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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 14
Former Georgian minister to run in presidential elections

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, will most likely run for president as an independent candidate. "I am ready to run for the President of Georgia, if I feel the support of the people," she said. The former minister stressed that Georgia now has entered "an era in which the president should not belong to any political group, but should be independent and free in his activities. The president should be subject to only the people." Zurabishvili promised to make a decision in the coming weeks.

ADB to finance Tbilisi-Rustavi highway construction on new terms

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will finance the construction of the Tbilisi-Rustavi highway on new terms and by providing for the involvement of mainly local workers in building the road, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia Shota Murgulia said on Monday. The corresponding tender shall be announced this month.

"The money for the project has already been allocated. ADB would like us to hold the tender announced by the former authorities. However, we stated that the implementation of this project only with the participation of foreigners does not suit us. After five months of negotiations with the management of ADB, we have obtained consent to this condition," Murgulia said.

Currently, the ADB finances projects in sectors such as municipal, urban, municipal and water infrastructure and transportation. The bank also invests in the highway corridor program. One of its priorities is lending to the banking and industrial sectors.

Georgia joined the ADB in 2007. To date, the bank has provided $781 million to the country. The total funding of the current infrastructure projects is $531 million.

Saakashvili tries to gain sympathy of Baku and Ankara, say experts

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s pro-Azerbaijani statements are aimed at strengthening his positions in domestic politics, Georgian studies expert, Alik Eroyants, and Azeri studies expert, Sargis Asatryan, told a news conference on Saturday.

Saakashvili is trying to please Baku and Ankara in order to gain their sympathy for his further moves, according to the experts.

“Despite the fact that Saakashvili has no chance to be reelected, he is not planning to quit politics. His aim is to enjoy the sympathy of Turkey and Azerbaijan, and at the same time to stay in power. Thus he tries to oppose himself to the ruling party Georgian Dream,” said Eroyants.

At the same time, the Georgian studies expert said, Ivanishvili’s government tries to balance Armenian-Georgian and Georgian-Azerbaijani relations, which is advantageous to Armenia.

Independent expert to join examination of Lapankuri victims

An independent expert will join in the examination of the bodies of seven Chechens, who were killed in the Lapankuri special anti-terror operation last summer. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and the Chief Prosecutor`s Office have accepted the request of the families of the dead in this regard.

The two offices reviewed the competence of two experts proposed by the public defender`s office– Maia Nikoleishvili and Rusudan Beriashvili– and selected the latter, even thought the relatives of the dead Chechens say they trust both of them. The families have been rallying for a few days refusing to bury the corpses until the independent expert makes his conclusion on the reasons of the death of their relatives.
(Rustavi 2)

Novaya Gazeta Publishes Letter by Interpol Secretary General to Mikheil Saakashvili

Russian Novaya Gazeta published a letter by Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble to the President Mikheil Saakashvili. The letter concerns the MP Givi Targamadze.

“Interpol has not received a demand to issue a red notice on Mr. Targamadze, though the legal department of Interpol discussed the Givi Targamadze related notice, sent by Russian Interpol National Central Bureau. The legal department of Interpol concluded that it doesn’t comply with Interpol rules, namely the 3rd Article of the Constitution. We informed the National Central Bureau of Russia that information about Givi Targamadze will be removed from the Interpol database and in such case, cooperation through Interpol will be impossible”, the 5 April letter by Ronald Noble to Mikheil Saakashvili reads. Russia accused Givi Targamadze of organizing mass disorder in Bolotnaya Square in Russia on May 6, 2012. The Georgian MP has been in Lithuania since February 2013. Russia demanded his extradition. Lithuania officially refused to extradite Targamadze to Russia several days ago. On May 11, Givi Targamadze returned to Georgia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs starts visit to Hungary

Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze’s two-day visit to Hungary has started. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani stated that Panjikidze will meet with the chairperson of the Parliament of Hungary, Secretary of State, and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The signing of an agreement in economics and tourism is planned within the visit, which as Zalkaliani says, will promote attracting investors from Hungary.

Panjikide will deliver a speech at the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs and speak about Georgia’s foreign priorities.

Cleassens International to work with Georgian wine producers

The British Georgian Chamber of Commerce (BGCC) arranged a presentation of Cleassens International, a leading UK design agency with over 30 years experience and extensive knowledge of the spirits, wine, brandy/cognac, beer, liqueurs, juice and water markets.

“Georgian wine is wonderful and of a high quality. Now Georgians need to work how to make it a distinctive, identifiable brand on the international market,” remarked Elena Getman, Cleassens' International CIS Operations Director. “We strive to provide our clients with outstanding creative and strategic solutions that communicate directly with the consumer and our expertise is founded upon helping to create and develop brands and products that hold a unique identity and are powerful portfolio assets,” said Getman.

It is of note that the Georgian company Bagrationi already has experience working with Cleassens International, as the company’s label has been designed by Cleassens International’s design and trademark specialist. According to Mako Abashidze, BGCC director, Teliani Valley is also interested in collaboration with Cleassens Internationals.

Mako Abashidze highlighted BGCC’s reason for bringing representatives of Cleassens International to Georgia. “BGCC aims to implement a new branding culture in Georgia for Georgian products produced for international markets. However, it does not mean that we have less professional designers or graphic designers. The branding concept is very new in Georgia so using well known international companies is a necessary part of the successful entering the international market,” said Abashidze.
(Hvino News)