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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 27
Today the Georgian Orthodox Church marks St. Nino’s Day

On January 27 the Georgian Orthodox Church of Georgia celebrates the feast of St. Nino, Equal to the Apostles. The festive liturgy will be celebrated in all Georgian churches.

St. Nino was born in the small town of Colastri, in the Roman province of Cappadocia. She reached the borders of the ancient Georgian Kingdom of Iberia in about 323 A.D. There, she placed a cross in the small town of Akhalkalaki and started preaching the Christian faith in Urbnisi, finally reaching Mtskheta (the capital of Iberia). As a result of Nino’s preaching and miracles, Queen Nana, then King Mirian and then the whole nation were converted to Christianity. In 326 King Mirian made Christianity the state religion of his kingdom.

The Georgian Church marks St. Nino’s Day twice a year: on June 1 - the Entrance of St. Nino to Georgia and on January 27 – the day of her repose. (The Messenger)

Georgian delegation attends Budapest energy summit

A Georgian delegation led by Nika Gilauri, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, has left for Budapest to attend a high-level energy summit concerning the NABUCCO pipeline project. Representatives of the EU, USA, Germany, Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia and several other countries will take part in the summit.

A decision may be made on NABUCCO gas pipeline project implementation at the summit. Foreign media have stated that a tender for the gas pipeline project, if agreed, would presumably be published in 2009 or at the beginning of 2010.

The NABUCCO project would involve constructing a new pipeline which would enhance the existing Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum pipeline. This would transport Azerbaijani and Middle Eastern gas to Europe through Georgia and Turkey.

Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian Foreign Minister, said at a press conference on January 26 that the NABUCCO project had gained even more importance after “Russia has again tried to use its energy resources as a tool to blackmail one of its neighbouring states [Ukraine].” (The Messenger)

Refugees Minister promises to help IDPs

Minister of Refugees and Accommodation Koba Subeliani has visited the settlements of IDPs in the Samegrelo Region. The Minister met IDPs housed in the city of Zugdidi and the villages of Tsaishi and Zeda Etseri, where their homes lost their roofs during the recent high winds.

The Minister spoke to IDPs and learned about other problems which trouble them. He promised to resolve their social problems urgently. (Rustavi 2)

OSCE Chair welcomes resumption of gas supply to Tskhinvali

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, has said she welcomes the resumption of gas supplies to Tskhinvali, adding that the OSCE would continue to address other humanitarian challenges, including the water supply.

“I commend the parties for their constructive approach which has made it possible to solve this urgent humanitarian problem,” Bakoyannis said in a statement on January 25. “This demonstrates the vital role the OSCE plays in strengthening co-operation and working towards security and stability in the region. Another urgent humanitarian problem in the region concerns the supply of water. The OSCE Greek Chairmanship intends to assess the water supply infrastructure as soon as weather conditions allow.”

The gas supply to breakaway South Ossetia resumed after the Georgian Government repaired the Agara-Tskhinvali pipeline and authorized the deliveries. The organization said in its press release that this step was taken after the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office's Special Representative, Ambassador Charalampos Christopoulos, held extensive consultations during his visits to Tbilisi and Tskhinvali on January 12-13. (

Rescuers searching for lost fishermen

A rescue operation seeking two fishermen has been resumed on Paliastomi Lake. Rescue services and divers are searching for two men who disappeared in a storm two days ago. The divers joined the rescue operation only yesterday due to the bad weather and poor visibility in the muddy water.

Irakli Tsaava, 16, and Mamuka Garuchava, 32, were fishing on Friday when a storm broke out and they failed to make it back to the bank. (Rustavi 2)