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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 12
Tension grows in Tskhinvali

Georgia`s breakaway Tskhinvali region also known as South Ossetia is on the edge of civil war. The supporters of Jambulat Tedeev, who was refused registration as a presidential candidate by the Central Election Commission of the breakaway region's government, spent last night on the city's central square. A confrontation is expected later today when the supporters of the current leader, Eduard Kokoity, will appear at the same place.

Earlier, Tedeev`s supporters, who were charged with home arrest, held a rally at his house. Kokoity`s militia detained 100 protestors then.

Kokoity`s opposition predicts serious confrontation and the city separated into two parts.

In addition, Kokoity has ordered to close the borders with Russia. He fears Tedeev`s supporters may arrive from Russia, as Tedeev is the chief coach of Russia`s wrestling team.

Russia does not rule out deploying special units to Tskhinvali if the situation becomes uncontrollable. (Rustavi 2)

Briefing at the president`s administration

The president`s spokeswoman Manana Manjgaladze summed up the visit of the French president Nikolas Sarkozy to Georgia saying it was a historic event for the country.

She claimed that Sarkozy offered full and unconditional support to Georgia`s sovereignty from France and the EU member states. It was a demonstration of support for Georgia`s free choice to live in an independent and free country, Manjgaladze said, emphasizing that the European leader openly supported Georgia`s integration into NATO and the EU.

`The President of France openly supported the reforms and the political course chosen by the Georgian government. We are facing lots of barriers on this road to create better conditions for our people. I think it is obvious that after this visit Georgia has gained a firm and devoted friend - France,` Manjgaladze said. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia Anxious about Condition of Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani’s Grave

The Section of Georgian Interests in the Embassy of Switzerland to Russia cannot specify whether it will be able to be informed about the condition of Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani grave in Vsesviatkoe. As the Georgian section representative Giorgi Buachidze told InterpressNews they do not have the right to have direct contacts with the Russian side so it will be difficult to find out anything about it.

Russian media reported on 6 October that the oldest grave of Georgian royal family Bagrationi in Russia, Vsesviatkoe, was in danger. Illegal construction was discovered by Russian officials in the vicinity of the temple built by Georgian Queen Darejan, where Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani and other Georgian public figures are buried.

There was no permission given for the construction, as the temple is on the list of Russian protected monuments. The cultural heritage protection department in Moscow gave a deadline to the owner of the entity to remove the construction by 21 November.

The temple was built by Darejan Batonishvili in 1733-1736 in Vsesviatkoe.

The cemetery was officially abolished in 1982 by order of the Russian government, though the grave stones and monument built by Petre Bagrationi are still preserved. (Interpressnews)

Ankvab Accuses Russian Publication of Publishing Fake Interview

Abkhazia’s de-facto President Aleksandr Ankvab accuses a Russian publication of publishing a fake interview with him, Apsni Press reports.

The information department of de-facto president says that Nevskoe Vremia published an interview with Ankvab, though the de-facto president did not give an interview to the paper.

“We officially declare that this is fake material, as Aleksandr Ankvab didn’t give interview to any editions”, the statement reads.

Nevskoe Vremia published journalist Pavel Iablonski’s material “Aleksandr Ankvab – Most Abkhazians are Citizens of Russia”. The interview is about Georgian-Abkhazian relations, anti-Russian rhetoric in Abkhazia, Abkhazia’s possibility to enter Russia and other topical issues. There were 11 questions in the interview. (Interpressnews)

Six drugstores deprived of licenses

Six drugstores in Tbilisi have been deprived of licenses - the decision was taken by a special regulatory commission after carrying out monitoring in the aforementioned drugstores. Earlier, the same drugstores had been fined three times after previous inspections.

The State Regulatory Commission of Medical Activities regularly inspects drugstores throughout Georgia. The most frequent violation revealed by the monitoring is the regulation of selling specific medicines without prescription. Very frequently, the fined drugstores also sold the medicines, which were not licensed by the Ministry of Health and Social Care of Georgia.

The Regulatory Commission inspected 30 drugstores in Georgia in September. (Rustavi 2)