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The News in Brief

Monday, December 8
Statement of the Georgian Foreign Ministry in reaction to Russian Army field exercises in Georgia's occupied Tskhinvali region

On the 5th of December 2014 the Russian Army began to hold simultaneous field exercises on six firing ranges in the Russian Federation's Southern Military District and in Georgia's occupied region of Tskhinvali.

The officers and servicemen of the Russian 58th Army are carrying out large-scale exercises in the use of various artillery and advanced radio location systems. These exercises notably involve advanced Russian offensive military equipment such as "Msta-S" self-propelled howitzers, "Tornado-G" multiple launch rocket systems, and "Zoopark-1" radar vehicles equipped with Glonass navigation systems. Over 1,000 men and 200 units of military equipment are taking part in these field exercises.

These actions of the Russian Federation are a further infringement of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. They constitute a gross violation of the Georgian Constitution, of the norms and principles of international law and of Russia's international commitments including those Russia undertook by the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008, and pose a threat to peace and stability in the region.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry is extremely concerned by this matter, and demands that the Russian government comply with the commitments it has undertaken and that it withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Georgia and de-occupy Georgia's regions.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry calls upon the international community to duly react to this further destructive step which Russia has undertaken, and to prevent another action aimed at undermining Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

In more than 50 dining rooms, where soldiers are fed, even basic conditions are not provided - Mindia Janelidze

The quality of soldiers’ food was low-level, we have to work hard to improve it, Defence Minister Mindia Janelidze told the Public Broadcaster. According to him, in more than 50 dining rooms, where soldiers are fed, even basic conditions are not provided.

"Food quality and nutrition service was at a low level in general. I will not hide and say that we have a very bad situation in this regard. We will have to work hard to improve this situation, because in more than 50 dining rooms, where soldiers are fed, even basic hygienic conditions are not provided", said Janelidze.

The Defence Minister said the Ministry’s activities will be transparent.

"Under our governance the Ministry’s activities will be as open as it was before. We plan active communication with the public, because they are entitled to know what processes are under way at the Defence Ministry. Therefore, we will have multilateral relations with the public", said Mindia Janelidze.

“A meeting between Putin and Margvelashvili may take place”

A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili may take place, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday during his visit to Switzerland.

“There is nothing impossible in the world. I think that President Putin has already answered to this question when he said: “if there is necessity, there will always be an opportunity”, Lavrov said.

Abkhazian side to raise several issues at the thirtieth round of Geneva Discussions

The thirtieth round of the Geneva International Discussions will be held next week.

“The Abkhazian side will raise several issues, including the return of cultural property to Abkhazia and return of archival documents lost during the war with Georgia”, occupied Abkhazia’s de facto Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba has said.

According to him the sides will talk about an “agreement on the non-use of force in Abkhazia”.

“In addition we will demand recognition the documents issued by us. I mean certificates of birth, marriage and death; as well as education documents”, Chirikba said.

“By the way, as a result of our position, one of the US officials said that his government would remove visa barriers for the citizens of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This is a great success of the Abkhazian diplomacy”, he added.

Azerbaijani, Georgian, Turkish FMs to Meet in Kars

Georgian Foreign Minister, Tamar Beruchashvili, will visit Turkey next week to meet her Azerbaijani and Turkish counterparts for a trilateral meeting.

The fourth trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers will be held in eastern Turkish city of Kars on December 10.

“Within the framework of the meeting, the Ministers will exchange views on the prospects for developing regional cooperation on issues of common interest and review the decisions taken at the previous meetings,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on December 5.

The first such trilateral meeting between foreign ministers of the three countries was held in Trabzon on Turkey’s Black Sea coast in June, 2012, and the most recent meeting took place in Azerbaijani city of Ganja in February, 2014.

“The Trilateral Meeting of Foreign Ministers, where bilateral and regional issues are evaluated in a comprehensive way, contributes to the development of common understanding in all areas on the basis of mutual interest, and to the consolidation of regional stability and security,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

The first trilateral summit of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish presidents was held in Tbilisi in May, 2014, which was then also followed by a meeting of defense ministers of the three countries in Nakhchivan in August.

A day before the trilateral meeting, Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili will hold talks with her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on December 9.

“During the meetings, the Ministers will discuss the prospects for furthering bilateral relations and strategic cooperation between Turkey and Georgia in all fields and will exchange views on the regional and international developments,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday. “The visit will contribute to the excellent relations already existing between Turkey and Georgia.”