addition to the gas agreement has been made after quite intense negotiations between the Georgian Government and SOCAR. It will enable the Georgian Government to decrease the tariff for those who subscribed to the gas distribution network since 1 August 2008.

“These subscribers used to pay about 75 tetri, but after the addition to the agreement they will pay the same previous subscribers paid,” Khetaguri said. The tariff will be decreased by 25 tetri in Tbilisi and 20-25 tetri in the regions. Khetaguri states this will be a significant benefit to the Georgian population, especially before winter.

Under the memorandum between the Georgian Government and SOCAR, Georgian gas distribution companies buy 1,000 cubic metres of gas at USD 167, and charge a tariff for supplying it which is reviewed every 5 years. (Interpressnews)

Police arrest money counterfeiter

Detectives from the Tbilisi Main Police Division have detained Oleg Ramishvili (born 1963) on suspicion of money counterfeiting.

During a search of the suspect’s apartment various false banknotes and the equipment for producing them were discovered. The detainee has already pled guilty. An investigation is now being conducted by the police under article 212 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Opposition party disapproves of work of City Park Company

The Movement for Fair Georgia is objecting to the work of the City Park Company, which has imposed new parking rules and tariffs of parking in Tbilisi.

Petre Mamradze of the party held a briefing yesterday at which he said the parking system imposed by the City Park was unfair. “Residents of Tbilisi and those who arrive from the regions, have to pay a lot of money each day for parking. It is questionable whether City Hall was authorised to allow the aforementioned company run this business without following specific procedures,” Mamradze said.

The Movement for Fair Georgia member added that the company had not invested money in installing the required infrastructure, including parking meters and pay boxes, and nor had it established alternative parking areas. (Rustavi 2)