The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, February 8
Georgian rugby team beats Germany 77-3

The Georgian national rugby team has beaten Germany 77-3 in a qualifying match for the 2010 European Cup and 2011 World Cup. Georgia has thus strengthened its position at the head of its qualifying group, which also includes Russia, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

Georgia will next play Portugal on 13 February, Spain on 20 February, Romania on 12 March and Russia on 20 March. The match against Russia will be held at a neutral stadium in Turkey.

Georgia will play in the 2011 World Cup if it takes first or second place in the group.
(Caucasus Press)

Rasmussen: NATO is not an enemy of Russia

NATO said on Saturday that a new Russian military doctrine identifying NATO expansion as a threat did not reflect reality and went against efforts to improve ties between the Western military alliance and Moscow.

"I have to say that this new doctrine does not reflect the real world ... NATO is not an enemy of Russia," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Reuters at a security conference in Munich. "It does not reflect reality and it is in clear contradiction with all our endeavours to improve the relationship between NATO and Russia," he added.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian delegation participates in Munich Security Conference

The 46th European Security Conference in Munich continues. The strategy and mission of NATO are being discussed, with a focus on Afghanistan. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was expected to deliver a speech.

A Georgian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze is attending. Irakli Alasania, the leader of the opposition Alliance for Georgia, is in Munich as well. The conference discussed issues of global security and nuclear disarmament on Saturday.
(Rustavi 2)

Grigol Vashadze to visit Italy

Foreign Minister of Georgia Grigol Vashadze is paying a working visit to Italy today. Meetings with Foreign Minister of Italy Franco Frattini, Chair of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini and representatives of other political parties are planned as part of the two-day visit.

Vashadze will then visit Portugal. Bilateral meetings are planned in Lisbon with Foreign Minister Luis Filipe Marques Amado, State Secretary for European Affairs Pedro Lurt and Chair of the Parliament of Portugal Jaime Gama. Vashadze will deliver a speech at the Political Science Institute of Portugal.

Zurab Noghadeli leaves for Munich

Leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Noghaideli has left for Munich today on a one-day visit. The party’s Press Service states that he will hold working meetings and then visit Moscow.

The co-operation agreement between the Movement for Fair Georgia and Edinaia Rossia, Russia's governing party, will be signed during this visit on 9 February. Edinaia Rossia's Supreme Council Chair Boris Grizlov will sign this document together with Noghadeli. The former Prime Minister will return to Georgia on 14 February.

Georgian President opens hothouse and restaurant in Adjara Region

On February 6 a new hothouse was opened in the village of Khelvachauri in the Adjara Region. Tomato saplings are bred there in special soil. Each grows up to 12 metres and bears about 30 kilogrammes of fruit. First harvest from the hothouse will be gathered by the end of March.

The hothouse has been constructed with Turkish investment. About a hundred locals have been employed there. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attended the opening and also opened a branch of the biggest restaurant chain in Istanbul at Khimshiashvili Avenue in Batumi on Saturday.

Khimshiashvili Avenue will connect the French Fountain Embankment to the city centre. The President gave investors new proposals, promising free plots of land to those who offer Georgians living abroad apartments at advantageous prices.
(Rustavi 2)

Paata Jibladze: Saakashvili will compromise the opposition

Labour Party representative Paata Jibladze has categorically excluded the party's participation in the local government elections. He maintained that Saakashvili will use all his resources to falsify the elections and called on the other opposition parties to boycott them.

“Nothing will be changed by these elections, because the central Government will use its levers and won’t let the opposition win. Saakashvili will conduct the election his way, invite all the opposition parties to take part and then tell the world what a good President we have. Then the opposition will not be able to protest against the Government, having played its game for it," Jibladze told radio Hereti. He added that “democratic elections will only be conducted in Georgia when Saakashvili and his group go away.”
(Caucasus Press)