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The News in Brief

Thursday, February 21

Two ex-regional heads appointed deputy environment ministers

Lado Gegelashvili and Davit Ioseliani have been appointed as deputy ministers of environmental protection and natural resources.

Other deputy ministers are to keep their posts.

Lado Gegelashvili is a former governor of Shida Kartli province, and Davit Ioseliani is a former head of Tbilisi’s Vake-Saburtalo district. (Prime News)

Video surveillance center opens at Finance Ministry

The Finance Ministry has opened a video surveillance center to monitor tax offices.

Finance Minister Nika Gilauri told reporters the surveillance center observes customs and tax offices in action, which he hopes will reduce corruption.

Video cameras are being installed in 15 tax departments and four customs service centers. The minister pledged to install video cameras in all tax and customs offices by the end of the year, at a cost of GEL 480 000. (Prime News)

Snow blocks roads in western Georgia

Snow blocked roads in western Georgia yesterday, according to the television channel Rustavi 2.

Engineers are trying to restore electricity to several villages in Samegrelo after the snowfall interrupted power supplies. (Black Sea Press)

Nearly 80 000 lose electricity

Strong winds and heavy snow have cut off electricity for 75 600 Energo-Pro Georgia customers, the company announced yesterday.

The provinces of Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Adjara and the region of Samegrelo are all affected. (Prime News)

Five Georgians make Russian rich list

Bidzina Ivanishvili ranks number 35 in a list of Russia’s richest people with an estimated fortune of USD 5.2 billion.

Ivanishvili, who owns the UNICOR group, ranked 25 in last year’s rich list, which is published by Finance magazine.

Other Georgians on the list included Sibir Energy owner Shalva Chigirinsky who ranked 48 with a USD 2.95 billion fortune and Alexandre Japaridze, the co-owner of Eurasia Drilling Company, who came in at 63. (Black Sea Press)

Georgian FM meets Cuba ambassador

Cuban Ambassador to Georgia Julio Garmendia Pena met with Foreign Minister Davit Bakradze on February 19 and extended an invitation for Georgian diplomatic representation in Cuba.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations, focusing on the development of cooperation in the fields of tourism and economy. Ambassador Julio Garmendia Pena holds residence in Kiev. (Black Sea Press)