The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, July 14
Georgia spends 305m GEL on infrastructure in 2014

About 305 million GEL has been spent on public infrastructure during the first half of 2014 in Georgia. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure presented its 6-month report today.

Minister Elguja Khokrishvili said the money was allocated to boost several sectors, including:
• Water supply – 23 million GEL
• Motorways – 215 million GEL
• Constructions – 61 million GEL
• Other projects – 6 million GEL

During the past six months, the ministry launched 209 new projects, of which 114 have been completed. In the first half of the year the ministry also continued working on 302 old projects.

In 2014, the Ministry built 536 apartments for internally displaced families, began constructing a homeless shelter in Tbilisi, spent more than 2 million GEL for upgrading rubbish dump sites and announced a tender for building a new metro station.

The ministry also started work on a 70 million GEL infrastructure project on the Tetnuldi ski resort in western Georgia. This year about 12 million GEL has been spent on natural catastrophe management across the country, including cleanup work following the smashing Dariali landslide in May in northern Georgia. Earlier this year, the Infrastructure Ministry was recognized for having 100 percent public access to information by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), a local group that fights to promote transparency of public information and governmental accountability in Georgia.

Russia denies reports on violating Georgian air space

The Russian news agency RIA Novosty has quoted an official from the Foreign Ministry of Russia, who denies the reports on violating Georgian airspace by Russian helicopters. The news agency held the identity of the official secret, but quoted that the helicopters, which was seen by Georgian law enforcers as flying over the Georgian controlled area yesterday, were not from the Russian aviation. He also said there were not Russian helicopters near the border at all.

MI8 helicopters violated Georgian airspace yesterday morning - it was seen flying over the villages of Mejvriskhevi and Sakorintlo.
(Rustavi 2)

Tons of heroin seized in Georgia’s largest drug bust

Almost three tons of liquid heroin worth hundreds of millions of dollars has been seized by Georgian police after two men were caught trying to smuggle the drug through Georgia.

Two men, both Georgian citizens, were arrested as they attempted to transport 2.79 tons of liquid heroin from Azerbaijan to Turkey. This is the largest amount of drugs Georgian police have ever seized. An investigation revealed the drugs came from Azerbaijan and were being transported to Turkey in trucks. Workers at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Finance Ministry’s Revenue Service jointly discovered the huge haul while searching the two trucks. In total, authorities found a 2.79 tons of liquid heroin concealed in 93 30kg barrels.

The Forensic Service said the drugs contained 80 percent pure heroin, which has a street value of hundreds of millions of dollars. Both men at the centre of the saga are being investigated for illegally trafficking drugs.

Chairman of Tbilisi City Council to be nominated on July 14

A Chairman of Tbilisi City Council will be nominated on July 14,¬¬ the Georgian Dream Coalition’s mayoral candidate in Tbilisi Davit Narmania said on Saturday.

Narmania refused to make a comment when asked about Gia Alibegashvili’s candidacy for the above-mentioned position.

“A candidate for the Chairman of the City Council will be from our team; therefore, any candidate will be acceptable for me. I'm going to cooperate actively with the City Council”, Davit Narmania said.

According to him, governors and his deputies will be nominated in the coming days.

Valeria Novodvorskaya dies

Leader of the Western Choice movement, Valeria Novodvorskaya has died according to

On Saturday Valeria Novodvorskaya was admitted to a clinic in Moscow, but it was impossible to save her, a medical source told