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The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 3
Finnish diplomat Antii Turunen appointed Special Representative of UN Secretary General to Georgia

Finnish diplomat Antii Turunen has been appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Georgia, the official website of the Finnish Government says. Turuneni has replaced Belgian Johan Verbecke.

"This is a prestigious appointment for Finland. It is one of the highest positions taken by a Finn in the UN. Ambassador Turunen is an excellent diplomatí, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexandre Stoob said.

The office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General will be in Geneva. However Turunen will often visit Georgia.

Turunen was permanent representative of the OSCE to Finland in 2007; in 2008 he led the permanent council of the OSCE, when Finland was its chair country, and was involved in the Tskhinvali conflict regulation process. He has also worked as an advisor to Javier Solana, the highest representative of the EU. He has been working as a Finnish diplomat since 1985. (Interpressnews)

Viktor Yanukovich confuses North Ossetia with so-called South Ossetia

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has confused North Ossetia with so-called South Ossetia in an interview with Euronews, the Ukrainian media reports.

Asked whether Ukraine would recognise the independence of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia, Yanukovich answered: "I have said that I am against double standards, for example with regard to Serbia and specifically the recognition of the independence of Kosovo. It was clear from the beginning that the frozen conflicts would be aggravated, the latest example of this being the case of North Ossetia," Yanukovich said.

The President of Ukraine said that international rules must be same for everyone. He said that recognition of the breakaway regions' independence "is not on the agenda for now".

After the interview members of the group accompanying the President, asked journalists to edit the interview to conceal the Presidentís mistakes. (Interpressnews)

CEC begins visiting regions

The Central Election Commission has begun to visit the regions. According to its Press Service members of the Commission will first visit Kakheti region. Meetings will be held with members of the district election commissions and with the local population.

Today similar meetings will be held in Telavi, while on 4 March they will be held in Sighnaghi. (Interpressnews)

Two young men hurt in collapse of wall

Two young men have been seriously injured as a result of a wall on a construction site collapsing. 26-year-old Gocha Kuprashvili has a serious head injury while 27-year-old Giorgi Toklikishviliís condition is comparatively better. Doctors say his life is not in danger.

Reports say the Arab company Elkani is conducting construction work at the building. Kuprashvili and Toklikishvili are among the builders employed at the site. (Interpressnews)

Professor analyses Tagliavini report

The report by the Heidi Tagliavini Commission on the Georgia-Russia War 2008 confirms that Russia conducted an open aggression against Georgia, Levan Aleksidze, Professor of International Law, declared today. The Professor has studied the report in detail and gave an analytical report at an open session of the academic and advisory councils of Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University.

Professor Aleksidze stated that the facts presented in the report give Georgia evidence that the aggressor was Russia. He said that he was addressing his remarks to those members of the European Commission who sympathised with Russia in this conflict. (Rustavi 2)

CDM accuses majority leader of lying

The Christian Democrat Movement has accused the leader of the Parliamentary majority group of misleading society. MP Giorgi Akhvlediani of the CDM announced at a briefing yesterday that Petre Tsiskarishvili was lying during his speech following the President's report in Parliament when he said that the Government had covered its arrears to the Chiatura Manganese Company pensioners and those injured in factories.

"The leader of the majority group lied to the people. I call upon Tsiskarishvili and the President to explain to these people which arrears they have covered," Akhvlediani told the media. The creditors of Chiatura Manganese attended this briefing. (Rustavi 2)