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The News in Brief

Friday, January 8
Minister of Regional Development checks situation on roads in several regions

The Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Nodar Javakhishvili, has visited several regions of Georgia to check the situation of the country’s roads.

According to the Ministry, the Minister visited the Rikoti tunnel, Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze international road, Abasha-Senaki and Zestaponi-Kutaisi sections, as well as Samtredia-Lanchkhuti-Grigoleti, Senaki-Poti-Sarpi and Chaladidi-Khorga-Khobi roads.

"Officers of the Roads Department have been carrying out clean-up efforts non-stop throughout Georgia from 31 December. Traffic restrictions have been minimized on international and national roads,” says the Ministry. (

Annual Inflation 4.9% in December

Georgia’s annual inflation slowed to 4.9% in December, compared to 6.3% in November, according to figures released by the state statistics service, Geostat, on Monday.

On a monthly basis, there was 0.6% deflation in December.

Food prices were up 3.8% year-on-year in December and prices in the group of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes rose by 11% y/y.

Increased electricity bills pushed annual inflation in housing, water and energy to 8.3% y/y in December.

Prices in healthcare group were up 10.5% y/y in December, driven by a 24.2% increase in prices on medical products and equipment, and 7.7% increase in prices on outpatient care.

Prices in household maintenance and equipment rose 9.2% y/y in December.

Prices in the hotel and restaurant sector increased 5.5% y/y in December.

Annual inflation declined by 4.2% in the transport sector with prices on fuel and lubricates decreasing by 12.1% y/y in December. (

E60 closed near Zestaponi, difficult driving conditions on many roads

The Road Department of the Infrastructure Ministry stated that heavy vehicles are, from today, allowed to drive between Igoeti and Khevi on the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze road.

Restrictions have been lifted for all types of vehicles between Akhaltsikhe and Ninotsminda toward the border with Armenia.

Heavy vehicles are now allowed to drive between Aragvispiri and Larsi on the Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi road.

On the same road, heavy vehicles and transports with more than 30 seats are only allowed to drive between Mleta and Kobi if they have snow chains. Between Gudauri and Kobi, all vehicles are required to use snow chains.

The E60 east-west highway is again blocked near Zestaponi due to flooding of the river Chkhara. A detour is offered from Zestaponi via Bagdati to Kutaisi, but trailers and semi-trailers are not allowed to drive that way.

On the Kutaisi-Tkibuli-Ambrolauri road, heavy vehicles and transports with more than 30 seats are prohibited from driving between Tkibuli and Ambrolauri. For all other vehicles, snow chains are required through the Nakerala pass (from 37km to 50km), but north of the pass until Ambrolauri, the passage is open.

On the Zugdidi-Jvari-Mestia-Lasdili road, only vehicles with four-wheel drive capabilities are allowed between Jvari and Khaishi. From Khaishi to Lasdili, passage is only permitted if the vehicle is fitted with snow chains.

The Koda-Partskhisi-Manglisi-Tsalka-Ninotsminda road is closed for all forms of vehicles between Rodionovka and Ninotsminda.

The SH-21 road between Akhalkalaki and the border with Turkey is closed for all types of vehicles between Sulda and Kartsakhi. (

‘You were the best’ – 28-year-old Georgian snowboarder killed by avalanche in Bakuriani

A minor avalanche took a Georgian snowboarder’s life in Bakuriani on January 6. His name was Nugzar Diakonashvili. The tragedy happened between Kokhta Gora and Didveli trails. The emergency service personnel found the snowboarder’s body several hours after the incident. Diakonashvili was skiing far from the trails, in pathless snow, when the avalanche came down.

Nugzar Diakonashvili was the head of Snowboard Federation’s Bakuriani group. In 2015 he became the Champion of Georgia in Snowboard-cross. The 28-year-old sportsman was preparing for the winter Olympics which is scheduled to take place in South Korea, in 2018. Friends affectionately called him Ninja.

‘Ninja, may your soul rest in peace. You are my brother and I will always miss you. You were the best in Georgia. Nobody will ever be like you. I love you’. This is the Facebook status published by the Snowboard Federation of Georgia.

An investigation into the tragic incident has been launched. (Georgian Journal)