Georgia News

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The consequences of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict and the fight against sea piracy are on the agenda of PACE's spring session, which will start today. The ITAR-TASS source said that Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych will address the European Parliament to speak about perspectives ofEU-Ukrainian cooperation. He also added that the Russian foreign minister will participate in the session of April 27 as a special guest.

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Public service workers are clearing up the aftermath of flooding in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, reports Vesti. The basements and first floors of dozens of houses in the suburbs of Tbilisi were flooded during a storm, which hit the region about three days ago. Emergency response centers were established in some regions of eastern Georgia, which were also hit hard by the rains. Thousands of hectares of crops were ruined, main roads are badly damaged, and several bridges have collapsed in the region.

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Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava hold an emergency meeting with heads og city services and gamgibely (district authorities) due to the stituation in tha capital caused by heavy rains. According to his words, the rains had to bring harm to the population of every district of the capital. Weather forecasters ar predicting bad weather conditions the next week, Georgia online reports.He also adressed the population with a request to inform the emergency services of the city in time and to call the hot line of Tbilisi city council.

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During the session of the Interreligious Council of the CIS in Baku, a decision to create a board of trustees was made on Sunday. It will raise funds for organising conferences and creating and maintaining an internet site for the council. The proposal was put forward by the new president of the council, Moscow Patriarch Kirill, and was supported by its members, Trend reports.

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A bridge collapsed in one of the Georgian capital's suburbs, the village of Digomi. The Ministry for Emergency Situations says this could have been caused by heavy rains which have hit the region.According to the latest information, the rains have not inflicted damage in Tbilisi.

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The Georgian delegation is leaving for Strasbourg to participate in a PACE session which will be opened on April, 26th. Following the words of the president of the parliament euro-intergration commitee David Darchiashvili, the session will start the next week and will end on April, 30th. At the spring session of PACE Heidi Tagliavini is expected to announce a conclusion on the August war between Russia and Georgia.

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The Russian Oil tanker 'City of Saratov', which was detained in the port of Batumi port because of sea pollution, has left the port after a penalty of $37,000 was paid, ITAR-TASS reports. The pollution was witnessed on the 18th of April during a regular inspection conducted in Batumi port by members of the Georgian coastguard. They found that oil had been poured into the sea from the tanker. The tanker was detained, but its captain and crew were not detained, as under Georgian law the owner of the ship is liable for

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А special commission of the Georgian parliament has concluded that the former president of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was murdered, local media report. Official data maintained that he committed a suicide in 1993. But a year later Russian court experts found two bullet holes in his skull. The Georgian parliament commission came to its conclusion on the basis of this evidence, Georgia online reports.

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The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) confirmed its readiness to provide 12 billion cubic meters of gas for the Nabucco pipeline, the Bavarian state minister for federal and European issues Emilia Mueller said on Friday, after a meeting with SOCAR Vice-President Elshad Nasirov, Trend reports. “However, the pipeline will need 31 billion cubic meters of gas. That is why we are negotiating with other countries for their participation in the project”, Mueller said.

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Georgian miners started another strike on Friday in the west of the country – in Chiatura and Zestafoni. Trend reports the United Georgian Trade Union stating that the strike is a warning and will continue for 2 weeks. On 20th April, trade unions called for a one-day strike, presenting their demands to the authorities, including a 50% wage rise, 35 days paid vacation, non-time-limited labor contracts and improved working conditions. However, their demands were not fulfilled.

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 The World Congress of Georgian people opens today, 23rd April, in Saint-Petersburg. The congress was organized by businessman Alexander Yebralidze, "GHN" reports.Part of the Georgian delegation participating in the congress set off for Russia earlier. The congress will involve the participation of spokesmen for Georgian diasporas – Georgian politologist Ramaz Klimiashvili, well-known opposition figures Koba Davitashvili and Kakha Kukava and leader of “Neutral Georgia” Valeriy Kvaratskheliya.

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The Minister of Transport declared that construction work on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail project has restarted. He noted that the railroad construction was halted due to unfavorable weather conditions.The Minister added that the transport corridor, which will connect Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran together, will be put into commission depending on Iran’s progress,  Vesti.Az reports.

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Approximately 600 families were evacuated overnight from the village of Velistsikh in the Gurdjaan municipality (Kakheti region, Eastern Georgia) due to a possible ecological threat. Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said the measures were necessary due to the damaged walls of a water storage unit in Cheremy village. If the water storage walls collapse the water may flood Velistsikh, Trend reports.

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The representatives of Russia's Christian democrat movement have arrived in Tbilisi to sign a memorandum of cooperation with their Georgian counterparts, reports Novosti Georgia. The treaty will be signed next Thursday, said the leader of the \georgian Christian democrats, Giorgii Targamadze. Targamadze noted that "the main aim of this cooperation is the territorial unity of Georgia. We are well aware of the importance of consolidation".

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The speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Vladimir Litvin, said Georgia and Ukraine should develop good relations, reports RIA Novosti. He noted that during the presidential polls in Ukraine "there were many unpleasant moments connected with unauthorised Georgian electioneers". He also added that he adores the Georgian people, their culture and traditions, but unfortunately there is little information shown about it and the current situation in Georgia on Ukrainian TV.

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The Armenian national airline, Armavia, will resume regular flightstwice a day between Yerevan and Tbilisi from April 23rd, Trendreports. Air traffic between Georgia and Armenia was temporarily halted onFebruary 1st.  According to the United Transportation Administrationof Georgia, the cessation of flights was purely seasonal, due to alack of passenger traffic.

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Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has accused Russia  of "creating instability," which  enables the transport of highly enriched uranium to the Caucasus.During a special Georgian police operation in Tbilisi in March, several foreign citizens were detained. Police found a small amount of highly enriched uranium in the course of a search. The Ministry of Defense does not rule out that the uranium discovered was a sample intended for selling a larger lot subsequently.

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