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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Tuesday, December 14
Kitsmarishvili explains what he was doing in Paris

In an interview with Mteli Kvira, Maestro TV Director Erosi Kitsmarishvili has stated: “In Paris I talked to Kibar Khalvashi’s friend Irakli Okruashvili about two things. The first was Rustavi 2, where I expressed some ideas about how to return the channel to us, and the second was Kibar Khalvashi’s financial resources and how we can use them to help Maestro.

“Now we are working on technical issues. We must attract investors to concrete projects. Maestro has a low technical base. We are having negotiations with media groups in Georgia about using their technical facilities. My visits to London, Paris and Vienna were also connected with negotiations with potential partners. So far nothing has been agreed however.

"I had the negotiations with Irakli Okruashvili over whether Khalvashi is or is not ready to help us. Both in London and Paris I held talks with politicians who have had connections with Georgia and discussions about forming a board with an international membership, and some people have consented to join this board," stated Kitsmarishvili.

“I did not receive any finance from the political figures I spoke to. If financing is transparent any political entity has the right to finance whatever it likes. If my opponents have some discomfort about this, and if I have abrogated the law, there is a court they can go to. I am also very much interested in the financing of other TV stations, especially those which have not had licences for several years. No one knows who finances Alania or Real TV and some of the financing of Rustavi 2 and Imedi is also obscure," continued Kitsmarishvili.

“I have asked Gachechiladze to close his programme down because reorganisation is going on. You will see what this consists of when you switch on the TV. I do no think that either Gachechiladze or I have had any discomfort about this," added Kitsmarishvili.

Zurab Abashidze – Political relations cannot be restored but we should be pragmatic about everyday issues

"We can look at Medvedev’s proposals from different points of view but I shall focus on one particular aspect – Medvedev seems to have a real aspiration to achieve modernisation," Doctor of Political Science and former Georgian Ambassador to NATO and Russia Zurab Abashidze has stated in an interview with Kviris Palitra.

"There is great dissatisfaction in Russian society about the last 10 years being 'lost' years. It has failed to use its colossal income from gas and oil effectively, despite charging the highest prices in the world for these resources. The money they have generated has disappeared. The current Russian crisis has internal roots such as these and is not expected to be resolved in the near future," Abashidze states.

"The Russian means of production are outdated. Unless there are serious changes in foreign policy Russia’s modernisation is impossible. Medvedev and his circle should realise this. Sometimes Medvedev and Putin speak different languages, but Medvedev seems not to have enough strength to fulfil his ideas and desires.

"Georgia is a mere fragment of a much bigger problem in Russia. As for Medvedev’s statement and the Georgian President’s response, I think it was right to start talks about the possible reopening of the Larsi checkpoint. However if Russia does not take relevant steps in the international arena, political relations will not be restored," Abashidze continues.

"We should take a pragmatic attitude on everyday issues. There are no direct flights now but our citizens enter Russia via Yerevan, Kiev and Minsk. Larsi has more a political aspect – transit to and from Armenia to Russia via Georgia will be undertaken through there. Air, road and trade relations that will consolidate Georgia should be formed.

"There is an even worse situation between China and Taiwan than between Georgia and Russia. Taiwan was ruled by the former Chinese Government exiled by the Communists. Later people saw the necessity of restoring air flights and trade relations. In our case the principal issues we must resolve are our territorial integrity and independence," Zurab Abashidze concludes.