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The News in Brief

Friday, February 5
Geostat: Annual Inflation 5.6% in January

Georgia’s annual inflation accelerated to 5.6% in January from 4.9% previous month, according to Geostat, the state statistics office.

On a monthly basis, there was 0.9% inflation in January.

Food prices were up 5.1% year-on-year in January and prices in the group of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes rose by 7.3% y/y.

Annual inflation in the healthcare sector stood at 11% in January, driven by 22.6% y/y price hike for medical products, appliances and equipment and 11.2% y/y increase of prices for outpatient services.

Prices in the field of household maintenance and equipment rose 10.4% y/y and inflation in the group of housing, water, electricity and gas was up 8.4% y/y in January. Prices for hotels and restaurants services increased 6.5% y/y in January.

There was 1.6% y/y deflation in the transport group with fuel prices declining by 7.5% y/y in January. (

Engine problem grounds Moscow-Tbilisi flight

More than 130 passengers travelling from Moscow to Tbilisi on flight S7-955 were temporarily stranded in the Russian capital after the plane suffered an engine problem before take-off.

The A320 airliner of Russia’s S7 Airlines failed to depart Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport due to an engine problem, reported Russian media today.

Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS cited one of the flight’s passengers, who alleged one of the plane’s two engines caught fire as the plane was about to leave for Tbilisi earlier today.

S7 Airlines has since rebutted the allegation and said there was no fire.

"As the plane started accelerating along the runway, a bright flash occurred under the portside wing near the engine. The plane promptly stopped,” the passenger told TASS, noting he witnessed the flash through the airplane window.

Shortly afterwards, the pilot addressed passengers over the loud speaker. He said the plane had developed technical problems and all passengers would be offloaded and transferred onto another aircraft.

"The Airbus A320 returned from the takeoff point following a warning of possible technical problems. The plane had not begun to accelerate along the runway [before the issue was detected]. The engine fire rumour is untrue," S7 Airlines told TASS.

TASS also quoted an unnamed law enforcement official, who said the plane had developed technical problems but the breakout of a fire had not been confirmed.

"According to the Russian air transport authority Rosaviatsiya and the airport’s flight chief ,the A320 plane was getting ready for take-off from Moscow to Tbilisi when a technical problem in one of the engines was identified, but there was no fire. The flight’s 138 passengers were put on another flight," the source told TASS.

Russian transport police officials told TASS the Domodedovo Airport has since returned to normal operations. (

Five Public Schools to be closed for 3 days

Five public schools will be closed across Tbilisi for 3 days as preventive measure of seasonal virus spreading.

Lessons will be suspended at the #81, 152, 112, 21 and 53 Public schools; the decision was made by the Ministry of Education and Science.

A young woman died from pneumonia, which was apparently caused by belated treatment of a viral infection in Georgia’s coastal region of Adjara.

According to the Adjaran Public Healthcare Center, the laboratory analysis will determine if death is connected to H1N1 virus.

There are 31 laboratory-confirmed cases in the region. Nine patients continue to undergo medical treatment; two further cases have resulted in fatalities. (

The farewell meeting of Zviad Kvachantiradze with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India

The Majority Leader, Zviad Kvachantiradze, held a farewell meeting with the Ambassador of India to Georgia, H.E. Suresh Babu. The parties discussed bilateral relations and further cooperation perspectives, as well as the necessity of opening further diplomatic representation of India to Georgia to facilitate the development of business, agricultural and educational cooperation.

As the Ambassador stated, these issues can be considered at the next round of consultations between the Indian-Georgian Foreign Ministries. The Ambassador spoke about the BIPA signing process in which Z. Kvachantiradze promised to support.

The parties spoke about the establishment of Friendship Groups and bilateral working visits and touched upon the scientific conference initiated by the “Gandhi Foundation-Georgia”, supported by the Foreign Ministry and Parliament.

Zviad Kvachantiradze thanked the Ambassador for his productive activity in Georgia and wished him every success in his future career. (