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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Friday, February 20
Minsk in no hurry to recognize South Ossetian and Abkhazian ‘independence’

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that Belarus hasn’t adopted a position on the recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian ‘independence’ as yet. This has been declared by the Foreign Minister of Belarus, Sergey Martinov, who adds that the six countries of the Collective Security Organization, including Belarus, denounced Georgia’s actions towards South Ossetia a year ago.

I’m not going to create a political bloc with Alasania - Akhvlediani

Akhali Taoba reports that Christian Democrat MP Giorgi Akhvlediani has said: “Parliament has already started the process of “tightening belts” and has diminished by 2 million the amount of money it will spend. In December we were saying that the budget bill presented by Minister of Finance Nika Gilauri was far from reality. The only new financial commitment in the recent speech of Saakashvili is the GEL 5 insurance package, which won’t work.

“The Department of Statistics, part of the Ministry of Economics, doesn’t deserve our trust. The information delivered by it can’t be realistic, as it is a political weapon in the hands of the Government.

Concerning recent political developments, Akhvlediani said: “All political groups interested in resolving particular problems through deep analysis are acceptable for us. Irakli Alasania hasn’t formed an NGO. I hope that our relations on different issues will continue. Creating a bloc or alliance wasn’t the matter of our discussion. The Christian Democrats see no reason for any obstacles.”

Parliamentary Majority doesn’t want to investigate the November 7 events

Rezonansi reports that the Ombudsman has again demanded that the Chairman of Parliament establish a temporary investigation commission to study the evidence that a “secret meeting” of Government members was held on November 4 2007, at which the action to be taken against demonstrators was discussed. He is doing this for the second time, in this case via the media. Subari sent his first, written, request to Bakradze on January 12.

The Ombudsman gave evidence concerning this meeting on December 30, 2008 in his bi-annual Parliamentary report. He added then that if such a commission was created he would be ready to cooperate with it.

The Parliamentary minority Christian Democrats plan to raise this matter after the return of the Parliament Speaker from Lithuania. According to Levan Vephkhvadze, they first raised it directly after Subari’s speech, but consultations weren’t held then.

Crime situation in Samegrelo worsens

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the crime situation in Zugdidi, near the administrative border with breakaway Abkhazia, has worsened. Robbery and car theft have become very frequent. None of such these have been resolved yet, and some thieves have even tried to drive stolen cars to Abkhazia.

In the Vector district of Zugdidi driver Nugzar Kvaratskhelia was attacked by two armed men with masks. They hit him in the head and took car and driver to the village of Rukhi. They opened fire on the police who followed them but after receiving responding fire they abandoned