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The News in Brief

Monday, October 3
Ivanishvili is afraid of my arrival in Georgia - Mikheil Saakashvili

“I am indeed going to come to Georgia and protect the results of the elections,” former President Mikheil Saakashvili said at a meeting with the Georgian diaspora in the US.

According to Saakashvili, as soon as the government admits that it lost elections in one of the regions, it will mean that it lost the elections everywhere.

"They say that it is not a big deal that the National Movement will win elections in Samegrelo and Adjara. But it is not so. As soon as the government admits that it lost the elections in one of the regions, it will mean that it lost the elections everywhere. The situation is very good in Guria as well. It is even better than in Samegrelo. We will get more than 50% in Samtredia in the first round. And we will also win in Kutaisi," Saakashvili said.

According to him, Ivanishvili is panicking about and afraid of his arrival in Georgia.

“I am indeed going to go to Georgia and protect the results of the elections. Why does Ivanishvili keep saying day and night that he will arrest me if I arrive in Georgia? It is because he is panicking about my arrival. That’s why I must do it,” said Saakashvili.

He called Ivanishvili “Putin’s errand boy”.

"If you look carefully, you will see that Putin has never talked to him. Why should he? For Putin he is an "errand boy." He gave him money and told him to remove Saakashvili. He respected us more as his enemies, than these 'errand boys',” Saakashvili said and added that his heart belongs to Georgia.

U.S. Donates Two Patrol Boats to Georgian Coast Guard

The U.S. transferred two Island-class patrol boats to the Georgian coast guard at a ceremony in Baltimore on September 30.

“These two patrol boats will significantly increase the efficiency of the Georgian coast guard and will help us to take part in various joint operations with our Black Sea partners,” said head of the Georgian Border Police, Zurab Gamezardashvili, who participated in the ceremony along with Deputy Interior Minister Shalva Khutsishvili.

The U.S. will also provide 10-week training courses for Georgian crews of the two 110 ft (34m) Island-class patrol boats, according to the Georgian Border Police.

The U.S. has been providing assistance to the Georgian coast guard since late 1990s, which also included transfer of several patrol boats, among them Point-class cutters.

According to the U.S. estimations, the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia resulted in the destruction or loss of nearly USD 30 million in U.S.-donated materials and equipment, among them four vessels, two coastal radar stations, a main operational command center and several administration buildings.

Since then, the U.S. funded four new radar stations for the Georgian coast guard, in Gonio, Anaklia, Supsa and Chakvi.

U.S.-funded maritime fusion center in Supsa and vessel repair facility in Poti were opened in 2014 and 2013, respectively.

A new boat basin for the Georgian coast guard, built with USD 14 million funding from the United States, was opened in Batumi in September, 2015.

Electronic system created for Georgians abroad

An electronic system has been created by the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department for Georgians living abroad.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the electronic system enables voters abroad to find information about where they can vote on 8 October.

After indicating the personal number, date of birth and name, the Georgians living abroad will get information about address and telephone numbers of their polling stations.

Georgian-French experts designing Olympic biathlon track in Bakuriani

French and Georgian experts are designing a modern biathlon track for Georgia’s Bakuriani winter resort to bring the forgotten sport back to life.

Almost 800,000 GEL will be spent on designing and building the new biathlon track in the central Georgian winter wonderland, announced the Prime Minister’s press office today.

This was part of a larger plan to gradually build Olympic-standard infrastructure in Bakuriani, which set forth a prerequisite for a "very realistic plan” of holding the Olympic Games in Georgia within the next 10 years, said Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Experts from Georgia and French engineering firm ABEST have started designing an Olympic standard biathlon track in Bakuraini. The track would be of the highest modern standards, allowing the alpine village to potentially host international sporting competitions in the future.

Once complete, this will be the first time in about 30 years Georgia has enjoyed a proper biathlon track.

Biathlon – a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting - was a popular sport in Soviet times however popularity for the sport dwindled after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. The Government believed with the introduction of the new biathlon track, enthusiasts will be able to rekindle their love for the sport.

Georgia’s Prime Minister said this was a "major infrastructural project” that would bring many benefits to the country as a whole, and would increase the year-round visibility of Bakuriani winter resort through increased demand by people practicing the sport of biathlon.

“Furthermore, there are plans to develop sports infrastructure that will increase the number of guests to Bakuriani throughout the whole year. This will be beneficial for neighbouring villages as well as Bakuriani itself,” said Kvirikashvili.

As well as a new biathlon track, other facilities will also be built in Bakuriani and the nearby area such as a rifle-range, ice hockey rink and a stadium for spectators and a number of residential and entertainment areas.

“We are gradually creating a whole complex of Olympic-standard infrastructure. This sets forth a prerequisite for a very realistic plan of holding the Olympic Games in Georgia within the next decade,” said Kvirikashvili.