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The News in Brief

Thursday, March 15
(Prepared by Mariam Chanishvili) Georgia to purchase cars to combat forest fires

Georgia's Deputy Interior Minister Shalva Khutsishvili has made a statement that in several days a tender will be announced in order to purchase vehicles to combat forest fires in the future, as last summit Georgia experienced more than 100 cases of forest fires.

The official noted that half of the funds will be directed to buy firefighter equipment and retrain firemen, while the rest will be used for buying ordinary firefighting vehicles.

“We should have relevant fire equipment and retrained firemen to combat fire if necessity. The rest of the fund will be directed to buy ordinary fire-fighting vehicles, purchasing a helicopter is not considered. These procurements will be made to respond to fires in forests firstly and to start the renovation of the anti-fire fleet throughout Georgia,” said Shalva Khutsishvili.

The 2018 state budget allocates 20 million GEL for the purchase of the anti-fire equipment.

Russia bans import of vegetables from occupied Abkhazia

Russia has temporarily banned the import of fruits and vegetables from Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia region to prevent the spread of the Asian Stink Bug, creating serious threats to agricultural products.

“The bugs appeared in 2016 and inflicted significant damage to Gali [region in Abkhazia] in 2017. Agriculture was harshly damaged, and after that, the parasite spread throughout the republic,” said the representative of de facto government of Abkhazia Arkadi Jinjia.

He stated that there was a threat that the bug could also appear in Russia as the region provided the country with agricultural products.

However, Jinjia stated that Abkhazia was trying to remove the ban as it affected the “state economy.”

The Ministry of Agriculture of the de-facto Abkhazia spent 25 million Rubles to fight with Asian Stink Bug only in 2017, he said.