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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 5
Russia opens up its air space for Georgian air companies

The Georgian United Transport Administration and air company Airzena have received a confirmation letter from the Russian Transport Ministry which will allow the company to make several Moscow-Tbilisi charter flights on January 8, 9 and 10, and Tbilisi-St. Petersburg flights on January 9 and 10.

Airzena hopes to make additional charter flights on January 16,20, 26. The United Transport Administration of Georgia has not said whether Russia will resume regular flights to Georgia, which were suspended during the August war in 2008.
(Rustavi 2)

Sharp fall in temperature reported in Georgia

Weather forecasters report a sharp fall in temperature. Traffic has been blocked on the Kobi-Gudauri sector of Georgia's military highway due to bad weather conditions and the heavy snow.

The Road Department says that the snow and bad visibility will cause problems for drivers, therefore, the movement of vehicles has been suspended.

Georgian Parliament to leave CIS PA on January 22

The Georgian Parliament will officially leave the Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on January 22, the CIS PA Chair, Russian MP Sergei Mironov, has announced.

Mironov said that the Georgian Parliament had submitted a statement about leaving the organisation on July 22. The regulations of the organisation stipulate that membership of it is suspended six months after an official statement about leaving it is received.
(Rustavi 2)

Presidents expected in Batumi on 14 January

The International Energy Summit will be held in Batumi on 14 January and attended by the Presidents of various states. As Deputy Energy Minister Nino Enukidze told Interpressnews it has already been decided that the Presidents of Poland, Azerbaijan and Ukraine will take part in the summit. Senior Government members from the Baltic States, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan will also attend.

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will open the summit and working groups from participating countries will visit Tbilisi before its opening, on 11, 12 and 13 January, to work out document which will be signed by the various Presidents who will attend.

Onishchenko: no progress in talks about lifting embargo on Borjomi

Russia's chief sanitary official Gennady Onishchenko has said in a recent interview with the RTV1 Russian TV station that no progress has been made in negotiations about lifting the embargo on Georgian mineral water Borjomi.

Onishchenko said no technical problems were preventing the return of Borjomi to Russian market, but the key problem was the absence of will of the Georgian side.
(Rustavi 2)

New information centre to be opened

A new Centre of Information and Spiritual Assistance will be opened by the end of January. The project has been initiated by Georgia's Catholicos Patriarch, Ilia II. In this facility people will receive psychological and spiritual consultations and answers to questions of a spiritual character.

A telephone service will be offered too. A priest or a psychologist will answer questions on the following number: 832- 435500.
(Rustavi 2)