The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, May 30
John McCain gives interview to Rustavi 2 TV channel

Russia violates international law, therefore international society should convince Moscow to fulfill its commitments to a cease-fire, U.S. Senator John McCain said in his exclusive interview with Rustavi 2 TV channel.

The influential senator talked about the necessity of selling defensive arms to Georgia, the country`s possible integration into NATO and the situation in Russia.

"I think it`s an international outrage. I`m very disappointed in many of our European friends, because clearly, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognized borders of the sovereign national of Georgia. And I will hope that President Sarkozy, who negotiated the cease-fire would become active in making true the ceasefire", McCain said.

"Every sovereign nation has that right. I intend to push very hard on the defense authorization bill to authorize the sale of defensive weapons to Georgia so that they can defend themselves. Russians continue to consolidate their position in Eastern countries, to issue Russian passports to some other citizens, violating the norms of international behavior", he added.

"As you know, NATO is 28 nations and there are varying views among those countries. I think the best way to ensure Georgia`s security in long term is to provide them with defensive weapon and include them into NATO. So far this administration has not pursued this goal with any kind of significant effort.”

"I think that Russia is not adhering to the standards that would make them eligible at this time for membership into WTO. There is a breakdown in rule of law in Russia... I think the Russians have to make significant improvements in adherence to the standards", he said.
(Rustavi 2)

Tenth edition of Atlantic Dinners held in Tbilisi

The tenth edition of the Atlantic Dinners was held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 28, 2011 as part of European Week.

The participants addressed the themes “Democracy, Progress and Innovation” at the dinner in president`s residence.

Along with Mikheil Saakashvili, foreign rapporteurs also delivered their speeches at the meeting.

High raking foreign politicians and representatives of diplomatic corps took part in the event.

Deputy Interior Minister of Georgia Mrs. Ekaterine Zguladze presented her report on reform of Georgian police to the guests assembled at the meeting.

Mikheil Saakashvili in his speech talked about democratic reforms, as well as reforms implemented in the country.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia joins Viking international freight transportation project

Georgia will soon officially become the member of the Viking international freight transportation project. The relevant agreement was reached by Georgia`s Economy and Lithuania`s Transport and Communications Ministers in Berlin.

The project foresees freight transportation development on the Baltic Region-the Black Sea route. It was launched in May 2008. The route covers a distance of 1,753 km.

As expected, Georgia`s involvement in the project would significantly increase freight transportation in Georgia`s ports as well as on railway lines.

Georgia`s Economy Minister Vera Kobalia met with her Lithuanian counterpart within the international transportation forum in Berlin. Development of transportation systems in Europe and Asia and Georgia`s better involvement in the process was discussed at the meeting.
(Rustavi 2)

Free Democrats call for setting up a parliamentary commission to study the 26 May developments

The Free Democrats have called for the setting up of a parliamentary commission to study the May 26 developments, Irakli Alasania, leader of the Free Democrats opposition party, said at a press conference yesterday.

According to him, it is the only way to find the truth. He said ‘the decision on the inhuman crackdown of the rally on 26 May was adopted by the president, while it was fulfilled by Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili’.

‘Society should obey the law. However, it should not tolerate the violence that we saw on Rustaveli Avenue on 26 May. A lot of people are still missing. Corpses are still being found’, Alasania said.

According to him, the parliamentary commission should include expert-criminalists and law-defenders.

Irakli Batiashvili Was Hiding in Rustaveli Cinema Ceiling for 15 Hours

One of the leaders of People’s Assembly Irakli Batiashvili states that he was hiding in cinema Rustaveli's roof for 15 hours and then in the house of relative of one protester .

As Batiashvili stated on the press conference, after the riot police started to clear the protest, he along with some protesters and brother-in-law Tamaz Panchulidze, headed to cinema Rustaveli. He said that riot police were following him and wanted to arrest and kill him.

“I was poisoned and had head injuries, as policeman hit me. I was in a critical condition. I had 40°C fever, as I was wet and had to be inside the ceiling of cinema Rustaveli for 15 hours. I moved from the ceiling to the next one. One of the protesters offered to take me to his relative’s house in Temka. I could not contact my family as I knew that my arrest was planned and I didn’t want to use a phone. On May 27, my wife was informed by one well-wisher that I was alive, though she didn’t believe it”, Irakli Batiashvili said adding that he was able to get home just a day before.