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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 18
Georgia slams Russia for its aggressive policy

Georgia has described the construction of a wall along the administrative border of the Abkhazian separatist region as yet another demonstration of Russia’s occupation of Georgia.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Jalaghania said at the traditional Monday briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the wall was a continuation of the Russian occupation policy and aggression against Georgia. “This is of course absolutely unacceptable. Russia has confirmed that it needs the occupied territories purely as a platform for its military bases and speculations about any social or economic measures being taken are absurd,” Davit Jalaghania said.

Jalaghania also objected to the issuing of Russian passports to the residents of Perevi village, in the Sachkhere region, which was occupied during last year’s aggression. “This action contradicts Russian legislation itself as well as the norms of international law. We hope that the international community will try to force Russia to act in accordance with international norms,” Jalaghania said. (Rustavi 2)

Separatists arrest three Ukrainian nationals

Abkhaz separatists have arrested three Ukrainian nationals in the settlement of Gantiadi near Sokhumi. The three tourists were accused of conducting anti-Government propaganda and deprived of their photo and video cameras. They were held in the Sokhumi insulator and interrogated until late on Sunday.

The three Ukrainian citizens were arrested on the order of separatist security chief Otar Khepia. The separatists have accused the detainees of espionage, but they deny the allegation. (Rustavi 2)

UTG denies Labour Party allegations

United Telecom Georgia has denied the allegations of the Georgian Labour Party, which held a rally outside the company’s office yesterday. The opposition party asserts that UTG plans to raise the subscriber tariff from 4 to 7 GEL. Labour member Ioseb Shatberashvili told reporters today that the previous UTG attempt to increase tariffs failed due to the Labour Party’s protest and they would do their best to disrupt their plans again.

UTG staff deny that they will raise the subscription fees and say they will offer a new tariff policy to their subscribers which will be optional, and not against the interests of their subscribers. (Rustavi 2)

MP presents new draft law to media

MP Gia Tortladze, who has worked on the draft law on lustration, introduced its key points to the media yesterday. Under the draft law people who occupied senior positions in Soviet intelligence between February 1921 and April 9 1991, officers of the Soviet security committee or those who fulfilled duties of this kind, will face restrictions on being appointed to offices of state. A special state commission formed on the initiative of the President will look into each case individually and Parliamentary factions will each be allowed to nominate one member of this commission, who will observe a confidentiality agreement when dealing with information.

The draft law will be presented to Parliament for consideration at its autumn session. (Rustavi 2)

65,000 people blacked out in Tbilisi

The electricity supply to 65 thousand customers of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi was suspended due to a service breakdown on the Vera 1 and Vera 2 high voltage power transmission lines. Chughureti district, Rustaveli Avenue and small streets in the vicinity were blacked out. However Tbilisi power company Telasi switched some customers to an alternative power transmission line, meaning only around 25,000 were left completely without electricity.

Telasi reported that the electricity would be restored between 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and everyone would receive it without hindrance from Monday. (Rustavi 2)