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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, October 30
Minister collects pesticides

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the Environment Protection and Natural Resources Minister has visited Shida Kartli. Goga Khachidze took part in collecting pesticides which had passed their use before dates and could not therefore be used and taking them to a safe place.

The Minister collected about 60 tonnes of pesticides from various places. They are due to be packed away in a special secure storage facility in the Sagarejo region. There they will be rendered harmless by following procedures which meet national and international standards. 25 people are employed in this work, the budget for which is 120,000 GEL.

The missile defence system will be deployed only in NATO countries

Sakartvelos Respublika writes that the anti-missile systems which will not now be placed in Poland and the Czech Republic will only be deployed in NATO countries, Ambassador of the USA to Georgia John Bass has stated.

The system belongs to NATO, although the USA is taking a leading role in the project. It will not be based in countries which are not NATO members, but this does not mean that non-NATO members cannot use it, Bass said.

US Deputy Defence Secretary Alexander Vershbow made the same statement several days ago in Tbilisi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the same in Moscow earlier.

John Bass has replaced John Tefft as US Ambassador and began work two weeks ago.

Azerbaijan is not tied to NABUCCO

24 Saati reports that on 14 October the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and Russia’s Gazprom signed a contract about the delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Russia. Analysts consider that it is possible that Russia will re-export this gas to other countries. The former Premier and the member of the Azeri Parliament’s Economic and Political Committee Vakhid Akhmedov states: “The contract foresees the delivery of half a million cubic metres of gas a year. In the future this quantity will be increased and may exceed a million. Gazprom has promised to pay a high price for this gas. Russia is our neighbour and that is why this contract is a very good one for us.”

Asked how this new arrangement would impact upon the NABUCCO project, Akhmedov answered: “Europe wants to send Azerbaijani gas through the NABUCCO pipeline. But it is very convenient for now for Azerbaijan to export its gas to Russia. The NABUCCO project will not be realised until 2014. That is why Azerbaijan will gain the optimum short term benefit from exporting gas to Russia.

“No one yet knows what will happen with the NABUCCO project. We will not start building the pipeline until next year and even this is not certain,” Akhmedov said.