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The News in Brief

Monday, August 31
Former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko is visiting Batumi

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is visiting Batumi, a seaside city on the Black Sea coast.

Yushchenko, who became famous as one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution in 2004, is accompanied by his wife and not visiting in any official capacity.

News agency Interpressnews caught up with him as he arrived at a friend’s party.

“Amazing people, amazing city, amazing parks. I haven’t seen such beautiful a Batumi in the past,” he said, adding that he is leaving Georgia on Friday.

Viktor Yushchenko was President of Ukraine from January 2005 to February 2010, and after winning a new election called following massive demonstrations against election fraud.

He was many times hosted by his Georgian colleague Mikheil Saakashvili, who came to power after the Rose Revolution in 2003, and the two became good friends, once pressing grapes together at Saakashvili’s vineyard in Kakheti, in eastern Georgia.
(DF watch)

Police Say 30 People in Samtskhe-Javakheti Voluntarily Turn in Munitions

Thirty local residents from Ninotsminda, Akhalkalaki, Aspindza, Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni and Borjomi municipalities of Samtskhe-Javakheti region have handed over large amount of unlawfully held munitions to the local police, the Georgian Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

It said that total of 8,041 bullets for various types of firearms; 77 hand grenades; 8 sawed-off shotguns; 400 grams of explosive TNT; an anti-tank mine; 4 smoke bombs were among the munitions turned in voluntarily to the local police.

This is the fourth case of voluntary hand over of large amount of munitions in Samtskhe-Javakheti region reported by the Interior Ministry this year.

In three previous cases this year total of 13,063 bullets for various types of firearms; 254 hand grenades; 22 land mines; 1.5 kg of TNT explosive; over 20 sawed-off shotguns, and 17 rounds for grenade-launchers were turned in to the police.

Four such cases of handing over of large amount of munitions in Samtskhe-Javakheti region were reported by the Interior Ministry last year.

Georgian judoka Adam Okruashvili wins bronze

Georgian judoka Adam Okruashvili (+100 kg) has won a bronze medal at a world championship event. He beat his German rival Andre Breitbart and earned a second bronze medal for Georgia.

No Georgian judokas have won gold or silver medals at the championship yet.

Head of Defense Ministry Military Hospital department Davit Gviniashvili arrested on bribery charges

The Investigative Service of the Finance Ministry has detained Davit Gviniashvili, head of Defense Ministry Military Hospital Department, on bribery charges.

As the service has informed InterPressNews, the accused demanded 6,000 GEL from an entrepreneur as a bribe while carrying out state procurement activities. After receiving a part of the sum, namely 2,000 GEL, Gviniashvili was detained.

The accused faces from 6 to 9 years of imprisonment if convicted.

Georgia’s winter resort Bakuriani welcomes 120m GEL development project

Georgia’s iconic ski resort Bakuriani is preparing to undergo major developments worth almost 120m GEL to better host guests this winter season.

New mountain lifts and an improved tourism infrastructure, particularly hotels, apartments and cottage facilities, as well as food and entertainment areas, are part of the planned developments at the central Georgian winter wonderland.

The Georgian Government has teamed up with the private sector to implement the 118 million GEL project - one of the largest investments in Bakuriani - to revive mountain tourism, employ more of the local population and create a more attractive investment environment for investors.

The state has pledged to allocate 48 million GEL to the project while private company New Mitarbi, a member of TBC Group, will spend 70 million GEL on the developments at Bakuriani.

The development project included building new mountain lifts and tourism facilities and will be implemented in two of Bakuriani’s main ski areas – Mitarbi village and Kokhta Mountain.

The state-owned Mountain Resorts Development Company will also be involved in the project.

Until now the Mountain Resorts Development Company managed and developed Georiga’s other mountain resorts Gudauri and Didveli near Bakuriani, however this year several territories from Bakuriani also joined the company’s portfolio.

Currently three mountain lifts operate in Bakuriani’s Didveli ski resort. By the end of 2015 a new ski lift will be built on Kokhta Mountain. Additionally, hotels, hotel-style apartments, apart-hotels, cottages, and food and entertainment facilities catering for up to 500 people will be built in the nearby area.

A spokesperson from the Mountain Resorts Development Company told that the existing ski lift on Kokhta Mountain was out of service as it had expired its terms of service. The Company has already dismantled the old chairlift on Kokhta Mountain and will soon build a new one while New Mitarbi will be responsible for building the new tourist facilities.

At the Mitarbi area two ski lifts and a magic carpet will be built on the beginner slope. Moreover, tourist-friendly infrastructure for 300 people will also be built. All these facilities will be constructed by the end of 2016, said officials.

Construction of the ski lifts will be carried out by leading Austrian company Doppelmayr.