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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 22
Church unites peoples – Dmitri Medvedev

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Patriarch Kiril have met with heads of the various Orthodox churches, including Georgian Patriarch Ilia II. ‘Despite the fact that there might be global, economic and ideological complications between the countries, the church is the only institute for strengthening relations between peoples’, the Russian president said at the meeting with church leaders. According to him, similar meetings are a good possibility to exchange opinions and information. ‘The unity of the Orthodox church is one of the main components for international development’, Medvedev said.

The Georgian patriarch arrived in Moscow on 18 November to attend the birthday of the Russian Patriarch Kiril. Ilia II will deliver a sermon at the Moscow Saint Giorgi Church.

Eurasian Union will be poor without Georgia - Nikita Mikhalkov

The Eurasian Union will be poor without Georgia, well-known Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov told reporters at a meeting in Astana. "Imagine the Eurasian Union without Georgia. We will not be able to do anything without each other. We need each other, and this is true not only from a political point of view. Personally, I long for Georgian humour" said the film director. The idea of setting up the Eurasian Union belongs to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He published an article entitled "A new integration project for Eurasia - the future that is being born today’ in Izvestia newspaper. The Russian PM’s project has already been described in the West as an attempt to restore the Soviet Union. The Sixth Forum of European and Asian media is under way in Astana. Representatives of media from Georgia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic countries are participating in the forum.

President viewed reconstructed Aghmashenebeli Avenue

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili viewed the reconstructed and rehabilitated Aghmashenebeli Avenue late Monday night. Vice Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Ninidze guided the president in the streets of one of the oldest districts of the capital, where final works are underway 24 hours a day. This is the first large-scale project of rehabilitation of Tbilisi`s district. The works began last year and as was planned, it will finish on November 23, 2011, on the eighth anniversary of the Rose Revolution. The president said he had never seen a project on such a scale even in Europe.

After the president, Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili walked on the avenue. The Minister watched the reconstruction works and talked to the workers.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian President: the operation to force Georgia to the peace was necessary

Dmitri Medvedev believes that the military operation to force Georgia to peace in 2008 was absolutely necessary, GHN reports.

"Time flies, it is already almost three years, but the main thing is that our approach to and estimations of the events have not changed," the head of the Russian state said on Monday at his meeting with the military forces in the headquarters of the 58th army.

The Russian action according to the president was directed at the salvation of a large quantity of people to reduce danger to life in the Georgian territories at that moment. This aim was achieved in full.

The Russian Armed Forces started an occupation of Georgian territory calling the action an operation to force Georgia to peace, and in August 25 they recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Manana Nachkebia: 2012 state budget does not prioritize education and science

"The 10-point plan of the Georgian government and 2012 state budget explicitly shows that the government does not prioritize science and education," Manana Nachkebia, one of the leaders of the political movement New Rights said.

"Taking into consideration that in Georgia 2.5% of GDP is for education and 0.22% for science, these figures show that this is the smallest financing in the whole post-Soviet area. At the same time the strategic development plan for 2011-2015 and the 2012 state budget stipulated radical steps in these directions. But on the contrary, the government's main document contains only general phrases, and about reforms already completed. No expenses are envisaged for education and science in the state budget. The 10-point document even does not mention the development of science," Nachkebia said.

Meeting with insurance companies

The head of the Health Insurance Medication Service, Guram Kereselidze met with the representatives of insurance companies to discuss the activities of the service carried out in the past six weeks. The sides also discussed future projects and plans.

`It is important for us that the insurance sector and clinics work effectively. This will be reflected in the quality of the service, which is our priority. In addition, the number of calls on our hotlines has increased recently, which means that the beneficiaries of state insurance need our assistance. Everybody should know that the rights of every vulnerable citizen will be protected by our organization,` Kereselidze said.
(Rustavi 2)