The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, January 14
U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard L. Morningstar visits Georgia

Richard L. Morningstar, the Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, will take part in the international energy summit in Batumi. He arrived in Georgia on January 12, Interpressnews was told by the US Embassy to Georgia.

During his visit to Georgia Morningstar will participate in bilateral meetings with Georgian officials as well as delegates from other summit participating countries. Official delegations and energy companies from Azerbaijan, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria and other countries will take part in the summit.

The Batumi international energy summit will address issues of energy security and the development of the Southern Energy Corridor. It will be open today. (Interpressnews)

Georgian troops leave for Germany

Georgian troops will be trained in Germany, the Ministry of Defence says. Minister Bacho Akhalaia has accompanied soldiers of the 31st Battalion on their way to Germany.

The enhanced Battalion of the 3rd Brigade (185 soldiers) will undergo training in the German town of Hohenfelse. This is part of the force going to Afghanistan to join the peacekeeping mission there.

"Our soldiers are being properly trained, giving me confidence that they will be capable of effectively fulfilling the duties assigned to them," Bacho Akhalaia said.

The soldiers of the 31st Battalion have been undergoing intensive training since September 2009, prior to participating in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. The level of preparedness of the Georgian peace contingent is being evaluated by experts of the US Joint Multinational Readiness Centre (JMRC) and US Marine Corps trainers and consultants. 750 Georgian military personnel are taking part in exercises at the American base in Hohenfelse. (Interpressnews)

Labour Party objects to high oil prices

The Georgian Labour Party objects to the price of oil and is demanding that it be reduced. Party leaders have held a rally at a Wissol gas station in Tbilisi making this demand.

Party members said that the global fall in gas price was not being reflected in the prices in Georgia. Paata Jibladze said that the price per barrel of oil around the world has fallen from 144 to 70 dollars, and according to the party's calculations a litre of oil should not therefore cost more than 95 tetri in Georgia.

"The high prices are caused by the fact that the President and his clans control the oil companies in Georgia. Wissol and other companies belong to Saakashvili and his allies," Paata Jibladze said. (Rustavi 2)

Writers’ Union publishes statement

The Writers’ Union of Georgia has disseminated a statement concerning the literature competition funded by Alexander Ebralidze, a Georgian businessman living in Russia and president of the World Congress of Georgian People.

"Makvala Gonashvili, Chairwoman of the Writers’ Union of Georgia, is neither the Co-Chair of the competition committee nor a member of it. The Writers’ Union refuses to take part in this committee's work in order to prevent the use of our name for political purposes," the statement says.

The Winners of the Davit Aghmashenebeli competition will be revealed on 8 February. (Interpressnews)

Entrepreneur arrested for producing counterfeit drinks

The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia has arrested Tengiz Metivishvili on suspicion of producing counterfeit drinks, including Borjomi mineral water.

Laboratory tests proved that the drinks were not only counterfeit but of inferior quality and therefore harmful to health.

The illegal goods were discovered in Bolnisi, in the Kvemo Kartli Region. The police found counterfeit drinks ready for sale in a production facility.

Metivishvili has been charged under article 197 of the Criminal Code of Georgia and faces from five to seven years in prison if found guilty. (Rustavi 2)

Street clearance will take place in all regions of Georgia in 2010

Environment Minister Goga Khachidze has visited the Shida Kartli Region and helped clean streets together with staff of the East Central Regional Administration of the Ministry and the Gori Bureau of Inspection of Environmental Protection. They cleaned up an area in Gori and its adjacent territories. Members of the local cleaning service also took part in this action.

"Let’s declare this the year of combating litter and waste. It is a shame that there is so much litter in the streets. We all drop it, so should remove it too. We appeal to everyone - this is our native land and we should care for it with due respect,” declared Goga Khachidze.

The Ministry is doing its best to combat pollution with polyethylene. In 2010 street cleaning will be undertaken very widely, step by step, in all regions of Georgia. (Ministry of Environment)