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The News in Brief

Friday, June 30
Russian Official: New Law Enforcement Agency in Tskhinvali ‘Decided Matter’

At a meeting with Tskhinvali leader Anatoly Bibilov on June 26, Russian Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov said that establishment of the “Information-Coordination Center of Internal Affairs Agencies” in Tskhinvali was a decided matter.

According to Zubov, only technical issues are remaining, such as overhauling and equipping the building for the Center. “The funds have been designated, and they must be used this year,” he added.

The Russian Deputy Interior Minister also noted that the Center would be a “legally independent agency, practically an international organization” and added that the first head of the Center would be a local.

Igor Zubov signed the agreement on creation of the “Information-Coordination Center” together with a representative of the Russian-backed authorities in Tskhinvali on July 4, 2016.

The purpose of the Center according to the agreement, is “countering organized crime and other dangerous types of crimes.” For that, the Center will document, analyze and exchange the crime-related information; as well carry out “inter-governmental search and extradition of persons,” and assist in conducting “the necessary agreed activities to combat dangerous types of crimes that pose threats to the security of the Republic.”

According to the agreement’s addendum, “financing of the Center’s activities is carried out at the expense of the funds provided by the Russian Federation for its maintenance.”

Russia signed a similar agreement with Sokhumi on May 18 2017, causing further controversy in the region. In Tskhinvali, however, the “Information-Coordination Center” will enjoy wider powers than in Sokhumi.

In the case of Tskhinvali, the Center’s officers will have a right to “store, carry and use” firearms. Besides, if the Center agents use these weapons in the region, the “legal assessment” of such incidents is going to occur “together with authorized representatives of the Center.” Moreover, the Center officers will have a right to conduct “operative and search activities” in the region.

Unlike Abkhazia, where the number of the Center’s employees is limited to 20, there is no limitation on the number of officers for Tskhinvali. In addition, in Tskhinvali’s case it is formally specified that the working language of the Center will be Russian. (

Poti port becomes victim of cyber attack

One of the most strategic sites in Georgia, the port of Poti, has become a target of the recent series of cyber attacks. Computer systems have been completely shut down. Special measures are taken to prevent the impediment of cargo transits and turnover.

The Maersk Group (a Danish business conglomerate which owns Poti's port) and other companies operated by the group are facing similar problems in different countries all over the world. The cyber attack is associated with a virus called “Petya” which is asking for ransom in return for the restoration of access to computer software.

Hackers launched blistering ransomware attacks on Tuesday against companies and agencies across the world, particularly targeting Ukranian businesses.

Major global firms reported that they had been targeted, including British advertising agency WPP (WPPGY), Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft and Danish shipping firm Maersk. "IT systems in several WPP companies have been affected by a suspected cyber attack," the WPP said on its Twitter account.

Maersk issued a similar statement, saying its tech systems "are down across multiple sites and business units due to a cyber attack". (

Political parties may have six instead of seven members in Central Election Commission

The representation of political parties in the Central Election Commission may be determined by six members instead of seven. In addition, the Georgian Dream majority plans to revise the formula, according to which, members should be appointed in the election administrations by parties.

The aforementioned is envisaged in the draft amendment to the Election Code, which concerns the introduction of new procedures for appointment of Central Election Commission members by political parties.

The main change is that the appointing of members in the Central Election Commission will depend not on the budgetary funding of the party, but on the number of votes the party receives in the last parliamentary elections.

Currently, members of the Central Election Commission are appointed by the parties that have more funding from the budget. (IPN)