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The News in Brief

Monday, July 27
John Beyrle – USA-Georgia collaboration will embrace all spheres

Ambassador of the United States to Russia John Beyrle has stated to the BBC that USA-Georgia collaboration will involve military hardware supply and other spheres as well.

The US Diplomat stated that the USA is not going to send American observers to Georgia, but hopes that consultations on the OSCE and UN observer missions’ prolongation in the region will be held. He stated that the USA has said many times that NATO’s door is open for Geogia, but Georiga has much work to do before it is ready for this membership.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin and Russian representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin have made comments on US Vice President Biden’s statement about military collaboration with Georgia. They stated that Russia will impose sanctions of all enterprises which supply Georgia with attack weapons. Rogozin named the USA and Ukraine as Georgia’s weapons suppliers.

Russia is against forcibly “dragging” states into NATO

Russia is not jealous of its neighbours, including Ukraine and Georgia, and their relationships with the United States but it is against forcibly “dragging” them into military and political alliances, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said in an interview with the NTV Russian TV station.

“Here my position is simple, it remains the same, and on this issue we disagree with the views of the United States ... We do not consider it right to drag any state into a political-military alliance against the will of its people,” Dmitry Medvedev said.

The Russian leader said that NATO does not need a country like Georgia, with a number of problems, and added that neither Georgia nor Ukraine is ready to join the alliance.

“We look at how other states build their relations with our partners in the international community, including such important country as the United States, without any jealousy,” the Russian President said. However Moscow fears that NATO expansion, in particular through the Ukraine and Georgia, will lead to a serious destabilisation of the situation on the European continent.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian occupiers make strict demands on locals of Gali district

Due to the nut season, Russian occupiers have increased their demands on the local population of the Gali district. The aggressors entered all the villages of the district on Sunday morning and forced their inhabitants to sign documents saying they would hand over 80 kg of nuts per family to the occupiers for free.

The Russian aggressors have constrained the locals in the villages of Nabakevi and Pichori to fulfil the terms they have set. It is reported that Abkhaz separatists are not working with the occupiers this time.

Russian soldiers have also closed the administrative border between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia, and this puts the local population in a difficult situation. The Russian occupiers refused to allow a pregnant woman, who was going to Zugdidi, to pass the checkpoint and she had to give birth at the site. The medical conditions of both mother and newborn baby are difficult; they have been taken to hospital in the Gali district.
(Rustavi 2)

Four journalists die in car crash in Kutaisi

Four journalists have died in a car crash in Kutaisi. The accident occurred at the junction of Ninoshvili and Aghmashenebeli streets late on Saturday night. A BMW X5 Jeep collided with a Volkswagen containing five employees of the local Rioni TV company. Two of the six passengers - news programme editor Nino Gigashvili and Dato Avaliani - died at the scene. News anchor Giorgi Mgaloblishvili and journalist Joni Kublashvili died after being taken to hospital.

The offending driver abandoned his car at the scene of the accident. He is in hiding from the police.
(Rustavi 2)

8 years since Sanaia’s murder

26 July is the eighth anniversary of the murder of Giorgi Sanaia, a Rustavi 2 journalist. Sanaia was the anchor of the Night Courier news programme and was found dead in his flat in Tbilisi on July 26, 2001. Sanaia has a widow and a son. Sanaia is been considered the most popular and best journalist in Georgia even today.

The real reason for the murder of the journalist is unknown. An investigation which lasted two years stated that the murder was committed for personal reasons. Grigol Khurtsilava, an ex-employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was arrested and confessed to the murder during his trial.

Khurtsilava was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in 2003. However, it is widely believed that the assassination was politically motivated. It is known that Sanaia was investigating allegations of official corruption. The circumstances of murder were also highly controversial. Members of Sanaia’s family still believe this was a political murder. Together with Sanaia’s friends and devoted audience they have been going to his grave regularly and gathered there on 26 July.

Sanaia’s name is inscribed on the memorial to journalists who died in the course of duty in France.
(The Messenger)