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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 5
If Russia decreases gas tariff for Belarus, Lukashenko would recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Rezonansi newspaper writes that Russian president Dmitry Medvedev stated that his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko promised that he would recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze commenting on this issue in Rezonznsi newspaper says that Lukashenko will recognise Georgia’s separatist regions as independent states whenever necessary, despite promises to the Georgian government that he will not recognise them.

“Lukashenko’s statement that he would recognise those entities’ independence is not surprising, as it seems he considered it necessary to state it at that time, however recognition has not happened. Relations are tense between Russia and Belarus over gas and trade. If Lukashenko thinks that recognition of the rebel territories’ independence will be profitable for him he will do it. If Russia insists, the Kremlin will offer Belarus something valuable so that Lukashenko agrees to recognise the independence pf the breakaway regions,” Sakvarelidze says.

“Everything depends on the sphere of interest. America, which claims to be our friend, did not care what Russia did in Abkhazia before until it saw the oil pipeline in the Caucasus, after which it started caring about our democracy. As soon as it appeared interested in the Caucasus it started a friendship with us. We are America’s friend because it is in America’s interest, so Lukashenko will be our friend unless his interests are better served elsewhere,” the analyst added.

Every 18 hours – one person dies in a road accident in Georgia

Georgia leads the table in the South Caucasus for the frequency of road accidents, Rezonansi reports. The Georgian NGO Association for Safe Travel reports that in Georgia one person is injured every hour as a result of a road accident and one person dies every 18 hours.

“On August 1 a new law came into force, which aims to strengthen safety on Georgian roads in part by increasing road fines. However many people believe that more measures should be taken in order to decrease number of accidents and for the lives of citizens life to be safer. President Saakashvili cited road construction as one of the priorities and on July 14 he stated that GEL 452 million will be spent on road repairs and construction in 2010. But I believe the main problem is that a large number of people never learnt to drive well and this is one of the major reasons for an increase in the number of road accidents,” commented the Executive Director of Georgian Automobile Association Mevlud Meladze.

“The second reason is not obeying the rules as Georgians do not like rules, but everyone thinks that he/she is best and knows everything about driving rules,” Meladze added.

According to final report of drivers' safety 75% of Georgian drivers never pay attention to road signs, 23% admits that they violate the road rules, 18% says that they violate the rules when they are in a hurry.

Another important issue is that children up to 12 years are not allowed to sit in front seat of the car, however Georgian children are noticed to sit in front part of the car and even sit with her/his father while driving.