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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 25
Subscribers to pay 112 service charge

The cost of a new service, “112”, will be charged to telephone subscribers beginning in late January, according to the head of the emergency situations service, Temur Giorgadze. The government began charging for the emergency service as of January 1, 2012.

The fee for the fire-rescue and emergency-medical aid joint service will be 0.20 GEL for individual telephone accounts, and 0.50 GEL for those held by organizations.

Mobile phone companies’ representatives say this is a tariff determined by the state, paid by subscribers by means of mobile phone operators. Magticom marketing director Irakli Lobzhanidze says that mobile companies did not sign an agreement with the government, and that they are required by law to charge for the service.

Lobzhanidze also notes that all subscribers will be charged from their accounts for the joint service regardless of if they call the 112 number or not. If a subscriber adds 5 GEL to their account on a monthly basis, Magticom will automatically deduct the charge.

The new service “112” takes effect in late May. (Interpressnews)

Vera Kobalia denies creating new ministry for Giorgi Karbalashvili

Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Vera Kobalia, denies reports that she has established a new ministry for Giorgi Karbelashvili.

As the Minister told journalists, she is sure that the news would make Giorgi Karbelashvili laugh.

Reports emerged that the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development intends to create a Ministry of Transport and Communication would be created, headed by Karbelashili.

Minister Kobalia also announced that Natia Mikeladze and Mikheil Janelide were appointed as deputy ministers.

Natia Mikeladze worked as Deputy Minister in both the ministries of Energy and Finance. Mikheil Janelidze headed trade and international economic relations in the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development also acquired a new First Deputy Minister - Irakli Matkava. Previously, he worked as her Deputy Minister, after leaving a national investment agency. Matkava is replacing Archil Kekelia, who has been appointed ambassador of Georgia to Israel. (Interpressnews)

Russian Soldiers Detained Four Georgian citizens in Tskhinvali

Russian soldiers detained four Georgian citizens in Tskhinvali, press agency Res reports. The individuals were arrested for illegally crossing the informal border between Georgia and South Ossetia.

“On 22 January at 13:25, employees of the Russian border department detained three citizens of Georgia heading from South Ossetia to Georgia, near village Disevi, Tskhinvali region, for attempting to illegally cross state border. The same day at 15:00, a citizen of Georgia, moving from Georgia to South Ossetia, was detained near village Tsinagara, Leningor region for violation of state border regime”, reported the Russian border agency's press service.

The detainees were removed to South Ossetia’s de-facto border service for further investigation. (Interpressnews)

Greek court sends Georgian mafia boss to pre-trial detention

A Greek court has sent Georgian mafia boss Lasha Shushanashvili to pre-trial detention.

The Ministry of Justice of Georgia is preparing relevant documents for the possible extradition of Lasha Shushanashvili, even as Spain is seeking similar custody. Madrid accuses the detainee of creating an organized criminal enterprise, money laundering and premeditated murder.

In Georgia, Lasha Shuahsnashvili is accused of extortion and leading a criminal organization. Tbilisi City Court has been hearing his case in his absence for several months. (Rustavi 2)

Putin makes further remarks on North Caucasus

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made another statement regarding the North Caucasus, at the Forum of South Russia's People in Kislovodsk on Monday.

The Prime Minister said he is convinced that the North Caucasus is integral to the strength of Russia, and that he is concerned that if these regions were to separate, Russia would become a third-rate regional force.

Putin claims that Russia and the Russian people are "like a magnet", attracting people of various nationalities within the federation. Without this, he says, the country would not exist and Russian people everywhere would suffer.

Putin also discussed the significance of electing governors in Russia. He has received support for his handling of Russia's domestic politics from the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadirov. Kadirov has said that if it were up to him, he would jail the organizers of the fair elections protest rallies currently ongoing in Moscow. (Rustavi 2)