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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 12
Former Minister in Georgia to lead movement

Former Georgian Minister of State Security Valery Khaburdzania returned from Moscow to Tbilisi to lead the pro-Russian movement in the political life of the country. Khaburdzania told the Maestro TV live that he is ready to unite the pro-Russian spectrum of the Georgian political life. There was a differentiation of political forces in Georgia and there are pro-Western, pro-American and pro-Russian forces now. There are groups of national orientation. Pro-Russian means conducting coinciding Georgian and Russian interests. "No one rejects Western values. We say that there must be closer relations with Russia and to be with it in regional associations," Khaburdzania said.

Bacho Akhalaia taken to Gldani prison

The former Minister of Defense, Bacho Akhalaia has been taken from Matrosov prison to Gldani No. 8 facility, Akhalaia’s lawyer Malkhaz Velijanashvili told InterPressNews. However, spokesperson of the Ministry of Corrections, Irakli Kordzaia, said that 374 more prisoners were transferred from Matrosov prison which needs to be temporary closed for rehabilitation. “All the prisoners have been transferred, some to Gldani, the rest to other facilities,” the spokesperson said.

Georgian ensemble Erisioni performed in Kremlin

Moscow's Kremlin governmental palace saw two concerts of Georgian folk dance and music ensemble Erisioni on March 9-10, with the audience – including local Russians and Georgian emigrants – marking the performances with long applause. The Russian press reviewed the Moscow events of the academic ensemble by stating: “The main stage of the state featured two events of the Georgian ensemble Erisioni after a 5-year break. The internationally known ethnic show titled Treasure of Georgia included polyphonic songs, dance pieces depicting events in their country’s history, as well as national costumes and a light show. All this was performed with fire and temperament characteristic to Georgians.” Erisioni traveled to Russia on March 4 and performed in Rostov, Krasnodar, Stavropol and Moscow.
(Georgian News TV)

Shame on those people who insulted Erisioni

Former President of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, assessed the decision of the Georgian National Ensemble Erisioni as a "brave step".

“We lost Tskhinvali and then Kodori gorge as a result of Saakashvili’s irresponsible actions. In addition, there is a conclusion of a very authoritative commission, according to which firstly Saakashvili opened fire. If the cultural figures try to improve the situation that was spoiled by Saakashvili, I welcome it. I welcome the brave decision of Erisioni. Jemal Chkuaseli is a real Georgian man and he will never take a step against his country. Shame on those people who insulted this legendary ensemble,” Eduard Shevardnadze said.
(Front News)

Georgian Thief-in-law Arrested in Moscow

Moscow court sentenced Georgian thief-in-law, Lasha Nizharadze, nicknamed “Lasha Tskaltuboeli” to imprisonment. The Russian media reports that Nizharadze was considered an opponent of the clan of the murdered criminal authority, Aslan Usoyan or “Ded Hasan”.

According to the investigation, the detained criminal authority had 17 grams of hashish. Before being arrested, Nizharadze was sentenced to 1.5 year of administrative supervision. Law enforcement said he had violated the regime in Russia and also by leaving abroad many times.

Giorgi Meladze accuses MPs of pressure on GPB

Member of the supervisory board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Giorgi Meladze accuses parliamentary speaker Davit Usupashvili, MPs Khidasheli and Chapidze, of pressure on the GPB. Giorgi Meladze quoted the posts of MP Khidasheli on social networks early in October, where Khidasheli and representatives of non-governmental organizations were discussing the need for reforming the GPB. However, GPB staff members denied any political bias and stressed GPB should serve public interests.
(Rustavi 2)

Geostat: Preliminary FDI for 2012 $865.2 million

Foreign direct investment in Georgia was $865.2 million in 2012, a 22.5% year-on-year decline, according to preliminary data released by the state statistics office, Geostat, on March 11. FDI in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $181 million, a 7.3% quarter-on-quarter decline and a 47.2% year-on-year decline.

The main sectors receiving foreign direct investment in 2012, according to preliminary data, were the processing industry – USD 191.7 million; energy – USD 171.4 million; financial sector – USD 155.6 million; transport and communication – USD 149.1 million; real estate – USD 28.9 million; agriculture – USD 24.6 million.

According to preliminary data, most of the FDI in 2012 came from Germany – USD 141.7 million; followed by companies registered in the Netherlands – USD 87.5 million. There was USD 87.1 million from Turkey; Azerbaijan – USD 72.7 million; the UK – USD 66.8 million; followed by companies registered in Luxemburg (USD 41.8 million) and Cyprus (USD 39.6 million); there was USD 33.8 million FDI from the U.S., according to Geostat’s preliminary data.