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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 27
Special unit to ensure maritime border safety set up in Georgia

A special unit has been established in the Joint Staff of Georgian Armed Forces, which will provide for the security of borders together with the Coast Guard, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said at a meeting with students of Tbilisi State University on Monday, responding to a question whether establishment of a military naval fleet is planned.

The minister said that the establishment of naval forces leads to high costs and is impossible with the current budget.

"We are creating a special unit in the Joint Staff which will provide for the security of maritime boundaries together with the Coast Guard. A few days ago I was in Turkey, which offered assistance in ensuring safety at sea. I believe that in 4-5 years, after we fix the infrastructure, education and logistics problems in the military, we will begin to consider such expensive projects,” Alasania said. (AzerNews)

Delegation of Ministry of Defence visits Helmand province

A delegation of Georgia’s Ministry of Defence visited the province of Helmand, Afghanistan.

Under the directive of the Defence Minister, Deputy Chief of the JS of GAF Colonel Lasha Beridze, Chief of the Staff of Land Forces LTC Malkhaz Makarade, Army Sergeant Aluda Kopaliani and Assistant to the Minister Nodar Epremidze, presented the Defence Ministry’s new initiatives to the military servicemen deployed in Afghanistan. The remuneration of the military has already increased by 25 percent. The visitors briefed the soldiers on the improved insurance package details and planned restructuring of debt liabilities for MOD employees. The MOD officials inspected the bases of “Shukvani”, “Ertoba”, “Lazika” and “Shirgazi” and became familiar with the 32nd and 12th battalions’ living conditions. They pledged to the Georgian military that upon their return to Georgia they will be offered better social conditions and improved infrastructure. (IPN)

Rospotrebnadzor specialists have begun checking Georgian wineries

Rospotrebnadzor experts have already begun to verify the Georgian company-producers of wine and mineral water, wanting to resume the supply of its products to the Russian market.

"One group of monitors on wineries and the second went to companies producing mineral water. Wednesday we will go to Kakheti. At the end of their visit, we will know when you get the next group of experts. The experts in the first phase will inspect the wineries "Bagrationi" and "Sarajishvili,” Head of the National Agency of wine Levan Davitashvili said.

The import of Georgian mineral water "Borjomi" and Georgian wines was banned in 2006. The official reason for the ban was product quality. (Front News)

Foreign Minister leaves for Austria

Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze has left for Austria for an official visit. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she will take part in the 5th forum of the UN Civilizations Alliance. The topic of the forum will be Promoting Responsible Leadership in Diversity and Dialogue. Panjikidze will deliver a speech at the forum. The forum will be attended by foreign ministers of many countries and high officials of the OSCE, the UN, UNESCO and the Migration International Organization. The Foreign Minister of Georgia will hold meetings with her counterparts within the framework of the forum. (IPN)

Metreveli accuses former senior officials of being involved in crime

Mother of Buta Robakidze, Ia Metreveli, says that former senior officials, including former minister of interior Irakli Okruashvili and former prosecutor Giorgi Ghviniashvili, should be held accountable for the murder of her son. Metreveli asserts that all that time, officials have played roles in the investigation of the case, which was fabricated. She also declares mistrust to the court. “It has been clarified that all officials who were on senior positions then were at the scene of the crime, except for Okruashvili. It is ruled out that Okruashvili did not know what was going on. I was thinking that he would say many things about the truth today, but he does not do so and now I believe that he is also responsible for this crime,” Metreveli said.

Buta Robakidze`s murder by a police officer in 2004 is one of the most high-profile crimes of the past several years. (Rustavi 2)

Nino Burjanadze summoned for interrogation

Former speaker of the parliament of Georgia, currently the leader of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia party, Nino Burjanadze, has been summoned to the office of the chief prosecutor for interrogation. Chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili has confirmed that the former speaker would be questioned within the investigation of the May 26, 2011 dispersal of the demonstration and death of two protestors.

“The May 26 case is a large-scale process, we have already interrogated most of the injured and the politicians who were present there. I did not know that Nino Burjanadze was summoned for interrogation. Currently, we are searching for the perpetrators. Two death cases on that day have been almost investigated and we think we will present separate episodes of the investigation soon,” Kbilashvili said and added the situation is the same about the November 7, 2007 developments. (Rustavi 2)