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The News in Brief

Friday, March 18
MCC president spoke about Georgia at US Congress

The president of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Daniel Yohannes spoke about Georgia while delivering a report at the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Congress on Wednesday, where the international assistance programs for the 2012 budget were discussed jointly with the USAID.

The MCC named Georgia as the candidate state for the second phase of funding by the Corporation and granted it the authority to present new projects.

Georgian government has already selected the projects of construction of an American Hospital, University and the Goderdzi Pass reconstruction.

Mr. Yohannes said the commission considered the appropriation of previous tranches granted to the candidate countries and their strategic significance for the United States. (Rustavi 2)

RF Defense Ministry: Russia is able to defend Olympics from Georgia

Anatol Serdiukov, Russian Defense Minister, has said that the Russian Army has enough power to provide security at the border with Georgia during the Olympic Games in Sochi, GHN reports.

"The Defense Ministry consider every possible scenario to ensure security during the Olympics in Sochi, "- Serdukov said.

He said the Defense Ministry is trying to track down exactly what is happening on Georgian territory and will take the appropriate measures. Moreover the joint plan with MIA of RF exist which will be under the patronage of Russian FSS (Federal Security Service) for the security of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The responsibility for the defense of outer borders is in our competence, so we are re-equipping our armament with new arms. (GHN)

Russian Foreign Ministry awarded Sergey Shamba with honor order

The Russian Foreign Ministry awarded Sergey Shamba, so called Prime Minster of Abkhazia with the order of honor of the Russian Federation's Foreign Ministry for his contribution in "international cooperation".

He was sent a card with congratulations from Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister. He also congratulated him on a 60 years jubilee. "We will have much success and many achievements in the future. We will be very glad to continue cooperation with you, which is also very important for your country," - the congratulations card reads.

It should be noted that Putin also congratulated Shamba with the jubilee and wished him many successful days. (GHN)

Iberia Refreshments denies fact of shares selling to Armenian company officially

The shareholding company Iberia Refreshments denies selling its shares to an Armenian company. The company denies the information disseminated by media, claiming that the shares of Iberia Refreshments were sold to an Armenian company.

"It is very regrettable that the information was disseminated by the media without checking the facts with our company. Iberia Refreshments declares that no negotiations were held with "Jembuck Group" about selling shares. The Jermuk Group is a partner of the company which has been distributing in Armenia since 2004, the Pepsi output being produced in Georgia, "- management of Iberia Refreshments declared.

The shareholding company Iberia Refreshments declares that the activity of the company is transparent and accessible for everyone. The information about its shareholders is open. For this reason the management of the company asks the media representatives to check the information before its dissemination and to take the exhaustive information about the company in its Corporative Relations Department.

The shareholding company Iberia Refreshments shareholders are: IberiaGroup, Akhmed Abdula Al Shafar, Elsu and Georgian individuals. (GHN)

Tbilisi city court holds hearing on case of Israeli businesspersons

The case of an Israeli businessmen detained in Georgia on charges of bribery was heard at Tbilisi city court on Wednesday.

An expert was invited to the hearing; he had to confirm the authenticity of the tape recording depicting the talks over the amount of the bribe offered by the businesspersons.

After today`s hearing, the court is expected to discuss its verdict.

Georgian police arrested the two Israeli businessmen in Georgia for alleged bribery. They were caught red-handed when giving a large bribe to authorities on October 15, 2010.

According to the investigation, Ronnie Fooks and Zeev Frenkiel offered USD 7 mln to the Deputy Minister of Finance not to appeal the court ruling, according to which the government of Georgia was charged to pay USD 100 mln to the Fooks Company.

The case referred to corruption schemes, which worked during the previous government of Georgia. At that time, the authorities granted an exclusive license to the company Tramex of unintelligible origin to obtain oil in Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Another scandal rolls up over registration of Georgian wine

Another scandal has been unearthed in the registration of Georgian wine. As reported, a married Polish couple registered a license for selling Georgian wine in their own name.

Without the necessary permission, it is absolutely prohibited to sell any kind of Georgian wine throughout Europe.

The licensed wines are being sold under the brand name `Badagoni` on the territory of EU and the company is apparently going to face serious problems in the future.

Badagoni Georgian wine company is going to sue the Kramarov family in court. The company intends to demand abolishing the license, imposing a fine on the Polish family. (Rustavi 2)