The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, February 23
Enguri HPP Shut Temporarily

The Enguri hydropower plant, Abkhazia’s main energy supplier, was temporarily shut down on February 19 to allow monitoring of its pressure tunnel, the Georgian Energy Ministry said in its February 21 statement.

The plant will be shut for approximately 14 days, according to the statement.

The Energy Ministry also said that for the blackout period, the power for the region will be supplied “mainly by the Russian energy system,” and the deficit, “which is linked to an increase in power consumption in Abkhazia,” will be covered by Georgia.

“The exact volume and price of electricity to be supplied by Georgia to the occupied territory of Abkhazia, will depend on real consumption. Negotiations are underway on other terms,” it also stated.

Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said on January 30 that the Enguri hydropower plant would be temporarily stopped for monitoring the pressure tunnel as part of the initial preparatory works for a larger rehabilitation works scheduled for 2018.

On January 31, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development issued an invitation for expressions of interest for the Enguri HPP rehabilitation project, which is to begin in May 2017 at the earliest and last for 40 months. (

Georgia may ban smoking indoors and at sports arenas

Lawmakers in Georgia are pondering a blanket ban on smoking indoors which will also cover sports stadiums and all forms of public transport.

If the bill is passed, smoking will be prohibited inside all kinds of buildings, except for private homes, laboratoriesspecialized in tobacco research, penitentiary institutions and remand centers.

The smoking ban will also cover all kinds of public transport.

In mental health institutions and palliative care centers smoking will be allowed only for some infirm or patients whose illness has progressed. Exceptions from the ban will require a special permission from supervisors and will be limited to designated zones completely isolated from the rest of the building or territory, and must have ventilation or a window.

It might also be banned putting tobacco products, its accessories and any tobacco supplies on display on shop fronts, windows, counters or shelves.

The bill will amend the Tobacco Control Act in Georgia and was designed by organizations that are member of the Tobacco Control Alliance. The bill was introduced by Parliament Member Guguli Magradze.

According to the World Health Organization, smoking is responsible for the death of 6 million people per year globally; 600 000 of them are victims of passive smoking.

The prevalence of smoking tobacco products among females aged 15 years and over was 5,7% in Georgia in 2015; among males aged 15 years and over it was 57,7%.

According to the Tobacco Atlas 2014, the number of cigarettes smoked per person per year in Georgia is 1,378.45. (DF watch)

President’s Spokesperson explains why President refused to meet Irakli Mamaladze

President’s Spokesperson Eka Mishveladze has explained why the President refused to meet Irakli Mamaladze, one of the main witnesses of the ongoing 'Cyanide case'.

As Eka Mishveladze said, Irakli Mamaladze appealed to the President's Office with a request to ensure his safety.

"By the President’s order, the Head of the Administration talked to the Chief Prosecutor, who provided full information to him about Mamaladze and told him that his safety was not in danger. I provided this information to Mamaladze by telephone. We considered that the issue was settled and we did not have any ground not to trust the information,” said Mishveladze.

According to Irakli Mamaladze, one of the main witnesses in the Cyanide case, he had asked the Presidential Administration to meet a President several times, but he was refused. (IPN)