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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 20
Russia closes border with Georgia and Azerbaijan

Russia has temporarily closed its state border with Georgia and Azerbaijan to foreigners. A special resolution concerning this has been signed by Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia.

The closure does not affect citizens of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. Putin reportedly signed the abovementioned resolution after Mikheil Saakashvili declared Georgia would leave the CIS. (Prime-News)

Russian soldier arrested in Gori on orders of local commander

Russian military police in Gori, acting under the order of their commander, have arrested one of their own soldiers for threatening peaceful civilians.

“One evening one of drunken Russian soldiers in the city burst into the house of a local resident demanding alcohol, firing an automatic weapon in the air. The Governor of the Shida Kartli region, Lado Vardzelashvili, who was not far from the location at the time, informed Major-General Vyacheslav Borisov, who is leading the Russian military operation,” the centre informs.

“Russian military men on duty were then sent to the location and arrested and detained their soldier. General Borisov promised that any manifestation of an insulting attitude towards the local population by Russian soldiers, and any looting, would be prevented”, the media centre was informed. (Black Sea Press)

Civil Registry Agency of Georgia registers 90,000 IDPs

The Civil Registry Agency of Georgia has so far registered 90,000 IDPs, the Ministry of Justice has stated. According to the Ministry, the Agency would be trying to finish the registration process today, August 19.

Giorgi Vashadze, Chairman of the Civil Registry Agency, says that refugees who previously held ID cards but lost them during the crisis can apply to the Head Office of the Agency in 67a Tsereteli Avenue and receive a temporary document. Residents of Gori, Kurta, Eredvi, Tigvi, Znauri and the Tskhinvali area will need to apply for these documents, which will be annulled after they return home and regain or re-register for their IDs. Those without their children’s birth certificates can apply to the CRA Head Office and receive an excerpt of this document from the central archive.

Vashadze noted that all IDPs in communal accommodation would be registered on site. It is important that all refugees stay at their temporary refuges. He asked those IDPs who are not yet registered to call the hotline number 17 22 22. Refugees who live with their relatives or friends should go to 67a Tsereteli Avenue for registration.

According to data from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of people displaced by the South Ossetian conflict is around 158,000 all of whom need humanitarian aid. Approximately 30,000 people have fled to Russia, but most IDPs have found shelter in Georgia. (Black Sea Press)

“Airzena” to make a special flight

A plane belonging to “Airzena Georgia Airlines” will make a special flight from Tbilisi to Batumi and back on Tuesday, Nino Giorgobiani, Head of the PR Service of the company, told journalists.

Giorgobiani stated that the plane would depart from Tbilisi International Airport at 1 PM and return at 2.30PM. A ticket would cost GEL 160. The flight has come about at the request of officials of the Georgian Economic Ministry and tourists staying in Batumi. (Prime-News)

David Darchiashvili: the West well knows that a struggle for the existence of the European idea is going on today

David Darchiashvili, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration, thinks Europe realizes that what is happening in Georgia today endangers the European idea itself, as he told journalists after meeting members of the European Parliament. In his words, sanctions that can be imposed against Russia and ways to speed up Georgia’s integration into European structures are being discussed in Europe at present..

A delegation of Members of the European Parliament will also meet David Bakradze, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament. (Prime-News)

McCain proposes expelling Russia from G8

Senator John McCain, Republican candidate for the US Presidency, has spoken of his initiative to expel Russia from the“G8” group of major industrialized countries due to its aggression against Georgia.

“Along with our European counterparts we have told Russia many times that it has to be called to account for its violence and intimidation. There is no place in G8 and WTO for a Russia that sometimes acts as if it were the USSR,” he stated. (Prime-News)