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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 25
Agreement on protection of investments signed between Georgia and Estonia

An agreement on the protection of investments was signed between Georgia and Estonia yesterday. Minister of Economic Development of Georgia Zurab Pololikashvili and Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Estonia Juhan Parts signed the document at the State Chancellery.

A briefing was held after the meeting. Zurab Pololikashvili stated that Estonia always had and would support Georgia concerning its integration with the EU and on other issues, adding that Estonian investments in Georgia are increasing each year. $32 mln in investments have already been made, and the agreement achieved yesterday will enables this figure to increase further.

The Estonian Minister said that Georgia and Estonia are friends and the agreement signed yesterday will further deepen relations between the two countries.

The Estonian side is mainly interested in Georgia's information technology, the Estonian Minister said, adding that the Estonian side would share its experience in this sphere with Georgia. Other issues, including agriculture, tourism and the development of the industrial zone in the town of Rustavi, were also discussed at yesterday's meeting.

The Estonian delegation arrived in Georgia yesterday. Parts was also due to meet the Minister of Energy and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Regional Management of Georgia. (Interpressnews)

Georgian Lottery Company says it is not in dispute with anyone

Georgian Lottery Company LLC (GLC), concerned over recent news stories regarding the draws being made by MagtiCom Ltd, has made a special statement.

"Georgian Lottery Company LLC would like to assure all interested parties and persons that the company does not have any quarrels with any company in Georgia, including MagtiCom Ltd.

We would like to declare that we have asked the Ministry of Finance of Georgia to give us an explanation regarding the draw organised by MagtiCom Ltd to clarify whether it corresponds to the promotional terms and conditions. The Ministry of Finance of Georgia is obliged to provide us with a right and correct decision, under the relevant legislation, since Georgian Lottery Company LLC is the owner of the exclusive rights for conducting and organising a national lottery throughout Georgia, granted by the Ministry of Finance of Georgia on the basis of a contract concluded on July 1, 2009.

"We would like to underline that if any company is violating our exclusive rights, all such matters will be handled by the Ministry of Finance of Georgia and the relevant competent state authorities. Georgian Lottery Company LLC does not have the power to suspend and/or withdraw rights from any other companies," the statement reads.

The company adds that Georgian Lottery Company LLC is the only company in Georgia that pays the 21.5% special lottery fee allocated from its revenue for organising and conducting the national lottery, which goes to the Culture, Sports, and Monuments Protection Ministry of Georgia. Consequently, Georgian Lottery Company LLC will protect its interests and exclusive rights, granted through an open international tendering process, by all legal means envisaged in the legislation of Georgia.

Georgian Lottery Company has the exclusive right to run the national lottery in Georgia for the next 10 years. It uses state-of-the-art game technology from Hong Kong. Starting from October 1, 2009 it has offered Instant Game lottery tickets throughout the country. (Interpressnews)

Irakli Kordzaia, Jaba Jishkariani and Dachi Tsaguria fined GEL 500

Leaders of the 7 November Movement Dachi Tsaguria, Jaba Jishkariani and Irakli Kordzaia have been fined GEL 500 by a court.

Tsaguria's lawyer, Gela Nikolaishvili, has told Interpressnews that the trials of the defendants had been held separately. "None of our requests to interrogate witnesses and present video materials have been satisfied. The judges have satisfied the demand of the police and fined the detainees GEL 500," Gela Nikolaishvili said, adding that the detainees had been charged with violations of the law on meetings and manifestations.

Nikolaishvili said that Jishkariani, Kordzaia and Tsaguria had been detained while sitting on a ladder in front of the Parliament building with posters of Zurab Vazagashvili, Sandro Girgvliani and Buta Robakidze in their hands. (Interpressnews)

Rivals exchange allegations in breakaway Abkhazia

The Presidential race in occupied Abkhazia has reached a climax a few weeks before the poll. Candidate Raul Khajimba has recollected negotiations conducted by the current Foreign Minister of the puppet regime, Sergey Shamba, with the then envoy of Georgia to the UN, Irakli Alasania.

The Georgian authorities negotiated with the separatists regarding preparing the residents of the Kodori Valley for a police operation in the remote region in May 2008. Khajimba told local news programmes that the decision to negotiate with Tbilisi was a serious mistake and could affect the interests of Abkhazia.

Shamba has responded by denying these allegations and saying that the negotiations were about preparing for a military operation in the Kodori Valley. (Rustavi 2)

Vessel fined for polluting the sea

The Inspectorate of the Black Sea Protection Authority has arrested a vessel sailing under the Cambodian flag, the Tek Mehmet, and fined it 67,000 GEL for polluting the sea.

The vessel allegedly poured polluted water in the sea. All ten members of the crew are citizens of Turkey.

The vessel will be released from Poti after the crew pays the fine. (Rustavi 2)

Seventh case of H1N1 registered in Batumi

The seventh case of H1N1 flu has been registered in Batumi. Three of the seven victims are school pupils. One had returned from Turkey.

The virus has been confirmed by laboratory analysis. All of the students are undergoing treatment at home. Doctors say they have a light form of the flu. (Rustavi 2)