The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, January 28
Georgia’s Delta to supply armored medical evacuation vehicles to Saudi Arabia

Georgia’s state arms manufacturer, Delta, said it has won a contract to supply Saudi Arabia with “more than 100” armored medical evacuation vehicles.

Delta, which was launched in 2010 and which operates under the Georgian Ministry of Defense, said on Tuesday that the contract is valued at “up to 100 million lari” (about USD 40 million as of January 26).

“The first batch of 12 vehicles will be sent to Saudi Arabia on January 30,” Delta said in a statement.

According to Delta, among other bidders in a tender announced by the Defense Ministry of Saudi Arabia in 2014, were Oshkosh Defense, Lenco Armored Vehicles, the STREIT Group, and the International Armored Group (IAG).

Delta said that its manufactured armored medical evacuation vehicle beat out Lenco BearCat in the final stage of the tender and the contract with Saudi Arabia was signed in December, 2015.

Delta’s chief executive Ucha Dzodzuashvili said that the contract is the first of this kind and “a huge success” for the Georgian defense industry.

He said that Delta is now in “preliminary talks” on two other separate contracts with combined value of GEL 290 million. (

Over 100 confirmed swine flu cases in Georgia

There are 111 laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1, which causes swine flu.

Four cases of the H3N2 virus have also been confirmed, the National Center of Disease Control said on Wednesday.

Last week, the estimated infection ratio was 248 per 100,000 persons. That number has risen to 332 per 100,000. If it exceeds 500 it will be regarded as an epidemic.

There have so far been four deaths caused by swine flu; three of the victims were infected with the H1N1 virus and one by the H3N2 strain.

According to NCDC director Amiran Gamkrelidze, there has been an increase in the number of people calling hospitals, especially about children.

“There is nothing to panic or worry about. It is January, and we all have flu in winter. There will always be flu in winter,” he said, and urged people to follow basic sanitary and hygiene rules. (DF watch)

Football match planned in Sokhumi cancelled as Georgia’s Foreign Ministry interfered

A football match planned to be held in Sokhumi, the capital of occupied Abkhazia, has been cancelled due to the Georgian Foreign Ministry’s interference, according to Abkhazian media.

According to the so-called Abkhazian Football Federation President Ruslan Ajinjal, on January 27 a friendly match between Russian FC Volga and Armenian Ararat was planned to be held, but the latter informed the so-called Abkhazian Football Federation that Armenia’s Foreign Ministry has prohibited them to hold the match on Abkhazia’s territory.

‘When we asked for the reason why, they answered that Georgia’s Foreign Ministry warned their Armenian colleagues that it is not appropriate for an Armenian team to enter Abkhazia. Therefore, the team leadership cannot work against their government,’ Ajinjal said. (IPN)

Georgia-Turkey signs deal to simplify customs rules

Georgia and Turkey are simplifying bilateral customs rules to make it easier for goods to pass between the two nations.

Georgian and Turkish officials have signed an agreement to launch an electronic International Road Transports (eTIR) – a standard, internationally recognised customs document that allows nations to exchange data electronically.

The agreement aimed to ensure the secure exchange of data between the customs systems related to the transit of goods between Georgia and Turkey by harmonising administrative formalities of road transport and facilitate the cross border transportation of goods in transit.

Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri met Turkey’s Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufekci yesterday in Turkey to sign the deal.

At the meeting, the two sides expressed their willingness to simplify custom services and raise confidence in both countries’ customs administrations.

Launching an eTIR would have a positive impact on trade relations between Georgia and Turkey, believed Georgia’s Finance Ministry.

In addition, yesterday the Georgian Minister attended an International Customs Day ceremony in Turkey’s capital Ankara. (