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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 23
Trade turnover growth between Azerbaijan and Georgia due to good relations

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Georgia is growing and is a testament to the development of relations between the two countries and in particular, between customs administrations, the head of the State Customs Committee, Aydin Aliyev, said at a meeting with his Georgian counterpart in Baku.

"In 2009, the mutual trade turnover was at around $450 million, in 2012, it reached $700 million and in the first quarter of 2013 exceeded $200 million," Aliyev said.

According to him, Azerbaijan and Georgia are cooperating successfully within major international projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

According to the head of the Customs Department of Georgia's Ministry of Finance, Lasha Khuchishvili, economic and cultural relations between the two countries are at a high level.

"This is my first visit to Azerbaijan and it will contribute to the development of bilateral relations," Khuchishvili said.

Indian company extracts oil in Georgia

The Indian oil firm Jindal Petroleum LTD has started oil production in Georgia. The Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation said the production was launched from a new well in the Sartichala section, Samgori field in eastern Georgia. Jindal petroleum LTD is an Indian company.

According to the report, drilling was launched on January 26, 2013 and ended on March 8. As a result, a deviated well with a depth of 2,450 meters gave oil purified of water at a flow rate of 24 cubic meters per day. According to preliminary estimates, the remaining oil has risen from 2.4 million tons to 8.7 million tons at this section.

The company is conducting similar work in the XI license block at the field in Krtsanisi. A well with a depth of 2,003 meters has been drilled at this section.

Jindal Petroleum LTD is also drilling a test well on the license block in Okami. The design depth of the well is 3,500 meters.

The company has been engaged in exploring hydrocarbons at five licensed blocks since 2009 with the help of one of its subsidiaries.

The company is conducting search operations and extracting oil and associated gas at one of them.

Flight to Munich Cancelled Due to Lufthansa Strike

Tbilisi International Airport cancelled its Munich service due to a Lufthansa strike over pay, the press service of Tbilisi International Airport informed InterPressNews.

“The Lufthansa flight arrived from Munich to Tbilisi at its designated time, 03:22, though could not fly back as the flight that was to take off at 04:00 did not take place due to the strike called internationally,” the press service told InterPressNews, adding that the airline offered passengers to exchange tickets for different airlines and some of them accepted.

Some of the passengers departed to Munich via alternative flights, the airport informs.

Bookstores protest on World Book Day

Tbilisi will mark World Book Day with its bookstores closed– this is how the bookstores want to express their protest to the decision of the Ministry of Education, which plans to give text-books to school children for free. Thus, the bookstores plan to express support to the publishing houses, which will no longer print school text-books - representatives of the printing houses announced at the briefing on the Radio One press club.
(Rustavi 2)

Hotel Owners Arrested for Promoting Prostitution

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) detained hotel owners for hotel prostitution. The ministry reports that Adajra detectives detained the owner of the Batumi Star Hotel and a citizen of Turkey, also owner of the hotel Genatsvale.

The men pleaded guilty. They have been taken to a temporary detention cell in Batumi.

Marijuana and ecstasy were seized from one of the hotel clubs. MIA reports that women working in the hotels were questioned as witnesses. An investigation has been launched under article 254 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Irakli Kovzanadze and Giorgi Pertaia visit Japan

Executive Director of the Partnership Fund, Irakli Kovzanadze and Director of the National Investment Agency, Giorgi Pertaia, are visiting Japan. The small Georgian delegation is taking part in an annual forum organized by the Asian Development Bank for the development of public-private partnerships. Irakli Kovzanadze will give a speech on the forum.

A bilateral meeting within the visit will take place with different Japanese organizations, namely they will meet the director of the new trade association ROTOBO to discuss cooperation in the energy and agriculture sectors.

A meeting with the Director General of Japan's International Cooperation Agency is planned, where the possibility of holding a Georgia-Japan business forum in the future will be discussed. Heads of the leading Japanese companies will take part in the meeting.

The visit ends on April 25.

Correctional facility for women moves from Rustavi to Tbilisi

The correctional facility for women is moving from Rustavi to Tbilisi, Mikheil Ghurtskaia, representative of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance declared at a conference.

He said that the project that considered moving the facility from Rustavi to Tbilisi is being worked upon. He did not specify where the women convicts will be placed in Tbilisi, though said that the issue has been decided. “The decision was made about two weeks ago,” Ghurtskaia said.