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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 5
Georgia expects serious consideration of its future in NATO at next alliance summit

At the next NATO summit, Georgia expects serious consideration of its future in the alliance, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said in an interview with Rustavi 2.

Discussions are underway on this issue, according to the president. “In the autumn of 2014 at the NATO summit, we expect quite serious consideration from our partners over Georgia's future in NATO," Margvelashvili said.

Georgia held democratic elections, and initialed an association agreement with the EU, which will play a great role in the Europeanization of the country, he said. The signing of the agreement is intended to protect Georgian citizens' rights and the country's integrity, the president said. Margvelashvili stressed that this document will give Georgia a lot, as well as creating opportunities for rapprochement with Europe, it will also simplify the visa regime. (Trend)

Georgia to join Eurocontrol in 2014

The 40th meeting of the permanent council of the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) was recently held in Brussels. One of the main issues was Georgia's accession to the organization. According to the Georgian Ministry of Economy, Georgia will become the 40th member of the Eurocontrol on January 1, 2014, he told Trend on Wednesday. Eurocontrol Director General Frank Brenner and Georgian Deputy Minister of Economy Natia Mikeladze delivered speeches. Brenner congratulated Georgia on joining Eurocontrol.

“Georgia has done much to integrate its navigation systems into the European system,” Brenner said. “This contributed to improving flight safety in the country.”

The relevant documents were signed in Brussels on December 5, 2012 for Georgia's accession to Eurocontrol. The Georgian parliament ratified the international convention and the relevant documents on April 4, 2013. (Trend)

US Assistant Secretary of State to visits Tbilisi, Moscow, Kiev

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Victoria Nuland will visit Georgia on December 6. According to the web page of the U.S. Department of State, Nuland will meet with senior government officials and opposition leaders to discuss bilateral and regional issues and Georgia’s path toward Europe. She will also participate in a disability rights event.

On December 8-10, Nuland will travel to Moscow, where she will meet with senior Russian government officials to discuss the range of bilateral relations and global issues. She will also meet with foreign policy experts and civil society groups.

Assistant Secretary Nuland will arrive in Georgia from Kiev, where with Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal will participate in the Ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and meet with civil society representatives from across the OSCE region. Assistant Secretary Nuland will also engage in bilateral meetings with Ukrainian officials, parliamentary leaders, and civil society. (Georgian News)

UNM members arrive in Kiev to support protestors

Members of the United National Movement (UNM) have arrived in Kiev to support the protestors rallying against the government’s rejection of the EU association deal. Giorgi Baramidze, Davit Sakvarelidze and Sergo Ratiani said before their departure that they were obliged to support the people of Ukraine in such an important moment, when they are expressing their will, adding the Ukrainian nation always stood beside Georgia in its hardest days, during the August War in 2008.

“Just like Ukraine stood beside us, when we were protecting our freedom and independence, we are obliged to stand beside the Ukrainian nation in such important times, when they are expressing their will and when there is a need to provide peaceful conduct of processes,” Giorgi Baramidze said. (Rustavi 2)

Modern service center damaged by storm in Tbilisi

The House of Justice in Tbilisi was Tuesday evacuated as a result of high winds which damaged the roof of the building. No one was injured, but the building remained evacuated throughout the day.

The roof was damaged at the entrance of the building, where pieces of plaster fell down. Emergency workers arrived in order to organize the evacuation and examine the building.

The Minister of Justice remained inside the building. She wrote on her Facebook page that almost all the employees and civilians were taken out and only a few people remained inside. She wrote that no-one was injured.

“Representatives of the Italian company, which last year mended the roof in a surprisingly short time, will arrive in Tbilisi tomorrow,” she added.

Bad weather caused problems all over the country Tuesday. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Storm damages Batumi Boulevard

Sea waves have been reaching the road on Batumi Boulevard after the weather turned worse on December 3. The sea moved masses of sand over the Boulevard area, damaged a walking path near the airport highway and rooted out a eucalyptus tree in a Bartskhani neighborhood. The latter incident did not cause any injuries. Cleaning Service employees have been working on the Boulevard to keep the area in order.

The National Environment Agency’s Monitoring and Forecast Center forecasted cold masses of air entering all of Georgia’s territory from the North-West direction of the Black Sea, causing a sharp worsening of weather, with rain in the lowlands with snow and snowstorms in the mountains. (Georgian News)

45,000 customers remain without electricity in regions

Electricity supply to some of the customers in the regions, cut due to bad weather, has resumed. After hours of work carried out by EPG technical personnel electricity supply resumed to over 20,000 customers. At present up to 45,000 remain without electricity.

Strong wind damaged electricity transmission lines causing loss of power to company customers. EPG technical brigades moved to the damaged zones right after receiving information regarding the damage to localize and restore it.

Bad weather hinders rehabilitation activities, but despite that EPG technical brigades continue to work in an emergency regime to timely restore damage and resume electricity supply to the cut off customers. (InterPressNews)