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The News in Brief

Friday, January 30
Catholicos-Patriarch cancels his visit to Moscow

On January 29 Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II said he would not be able to travel to Moscow to attend the enthronement of Russia’s new Patriarch, Metropolitan Kyril, on February 1. In a video message recorded in hospital, the Patriarch said that he felt better but that his doctors claim it is better to avoid visits and busy meetings and rest for a while.

According to Ilia II he will send a delegation, “which will congratulate Metropolitan Kyril on my and the Georgian Church’s behalf.” Ilia II was hospitalized with a high temperature and viral infection on January 27. (The Messenger)

A new breeding farm opened in Teleti

Yesterday Georgian President Mikheil Saakashivli and Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli attended the opening of a new breeding farm in Teleti, Gardabani. The farm is oriented on producing milk and breeding cattle.

The President looked round the farm and talked to staff. He said that against the background of the world economic crisis, it is necessary that similar farms work intensively. The President promised the farm veterinary staff that he would send them to Switzerland to gain further skill and experience.

There are about 40 local people employed in new farm whose average salary is GEL 450. 400 calves of Swiss origin form its initial breeding stock. The land the farm occupies was handed over to N. Argo Ltd. at a preferential price under the New Enterprise programme. (The Messenger)

Georgian Railways to have new office

Georgian Railways will have a new administrative office, its Director General has announced. Irakli Ezugbaia says that architects are already working on the project and construction would begin in a few months.

The exact cost of the project has not been quoted; however, the Director General says that Georgian Railways will allocate 2-3 million GEL from its budget for this purpose.

When asked if the company would sell off its current office, Ezugbaia said that privatization was not on the agenda yet, but he did not rule out thinking about it after the real estate market stabilizes. (Rustavi 2)

USD 1 equals GEL 1.6650

USD 1 was equal to GEL 1.6650 after trading at the Tbilisi Interbank Currency Exchange (TICEX) on January 29. The Exchange reported to Interpressnews that the National Bank of Georgia and one commercial bank as sellers, and four commercial banks as buyers, took part in the trading session at which five deals were concluded. Total trade turnover amounted to USD 3,500,000. The initial demand and supply of commercial banks on the currency also amounted to USD 3,500,000.

The opening exchange rate was 1 USD – 1.6650 GEL. National Bank of Georgia bought 2,900,000 US dollars on Monday. The official exchange rate from January 30 is 1 USD - GEL1.6650. (Interpressnews)

Murder in village Nabakevi

A murder was committed in the village of Nabakevi, Gali region, on the night of January 28.

Representatives of the Georgian Administration of Gali declare that local resident Koba Mebonia was the murdered man.

Late at night several drunken Russian soldiers attempted to raid the Mebonia family to get food. Koba Mebonia resisted them, and was shot dead at his gate. The Russians removed the corpse, and are refusing to return it to the family unless they promise not to reveal the real reason of the murder. (Interpressnews)