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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 27
Georgia to block Russian WTO admission

“Georgia’s position on Russia’s hope to join the WTO [World Trade Organization] is not changed,” the press department of the Economic Development Ministry said.

The next round of talks on Russia’s bid to join the WTO was due to start in Geneva yesterday.

Tbilisi is withholding consent on Russian WTO membership, demanding that Georgian border officers be stationed at two border crossings with Russia which lie in separatist-controlled territory.

Russia has been trying for more than a decade to join the WTO, which requires a consensus from existing members to admit new entrants.

Deputy Economic Development Minister Tamar Kovziridze has left for Geneva to attend the talks.
(By Temur Kiguradze)

Polish president reaffirms support on trip to Tbilisi

Polish President Lech Kaczynski praised Georgia’s recent parliamentary elections and reaffirmed Warsaw’s support for the country’s NATO bid when he attended Georgia’s Independence Day military parade in Tbilisi yesterday.

He called the parliamentary elections “free” and “one step forward in development,” while adding that “there are always some mistakes.”

Kaczynski also reaffirmed that Poland backs Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration ambitions, and supports the country’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
(By Temur Kiguradze)

Medvedev congratulates Saakashvili on Independence Day

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili yesterday offering congratulations on Georgia’s Independence Day, and expressing hope for “constructive cooperation” between the two countries.

“I sincerely wish peace and prosperity to the Georgian people, with whom we are linked with multi-century friendship and spiritual ties,” the message reads.

“We hope for a constructive cooperation between our states in the sake of interests of developing neighborly relations and strengthening stability and security in the Caucasus region.”
(Black Sea Press)

Russian ambassador wishes peace to Georgian nation

Russian Ambassador to Georgia Vyacheslav Kovalenko also offered congratulations yesterday.

“I would like to congratulate the Georgian nation on the Day of Independence. Let me wish you prosperity and success,” Kovalenko said.

“Let peace always be on Georgian land and let bloodshed never happen,” he added.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian House to open in Hamburg

Iulon Gagoshidze, State Minister for Diaspora Issues, will attend the opening ceremony of Georgian House today in Hamburg, Germany, to mark Georgian Community Day.

Yesterday Gagoshidze attended a concert in Berlin dedicated to Georgia’s independence.

Tomorrow he will leave for Amsterdam, and later join Georgian Ambassador to France Mamuka Kudava on May 31 to unveil a memorial marking Georgia’s independence in Leville Mansion in Paris.
(Black Sea Press)

Polish journalist beaten in Abkhazia

A journalist working for Polish TV company TVP was physically assaulted in Sokhumi, de facto capital of the breakaway region of Abkhazia, according to TVP spokeswoman Aneta Wrona.

“A group of unknown individuals have beaten up our correspondent Marek Czunkiewicz. Our journalist was preparing news coverage from Abkhazia and the overall situation in the region,” Wrona said.

Abkhaz officials said the journalist was assaulted by robbers.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian parliamentary speaker to visit Germany and Austria

Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze will visit Germany and Austria from May 26–30.

Burjanadze is scheduled to hold meetings in the German Federal Chancellery, the Bundestag, and with representatives of German NGOs.

Burjanadze will also meet her German counterpart Norbert Lamert, as well as meet with OSCE officials in Vienna.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian soldiers in Iraq vote overwhelmingly for National Movement

Georgian soldiers in Iraq voted overwhelmingly for the ruling National Movement in last week’s parliamentary elections.

A total of 2 233 military personnel voted in Iraq. 1 928 of them voted for the National Movement, according to the Central Election Commission.

Eight voted for the United Opposition, ten for the Labor Party, and 14 for the Christian-Democratic Movement. The Republican Party and Christian Democratic Alliance received six voted each while the Alliance of the Rights, Topadze-Industrialists won two votes and Our Country Party received one.
(Black Sea Press)