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The News in Brief

Friday, March 18
Ergneti Meeting Discusses Road Construction near Breakaway S.Ossetia Contact Line

In Ergneti, Eastern Georgia, representatives of the Georgian Government and South Ossetia region held their 64th meeting in Ergneti, near the occupation line of the breakaway region.

The construction of roads by the Russian occupants - which runs through villagers' gardens in Jariasheni village - was a major topic at the 64th round of the regular Ergneti meetings for the Incident Prevention and Response Mechamism (IPRM) held on Tuesday.

Representatives from the Ossetian side have announced that the road's construction was to help contain and control the outbreak of fires, which aims to help locals to cope seasonal fires in the fields.

The Deputy Director of the Interior Ministry's Analytical Department, David Kobakhidze, said that Georgia will discuss the road construction issue at the Geneva meeting next week.

The meeting has traditionally been co-facilitated by the OSCE and the EUMM in Georgia.

The co-facilitators encouraged the use of the hotline mechanism to avoid misunderstandings and to preserve calm.

The participants at the meeting positively acknowledged the recent coordinated release of detainees from Tbilisi, Sukhumi and Tskhinvali.

The next IPRM meeting will take place on 20th April 2016.

This is the 64th meeting of the IPRM and the EUMM, which is a civilian monitoring mission established by the European Union on September 15th 2008 to contribute to the stabilization of the situation on the ground following the August 2008 conflict.

The EUMM monitors the full compliance of all sides with the EU brokered Six-point Agreement from the 12th August, signed by both Georgia and Russia, and the agreement on Implementing Measures from 8th September 2008.

The meetings are an opportunity to identify and discuss potential risks and follow-up on incidents and issues affecting the communities on a daily basis.

The Georgian government forces fought two wars against Russian and separatists in South Ossetia from 1991-2008.

The wars left hundreds dead and led to the ethnic cleansing of thousands of ethnic Georgians. Moscow recognized South Ossetia and the other occupied Abkhazia region as independent states following the 2008 war.

International law and the United Nations continue to state that the regions remain as parts of Georgia. (

Deputy Ministers of Internal Affairs held consultations with the representatives of nongovernmental organizations on remote patrolling

The Deputy Ministers of Internal Affairs – Mr. Shalva Khutsishvili and Mr. Archil Talakvadze - held a meeting with representatives of the nongovernmental organizations “Young Lawyers’ Association”, “Transparency International Georgia”, “Article 42 of the Constitution”, “Reforms and Development Association”, the Office of Public Defender, Inspector of Personal Data Protection, “Human Rights Training and Monitoring Center” on the issue of implementation of remote patrolling in Georgia.

Mr. Shalva Khutsishvili talked about the practice successfully operated by Germany, France, Great Britain, Holland and the USA. The Deputy Ministers – acting based on foreign practices – once again explained the goal of the new initiative and the positive outcomes of the implementation of the remote patrolling in Georgia.

At the end of the meeting, the participants held a discussion, with the representatives of the MIA promising the nongovernmental sector to take into account their recommendations in the draft bill. (Ministry of Internal Affairs)

Freeze forecast till March 18 in Eastern Georgia’s lowlands

A freeze is expected in Georgia’s eastern lowlands until March 18. As IPN has been informed from the hydro meteorological agency, it will snow in most western Georgian regions today, including in the highlands, with strong winds reaching 17-22 meters per second, blowing throughout the whole of Georgia’s territory.

During the daytime, temperatures will be 3-8 degrees in the west and 4-9 degrees in the east of Georgia.

As for Tbilisi, sunny weather is expected today and the temperature will be +8 degrees. On March 18, it will rain in eastern Georgia. There will be a freeze of - 3 degrees in its lowlands. With 7-12 degrees expected in western Georgia and 8-13 degrees in eastern Georgia. Temperatures will drop at night, falling to -5 degrees.

On March 19, sunny weather is expected. Temperatures will reach 12-19 degrees, but will decrease again on March 20. (IPN)

Georgia’s iconic Baratashvili Bridge reopens to traffic

Nine months of rehabilitation work to restore one of the most iconic bridges in Tbilisi has finished, meaning vehicles can now travel freely along the popular road without any delays.

The Baratashvili Bridge – also referred to as the Bridge of Love – has undergone intense restoration to improve the condition of the 40-year-old structure.

This recent repairs were the most extensive works on the bridge since it was built in 1966.

Work to improve the safety and quality of the bridge began in June 2015 following an inspection and report by specialists. Their report offered several recommendations, including major renovation works.

The experts said the bridge deck, the hydro isolation systems, barriers and underground pedestrian passages required remedial work.

The Mayor’s Office announced a tender which was won by NCC, a local company. The company received 1,970,000 GEL ($862,345/ˆ777,398*) from the Tbilisi city budget to carry out works before the April 30 2016 deadline.

Yesterday, Mayor Davit Narmania confirmed that NCC had completed the majority of the bridge’s remedial works by March 14.

The only thing that remained to be done was rehabilitating the underground walkways, Narmania said.

The bridge, located in the city’s Mtasminda district, was named after famous Georgian romantic poet Nikoloz Baratashvili. The railings of the bridge are decorated with bronze figurines of couples in love. (