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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 15
Russia to allocate 15 billion rubles for Georgia’s breakaway regions

Russia plans to allocate up to 15 billion rubles for Georgia’s breakaway regions until 2019. According to Ria Novosti, the information was released in a Finance Ministry letter published on its official webpage.

As reported, three billion rubles have been invested in Abkhazia’s social-economic development and 4.6 billion rubles - for the same reasons for South Ossetia.

Reportedly, 4 billion rubles will be allocated for budget investment support in Abkhazia and 3 billion for the Tskhinvali region. (IPN)

Court Orders CEC to Register Industrialists and Our Homeland Election Bloc

Tbilisi City Court has overturned a decision of the Central Election Commission revoking the electoral registration of the election bloc of the Industrialists and Our Homeland parties.

Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, Tamar Zhvania, deregistered the election bloc on September 11, citing that the bloc missed the deadline for submitting its party list of MP candidates.

The election bloc challenged the decision in the Tbilisi City Court, which ruled in favor of the appeal on September 13 and ordered the Central Election Commission (CEC) to register the election bloc and its MP candidates.

The CEC has yet to decide whether to take the decision to the Court of Appeals.

The Industrialist Party, led by MP Gogi Topadze, is a former partner of the GDDG ruling party in the now-dissolved GD coalition. Our Homeland is led by Zviad Chitishvili, who has dual citizenship of Georgia and Russia and has businesses in Russia; one of his pre-election promises is the distribution of Russian passports for Georgian citizens willing to become dual Russia-Georgian citizens. The party held several protest rallies outside opposition UNM party offices, burning effigies of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. (

Vardzia ancient cave city to become accessible for people with disabilities

The ancient Vardzia cave city in Georgia's south is opening up to more tourists thanks to large-scale renovation efforts to make the site more accessible for people with disabilities.

The 12-13th century cave complex is one of the primary tourist destinations in Georgia and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

The site features hundreds of rooms and passageways connecting the caves which were carved into rock formations. Residential, storage areas and wine cellars can also be found throughout the complex.

Rehabilitation works have been carried out at Vardzia for the past year to make the site more accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, ramps and other infrastructural necessities will be installed at the site in the near future.

The Director of the National Agency for the Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, Nikoloz Antidze, said the project to adapt the complex for visitors with disabilities was "unprecedented" for Georgia.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia announced that the current rehabilitation works at Vardzia would improve visitor safety at the site and safeguard the natural rock formations.

These new efforts will include installing safety nets to catch falling stones and strengthen large cliffs with selective drilling done by expert mountaineers.

The ongoing works at Vardzia coincided with the announcement of a new project that aimed to restore Tchatchkari village – a 12th Century settlement – located on the north-eastern slope of the rock formation that houses Vardzia on its southern side.

Tchatchkari village, known as the supplier of wine for storage facilities in Vardzia throughout the Middle Ages, the historic role of the village will be given a new life to connect it with the cave city complex and the general tourist route in Georgia’s historic Javakheti region. (