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The News in Brief

Friday, August 29
Russia plans to open military bases in Abkhazia, South Ossetia

Russia may open three military bases on the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian site reported on Thursday with reference to a military-diplomatic source in Moscow.

“Military experts and specialists of other agencies are making calculations regarding the possible deployment of military bases, mainly in Abkhazia in the towns of Gudauta and Ochamchire, as well as in the South Ossetian town of Java,” the source reported.

He specified that it was advantageous to establish bases in places where military units had once been stationed. According to him, there is a military airfield in Gudauta, thus assault combat troops, aviation and air defence mechanisms can be deployed there. In Ochamchire port Black Sea navy vessels can be stationed, whereas in Java an infantry brigade can be positioned.

Leaders of the separatist authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia claimed earlier that they expected to cooperate with Russia in the military sphere and were interested in opening Russian military bases on their territories. (Black Sea Press)

Georgian Foreign Minister to hold talks in Istanbul

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia will leave for Istanbul on Sunday, August 31, to meet with her Turkish counterpart Ali Babajan, the Turkish media reported on Thursday with reference to diplomatic sources.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey has not confirmed the report so far, though there has been confirmation from the Georgian side. Turkish media emphasized that the Georgian-Turkish talks will be held ahead of the forthcoming visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Istanbul on September 2.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul told NTV on Wednesday that Ankara was supporting the settlement of all problems in the Caucasus region through dialogue and offered its assistance to efforts to secure stability in the region. (Black Sea Press)

EURO 200,000 allocated for mine clearing operations in Georgia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany has allocated Euro 200,000 to support Georgia in carrying out mine clearing operations, Black Sea Press was told at the German Embassy in Georgia on Thursday.

The money is intended for the purchase of about 60 mine detectors and five sanitary cars. With this relief action the total amount of humanitarian aid sent by Germany to Georgia has reached Euro 2.2 million.

Mine clearing operations will be carried out by the international “HALO Trust” organization. Its experts are already in Georgia and are currently delimiting the territory on which mine clearing, as well as the detection of cluster bombs and unexploded shells, will be carried out. One of the largest of the mine clearing operations will be carried out in Gori and its adjacent territories. (Black Sea Press)

Ethnic cleaning of Georgian population taking place in Kareli: Ombudsman

According to Sozar Subari, Public Defender of Georgia, ethnic cleaning of the Georgian population is occurring in the villages of the Kareli district.

Prime-News was told at the Ombudsman’s Office that civilians from the village of Bredza had phoned the Public Defender. According to them, Russian soldiers are still in the village and are telling the Georgians there to either take Russian passports or leave their homes. (Prime-News)

Mtatsminda, Tbilisi, wood on fire

The wood on Mtatsminda (Holy Mountain) in Tbilisi is on fire. Prime-News was told at Tbilisi City Hall that fire brigades are putting out the forest fire, whose cause is as yet unknown. (Prime-News)