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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 9
Russian troops begin military drills in Abkhazia

The Russian troops deployed to Abkhazia have engaged in military exercises. According to an “” news agency, 700 Russian troops and 150 military vehicles are participating.

According to the press-service of the south-eastern region, the drills are aimed at studying management innovations and conduction of military operations in coastal areas, the mountains and woods by using the latest military equipment. (IPN)

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister: We need Georgia in Euro-Atlantic family

"We need you in our Euro-Atlantic family” – these words were spoken by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on September 7.

Linkevicius spoke at an international conference on security, economic opportunity freedom and human rights in Europe, attended by Georgian leaders and more than a hundred international officials and experts.

"Georgia can become a NATO member,” Linkevicius told the crowd.

"You already have a NATO Training Centre, all the instruments and a promise. Working hard is what matters most at the moment.”

He called on Georgian politicians to "stop whining and continue fighting” and also to end domestic confrontations.

"It is not necessary to lock representatives of the opposition in prison - you can work more persuasively and less painfully,” he said.

"When you lose time by fighting each other, your opponents benefit from it. You can, of course, have political discussions but when the atmosphere is so tense, you cannot really afford to spend so much time on confrontations.”

Election threshold may decrease from 5% to 4%

Under the amendments planned to be made in Georgia’s constitution, the parliamentary election threshold will decrease from 5% to 4%. This is envisaged by the bill on constitutional amendments which is planned to take effect after parliamentary elections of 2016.

The bill also envisages abolishment of one of constitutional clauses. According to the bill, mandates will be proportionally distributed among the election blocks and parties.

“In return, we will reduce the election threshold,” told head of the Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee to InterPressNews. (IPN)

Giorgi Kadagidze - Separation of supervisory function from National Bank was wrong decision

The separation of the supervisory function from the National Bank was a wrong decision – the President of the National Bank Giorgi Kadagidze made the regarding statement.

Giorgi Kadagidze says that despite it National bank should continue working to overcome the current challenges. (Channel 1)

Winemakers protest against the price of grapes

The representatives of five villages protested against the grape price during a demonstration in the village of Vakiri.

The protesters demand the government to get involved in the process of setting price and provide timely opening of wineries. Otherwise, the rally participants say that the harvest may be spoiled.

A majoritarian MP accompanied by police arrived at the scene. The MP said that prices will be regulated by the market.

According to local farmers, the price ranges between 35-70 tetri for a kilogram of grapes. (Rustavi2)