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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 15
Top Diplomats: Georgia Completed Preparatory Works on WTO Deal with Russia

Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, said on June 13 that Georgia has completed preparatory works for the implementation of the 2011 Swiss-mediated agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow on customs monitoring between the two countries.

“We have honestly completed all preparatory works. Now, it is up to the Russian side: the only thing hampering the work is that the Russian side should complete negotiations with the Swiss company,” Abashidze told, responding to the remarks of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.

“I call on the Russian side to complete its work on the contract to be signed with the company,” Abashidze added, referring to the Geneva-based SGS, the worlds leading testing and inspection company, which will carry out the monitoring.

Zurab Abashidze, who has been engaged in direct dialogue with Grigory Karasin since 2012, added that the next meeting between the two diplomats will tentatively be held in early July.

Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze commented on the matter as well, accusing the Russian Federation of “politicizing” the issue.

“Unfortunately, the Russian Federation has not yet completed its work on the contract that should be signed with the Swiss company SGS,” Janelidze told the joint parliamentary hearing of Foreign Relations and European Integration committees on June 13.

“Georgia has completed its work on the contract and we are now taking final steps through negotiations with the Swiss mediator,” he added.

“We hope that Russia will urge itself to finalize its work on the contract already in June and that the agreement will enter into force without any politicization and in full compliance with the agreement [text], for which the Georgian side is ready,” Janelidze concluded.

Georgia agreed to give its go-ahead to Russia’s WTO membership only after Tbilisi and Moscow signed a Swiss-mediated agreement in November, 2011, envisaging the deployment of sophisticated systems for tracking and auditing of cargo passing through Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

According to the agreement, “neutral private company” will carry out monitoring of cargo movement through three “trade corridors” two of which run through Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the third one on the Zemo Larsi-Kazbegi border crossing point on the undisputed section of Georgia-Russia border.

Monitoring should be carried out, among other means, also through the presence of company representatives at entry/exit points of these corridors, meaning that they will be present outside of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. (

Peking street rehabilitation to be launched on June 16, several streets to become one-sided for traffic

Rehabilitation of underground communications and road infrastructure will be launched on Pekin Street starting from Vazha-Pshavela Avenue to the Mirotadze Street corner.

“Consequently, Tbilisi traffic will experience certain restrictions,”- Tbilisi City Hall has informed IPN.

The temporary restrictions will namely to the following streets that will become one-sided:

Pekin Street, starting from Vazha Pshavela Avenue in the direction of 26 of May square;

From 26 of May Square via Kostava and Shartava streets towards Zurab Zhvania Square;

Kandelaki Street from Zurab Zhvania Square to Nutsubidze Street; Chabukiani Street from Saakadze Square to Pekini Street;

Tashkenti Street from Kazbegi Avenue to Kandelaki Street;

Iosebidze and Tsageri Street from Pekini Avenue to Shartava Street;

Traffic movement will change at Ana Kalandadze (former Bulachauri) Street in the direction of Shartava Street. (IPN)

Abducted businessman recalls attack details

Givi Jiblade, the founder of the Sveti construction company who was kidnapped from Tbilisi center on June 12, remembers the details of the attack on him. Four people are charged for the attack. Law enforcers arrested the suspected kidnappers as a result of a special operation yesterday, and an investigation is in progress.

Reportedly, the kidnappers were trying to extort a certain amount of money, threatening him with physical assault. The businessman was abducted after leaving his house. He says that four kidnappers arrived with a mini-bus, put a sack on his head and took him to one of the city's parking lots.

According to Jibladze, the kidnapping was preceded by a controversy with the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli’s company representatives. Jibladze assumes that the persons linked to this company are the kidnappers. However, he believes that Zurab Tsereteli himself was not informed about their intent to assault him. As Jibladze claims, there was a shooting at his office a few days ago. (