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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 12
Georgian Foreign Ministry, Geneva co-chairs urge Russia to refrain from force

A working meeting took place at the Georgian Foreign Ministry with the co-chairs of the Geneva talks. Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani met with the co-chairs. The parties discussed the agenda for the 25th round of Geneva talks scheduled for November 5-6. They ascertained again the immutability of the format and the agenda of the talks, stressing the importance of continuing the efforts of the two working groups. During the meeting the importance of Russia having an obligation not to use force against Georgia was discussed.

The Geneva talks were convened after the armed conflict in Georgia in August 2008, and in accordance with the ceasefire agreement of August 12. (Trend)

Georgia Increases Capacity of Border-Crossing Point with Russia

On September 10, the Georgian government opened the reconstructed Kazbegi border-crossing point with Russia with the capacity to handle increased cargo and passenger traffic.

The reconstructed border-crossing point with its new infrastructure is capable of handling 13,000 people per day instead of the previous 5,000, according to the Finance Ministry.

329,601 entries via this border-crossing point, more than half of that by the Russian citizens, were registered from January-July, 2013, according to the Interior Ministry. In July only, 61,979 entries by Russian citizens were recorded via the Kazbegi border crossing point, up from 16,113 and 41,331 in the same month of 2011 and 2012, respectively.

The opening ceremony was attended by senior government members, including the Finance Minister; Economy Minister; Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Agriculture Minister.

Over GEL 9 million was spent for the reconstruction work, which was ongoing for almost one year, according to the Finance Ministry.

The Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, who was also at the opening ceremony, said that the new border-crossing terminal would contribute to development of trade ties with Russia. (Civil.Ge)

Karasin, Abashidze to meet in a few weeks

The next meeting between the Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative in relations with Russia and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia will be held in Prague September 20th. Zurab Abashidze and Gregory Karasin are currently negotiating the date of the meeting.

The sides will discuss trade and economic relations, the simplification of the visa regime and reinforcement of transport communication, including the restoration of regular flights. (Rustavi 2)

Government works on redress of illegally foreclosed upon property

Government of Georgia intensively works on the issue of returning or compensating illegally foreclosed upon property, said Minister of Economic Development of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The minister explains that the number of cases were people's property were foreclosed upon is so high, that the government has not drafted a final plan of how the compensation will be issued. However, he also added the process has not been suspended.

"The number of such cases is huge. The first months of our work were dedicated to this problem, so the issue must be solved," minister said. (Rustavi 2)

Two Russian climbers missing on Ushba

Interior Ministry Extraordinary Situations Management Department employees are searching for two Russian mountain climbers missing on Ushba Mountain. The search party is using aircraft in the search. The 112 Emergency Assistance Center received information about the missing alpinists on September 9. (Georgian News)

Russian MFA comments on murder of its diplomat in Sokhumi

The murder of a Russian diplomat in Sokhumi aimed at undermining stability in the region and friendly relations between Russia and Abkhazia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The first secretary of the Russian embassy in the breakaway region, Dmitry Vishernev, was killed and his wife, also an employee of the embassy, was badly injured after unknown gunmen opened fire on an embassy car in Sokhumi early on September 9.

“Together with our Abkhazian colleagues we consider this an act of cold-blooded murder and view it as a heinous crime aimed at undermining friendly Russian-Abkhazian relations, as well as peace and stability in Abkhazia and in the region as a whole,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Breakaway Abkhazia’s foreign ministry also said earlier on September 9 that the murder of the Russian diplomat aimed at “undermining strategic and brotherly Russian-Abkhaz relations.” (Civil.Ge)

Electronic program to regulate transfer of convicted to hospital in Georgia

New electronic program on placing prisoners in prison and civilian medical facilities has become operational in Georgia from September 9.

The Information Technology and Medicine Department of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance worked out an electronic program which will also provide the store and transfer of medical data. Prisoners will be able to double-check their own status and number in the queue, and follow the response to health complaints any time with the help of a doctor. Waiting mode will not concern the patients needing urgent or emergency aid. According to statistical data, over 4,700 prisoners were placed to civilian clinics from January to September 1, 2013 for diagnosis or treatment purposes. (Trend)

Tbilisi Mall hosts Biblusi exposition and sale of school items

Biblusi book shop network opened an exposition and sale of school and office items on September 6 at Tbilisi Mall. The shop network’s offer of school items coincided with the beginning of the new school year. To allow customers as much time for purchasing as possible, the event also included amusement for children, with areas for painting, sculpture and animation. The sale event is scheduled to close on September 15. (Georgian News)