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Compiled by Lera Khubunaia
Tuesday, March 20
Like Imedi, Rustavi 2 turns off Global TV

Starting March 27, Rustavi 2 will cease its partnership with satellite provider Global TV, reports Rezonansi.

The decision was made by network executives, thanks to Rustavi 2's upcoming contract with Caucasus TV. Global TV believes that Rustavi 2, which is the second channel to end its partnership with the satellite provider this month, after Imedi, intends to purposely decrease the company's audience.

"The only thing that is concerning about this case is the fact that these channels [Imedi and Rustavi 2] acted disrespectfully toward their viewers and us. If any of our clients have a desire to watch these channels, they will watch them anyway," said Zurab Bazlidze, head of development and marketing for Global TV, in an interview with Mteli Kvira.

Imedi took their channel off Global TV's network on March 14. It was removed from the satellite's offerings as soon as the request was made, according to Bazlidze.

"This TV channel gave us only an hour to make the decision. We could not even get the proper information," he said.

Imedi has commercial interests that ruled the decision. Its partner organization is planning to launch a new satellite company, so Global TV would be considered a competitor, according George Arveladze, 45% owner of Imedi.

Mteli Kvira was unable to reach either George Laperashvili, a chief producer at Rustavi 2, or Nino Shubladze, head of the news broadcasting service.

The newspaper also attempted to discover if Georgian Public Broadcasting also intends to leave Global TV. But both Giorgi Chanturia, a director at the network, and Khatuna Berdzenishvili, head of news broadcasting services, declined to comment.

Civil war impossible, but unrest likely

In an interview with Mteli Kvira, political scientist Ramaz Sayvarelidze asserted that Free Democrat leader Irakli Alasani's comments about possible civil unrest had some truth to them. “Alasania's context was the following – a civil war maybe followed by punitive operations, and this is why they are preparing new armies in Samegrelo. I think that if a protest wave will be big, punitive operations may be enacted. On May 26, 2011 there was a penalizing operation enacted on some group of people; they [soldiers] were ready and mobilized until then. The same situation is with the groups in Samegrelo," he said.

"[Government MP] Nugzar Tsiklauri stated that war is possible only when both sides have enough guns," he continued. "Civil war is impossible if one side is not armed.

As for civil unrest, there is a possibility of this kind of unrest, as the public has some suspicions that the elections will be rigged, and so they will come out in rallies. The word 'civil' does not have to mean war; how will the other side shoot? That's why there will be no war. By pure mathematical calculations, this will be impossible. But unrest will occur, as it has in the past years. The authorities are definitely encouraging people for civil unrest".