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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Monday, November 17
Solana doesn’t acknowledge South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that Russia’s one-sided acknowledgement of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is still unacceptable for the EU. This position was also expressed at the Nice summit, says EU coordinator of foreign policy Javier Solana.

Solana called on Moscow to fulfill the terms of peace agreement and to involve itself in the international discussions arranged to solve this problem.

Nikozi villagers block road

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that travel on the Gori-Tskhinvali highway has become impossible because the villagers of Kvemo Nikozi have blocked the road.

The villagers have done this to express protest, saying that the Government isn’t paying any attention to people living in the conflict zone. They are also saying that humanitarian goods sent to the conflict zones by different organizations as aid to poor families are not being distributed fairly and are not reaching those who really need them. They are also protesting about a lack of domestic electricity.

Women on hunger strike in Chiatura

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that a one-week protest in Chiatura has taken an extreme turn.

Six women have now begun a hunger strike in front of the municipality building. They are demanding the benefits for 900 so-called regression pensioners which Chiaturmanganum is obliged to pay. They have not received GEL 150 of their pensions for 22 months.

The women have begun their hunger strike after one week of vain protest. Chiaturmanganum is owned by British-Ukraine company Georgian Manganese.

We are about to lose even the information war

Rezonansi reports that after losing the war with Russia Georgia is about to be defeated in the information war. In the American and European press more and more analytical articles are appearing that are unpleasant for Georgia. The Government is trying to ignore this, but experts are sure that the trend might create a crisis in the country.

The most alerting of these articles is one from the New York Times, where the authors quote OSCE military observers as saying that the taking of Tskhinvali by Georgia wasn’t preceded by the bombing of Georgian villages and the entry of Russian troops to Georgia. The authors claim that neither the Government of Georgia nor any of its agencies have been able to produce facts which would prove their assertions to the contrary. This article was followed by an editorial in the International Herald Tribune, which said that Saakashvili had lied about the per-conflict situation.

This subject is becoming a hotter topic even in the American press, which was always one of the most energetic supporters of Georgia, but is now saying that Georgia started the war. Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze says, “I think the Government could have done nothing about this, as international comment was expected to develop in this way. The most important thing in this is to determine from where “the wind blew,” and I don’t think our Government was able to change its direction. The ‘colour changing” of the Western press is connected with the announcement made by Russian officials about giving Europe a cheaper gas supply.

Georgia mustn’t try and compete with Russia in terms of taking unplanned actions. We have already seen that by acting in this way we cannot suppress Russia. We don’t have the resources of Russia and we aren’t able to affect its energy carriers,” he said.

Georgia’s safety was guaranteed by Poland on August 12

The Chairman ofthe Foreign Affairs Committee of the Georgian Parliament, Lasha Zhvania, has met a delegation from the Polish Sejm, 24 saati reports.

Zhvania declared after the meeting that Poland had guaranteed the safety of Georgia on August 12, as thanks to the President of Poland, the leaders of different countries came to Tbilisi and this saved the capital from Russian aggression.

The most important topics in the conversation with the Polish delegation were Georgia’s territorial integrity and the danger from Russia. The two sides also discussed deepening relations between the two countries and the chances of Georgia joining NATO and the EU.