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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 17
Nauru recognises so-called South Ossetia as independent

The Republic of Nauru has recognised so-called South Ossetia as independent. Tskhinvali’s Information and Printed Word Committee informs that South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity stated this at a meeting with Georgian law enforcers yesterday.

"Nauru has recognised South Ossetia's independence. An agreement on establishing diplomatic relation between South Ossetia and Nauru has been signed. We’ll extend relations to all fields," Kokoity stated.

The de facto President alleged that 10 states will recognise South Ossetia in the near future. Kokoity considers that relations with Georgia must be established on the basis that "South Ossetia is recognised as an independent state." (Interpressnews)

President of Lithuania recalls Ambassador to Georgia

President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite issued an order on Monday to recall Ambassador of Lithuania to Georgia Mecys Laurinkus within 24 hours, having lost trust in him, RIA Novosti states based on Lithuanian media sources.

Director of the State Security Department Povilas Malakauskas will replace Laurinkus, who ran the Security Department himself for 6 years until 2007 and was appointed as Ambassador to Georgia in September, 2008.

The recall of the Ambassador was confirmed on Lithuanian TV Channel Lietuvos Rytas by Foreign Minister Vigaudas Ushatskas. He stated that the President has expressed distress over the Ambassador and the Government would discuss the issue and take a decision. (Interpressnews)

Georgia receives further Japanese aid

On December 16 2009 the Signing Ceremony for an Exchange of Notes was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, concerning the provision of 17.722 billion Japanese Yen (approximately 200 million USD at current exchange rates) to the Government of Georgia for implementing the East-West Highway Improvement Project as part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan Aid.

The Notes and other related documents were exchanged between H.E. Masayoshi Kamohara, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, and H.E. Grigol Vashadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

The loan is being allocated to implement the pledge announced by the Government of Japan at the Brussels International Donor Conference on Georgia on October 22, 2008. It is to be used to strengthen the transport capacity of the country through improving part of the East-West Highway, namely, the section between Zestafoni and Samtredia. It is expected that the implementation of this programme will contribute to the enhancement of the rural economy as well as the country’s reconstruction process after the armed conflict in August 2008.

The present loan is the second of its kind allocated to the country under Japan’s ODA Loan Aid Scheme. The first was signed off in 1998 and amounted to 49.8 million USD.

Japan has implemented various projects, including offering grant aid, technical cooperation and ODA loans, in cooperation with the Government of Georgia as part of its Official Development Assistance programme. Japan’s ODA to Georgia totals more than 356 million USD, including the loan for the East-West Highway Improvement Project. (The Messenger)

Zurab Noghaideli wraps up visit to Moscow

The leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia, ex-Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, is holding meetings in Moscow. Before his departure from the Russian capital Noghaideli will meet Russian lawmakers. He has already discussed the improvement of relations between Georgia and Russia at a meeting with Evgeni Primakov, who chairs the National Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Noghaideli says that the former Prime Minister of Russia has serious influence on Russian politics.

The resumption of direct flights between the countries and the procedures for registering Georgians residing illegally in Russia were also discussed with Primakov. (Rustavi 2)

One more Georgian kidnapped in Gali

One more Georgian has been kidnapped from the Gali district village of Nabakevi. Russian occupiers are demanding a 100,000 dollar ransom from the family of Bachana Ekhvaia.

Seven robberies were reported in the Gali district yesterday. In the village of Mziuri, occupiers assaulted two families demanding nuts and cash from them. They tortured a husband and wife.

Occupiers took household devices from several local families in the village of Nabakevi. They also arrested the passengers of two minibuses in the village of Tagiloni. (Rustavi 2)