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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 13
The so-called People's Republic of Donetsk recognizes the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali

According to, the corresponding "orders" were signed by self-proclaimed leader of the de-facto republic, Alexander Zakharchenko.

"Abkhazians and Ossetians are very close to the people of Donbas; Donbas helped Abkhazia and Ossetia when they were at war. Now they are helping us and I am very glad that we made a decision on the recognition,” said the de-facto Foreign Minister of the so-called People's Republic of Donetsk.

Occupied South Ossetia recognized the independence of Donbas in June last year. Abkhazia has not yet made the same decision. (IPN)

Defence Minister – NATO-Georgian Drills Planned This year

“Apart from the Georgian-US exercise, several large-scale events, including the NATO-Georgian exercise, are planned to be held by the end of this year and a number of countries will be involved in them,” the Minister of Defence, Tina Khidasheli, told journalists on the Vaziani military base after the opening of the Georgian-US military exercise, on May 11.

She said that this day is very important, because it is the first time that such a large-scale military exercise has been held in Georgia.

"I think these exercises are of vital importance for us. First of all, it once again underlines the fact that the US is not only a partner for us, but a very big supporter and friend, who is ready to assist the Georgian state in any way in strengthening our defence. Secondly it is an absolutely indispensable opportunity for our soldiers to take part in these exercises with the Americans and use US equipment. Thirdly, no less important is our long-term plan, which is set up within a worthy partner in the Georgian-American relations,” the Minister said. (Frontnews)

Tbilisi Development Fund comes under criticism

Is there a need for Tbilisi Development Fund? - The City Council members responded to the resignation of the head of the Fund.

The majority can not name the specific reasons for this decision. Aleko Elisashvili alongside with the fund’s head’s resignation focuses on the need of having the Fund.

"It is important not to choose the replacement for the head of the fund Khomeriki, but also to determine the need for this fund, which has an annual budget of 20 million and is maintained at our expense," - said Aleko Elisashvili.

The National Movement criticizes the former head’s activities.

"From the very beginning the work of the Fund deserved the most critical assessment, since they did not do anything except beyond receiving their salaries. Unfortunately there are many such employees within City Hall," said Irakli Abesadze. (Rustavi2)

Patriarchate Releases Statement regarding Act on Restoration of Georgia’s Independence

The Patriarchate of Georgia has released a special statement regarding the Act on the Restoration of State Independence of Georgia.

According to the statement, the public has been informed by media outlets that in 2006, former Supreme Council member Berdia Gugava and clergyman Konstantine Giorgadze handed over the Act on the Restoration of State Independence of Georgia to the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia. The document, which is supposed to be the original, was signed on April 9, 1991.

According to the Patriarchate, Berdia Gugava declared his distrust to the previous United National Movement government, therefore the Patriarchate has not made any announcement about the document.

“The statement has not been made, because it should have been done in agreement and together with Mr. Gugava, but, unfortunately, he has acted independently. We will be happy if this copy, indeed, turns out to be the original and if one of the most important documents of our nation’s history occupies its proper place,” the statement says.

In addition, the Patriarchate has published the letter, sent by Berdia Gugava to the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia. In the letter, the former Supreme Council member explains his reasons behind his decision to voice the information which he had hidden for years. At the same time, Gugava apologizes to the Patriarch and all the people who are mentioned in the interview, because, as he says, the interview was interpreted in within different context and caused significant controversy. (Frontnews)