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Compiled by Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 31
Travel to EU countries will be easier

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the European Union and Georgia have signed a special document concerning visa regime simplification. This has been announced by the EU Commissioner’s Press Service.

Under this agreement travel to EU countries for businessmen, journalists, statesmen and students will be simplified. The Press Service confirmed that the negotiations ended successfully but the exact date the agreement will come into force isn’t known.

Russia to create new maps of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that Russia is planning to produce detailed maps of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in which the Abkhazian and South Ossetian names of places and other features will be used. The Chairman of Russia’s Registration and Cartography Department, Leonard Iablosk, has confirmed this, stating “we have already asked Abkhazia and South Ossetia to give us the local names of places and features which now have Georgian names. After identifying these we will start working on detailed maps.”

In 2008 Russia published a new world political map which treated the breakaway Georgian regions as independent states.

NATO works on new concept Rezonansi reports that NATO is discussing a new strategic concept. The document will be agreed and made public in 2010. An internet module, forum and special postbox have already been established to enable internet users to give their views on this.

Michel Diure, Chairman of NATO’s Collaboration Department, has stated that in the new concept Georgia and Ukraine’s views would be taken into consideration. Analyst Vasil Chkoidze suggests that “through this new concept NATO clarifies its values and at the same time retains its position as the only powerful international mechanism which can combat global threats. In my opinion, its main goals will be countering weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and religious fanaticism. International monitoring and control of WMDs will not be provided by one country alone, NATO and its allies will fulfill this function.

“Georgia and the Ukraine will participate in formulating the new strategic concept, which is very significant. Up until now, it must be pointed out, these two countries have been able to take part in NATO peace operations, but not formulating the concept behind them.”