Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Few Countries Support Russia

The head of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration Davit Darchiashvili stated that few states will support Russia in her actions. According to Darchiashvili there do exist marginal states, doomed for isolation. He points to undetermined actions of Syria and speaks about several European states, choosing for neutrality. Although, the position of the leading European state, serving as the head of the EU, is clear, actively involved in the process of conflict resolution. By this time, Syria, Venesuella and the movement "Hezbollah" have supported the Russian Federation.

Saakashvili - Georgia will be re-Build

Georgia will be fully re-build after the devastating blow, the president of Georgia Mikheil Saaakashvili stated at the meeting with the majority. According to him, the recent period was the crucial point not only for the future of the country, but for the whole Europe as well. Saakashvili mentioned that Russia had the plan to occupy Tbilisi, being proved by the Bernar Kushner, French Minister for Foreign Affairs. According to Saakashvili, he declined to leave the capital and reported the minister that Georgians would defend the city.

Russian Militaries Moved to Chkhorotsku

Russian militaries have occupied the village Choga in Chkhorotsku region. They have crossed the center of Chkhorotsku and marched towards the village Choga, bordering the Martvili region. The head of the military unit entered the village for negotiations with the local population. Russian soldiers blocked the way for journalists. Reportedly, Russian militaries took control over the entrance of Martvili.

Separatist Leaders Meet Lukashenko

The leaders of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Sergei Shamba and Eduard Bagapsh, paid a special visit to the president of Belarus, Alexandre Lukashenko. As the State Information Agency reports from Tskinvali, they discussed the recent developments in Tskinvali region, whereas Lukashenko denounced the central government of Georgia for its activities in the conflict zone. He promised the package of humanitarian assisstance to the inhabitants of the conflict zone.

American Senators Visit Georgia

American Senators Joseph Liberman and Lins Grem have just arrived in Tbilisi. They left immediately to meet the President of Georgia, not commenting at the Airport. There are also planned meetings with the head of the Parliament Davit Bakradze and PM Vladimer Gurgenidze. In the framework of the visit senators will meet refugees as well. Reportedly, senators visit Georgia under special appeal of the US presidential candidate John McCain.

"RusTourism" does not Recommend Abkhazia

The state tour agency of Russia "RusTourism" does not recommend Abkhazia for summer vocations due to exacerbated military activities on the territory of Georgia. The Federal Agency of the Russian Federation issued the statement after several appeals from the private companies regarding safety measures for tourists in Abkhazia.

Saakashvili to Meet Majority

The president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili meets the majority at the State Chancellery. As MPs have mentioned before the meeting, the recent situation will be dicussed at the session. MPs and the President will share information. As MP Davit Darchiashvili declared, the majority wants to be in the course of recent developments, as well as they want to be informed regarding the planned measures to restore peace.

Russians Try to Stay in Gori

Russian occupation forces try to stay in Gori. Reportedly the way between Shavsheti and Igoeti is blocked by the Russian forces, waving Russian flags on checkpoints and militaries bearing peacekeepers' marks. Twenty military personnel was allocated on each checkpoint. This is the new happening in the region, as before Russian militaries were dressed in the Russian military forms, having no the mark of peacekeepers.

Russians Occupy Akhalgori

The portion of the Russian occupation forces was deployed near Akhalgori. Russians have relocated 5 tanks, 2 anti-aircraft guns and 8 logistic cars in this direction. Reportedly, Ossetian formations have occupied Axalgori region several days ago, dismantling Georgian flags.

Russia Unveils Some Details of Buffer Zone

The Russian forces will establish two lines of checkpoints in “a security zone” in the vicinity of South Ossetia, Anatoly Nogovitsin, deputy chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, said on August 20.
“In frames of the peacekeeping mandate we are establishing two lines of checkpoints,” Nogovitsin stated. “The first line will include eight checkpoints across the line of zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers. The second line – involving 10 checkpoints – will be set across the administrative border of South Ossetia. Total of 272 soldiers will be deployed on the eight checkpoints of the first line.”
“There will be a buffer zone between these two lines,” he added.
He did not give any other details or specifics about the exact area of the zone; however, he stated that the town of Gori would not be included in the zone.

Statement by Georgian Foreign Ministry

On August 19, 2008, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General A. Nogovitsyn stated that the Russian peacekeepers had apprehended and disarmed twenty heavily armed Georgian paramilitaries, who were driving Hummer type five military vehicles.
The above statement is slanderous and does not adequately reflect the real state of affairs.
In accordance with the ceasefire agreement, Georgian troops are returning to the places of their previous deployment. In particular, on 19 August, at 01:00, a small Georgian unit including 20 servicemen equipped with light weaponry was deployed at a small-sized military base next to one of the private terminals of the Poti Port.
On August 19, at 08:30 am, a column of Russian heavy military vehicles once again invaded the Poti seaport, which is a private-owned facility, and the Russian military unit took hostage the Georgian soldiers deployed there.
During withdrawal from the facility, Russian soldiers took with them five Hummer type military vehicles, which belong to the Armed Forces of the United States and were prepared for transportation to the United States. The above vehicles were brought to Georgia back in July, as US side needed them for participation in the international training `Immediate Response-2008”.
When moving out from the seaport territory, the Russian militaries blindfolded and placed several Georgian military servicemen on the Russian military vehicles to use them as `live shields”.
Thus, the General Nogovitsyn’s statement, according to which the heavily armed Georgian paramilitaries were allegedly imprisoned on August 18, by the Russian military servicemen deployed at the Russian peacekeeping check-point, is absolutely false and misleading.
It should be stressed as well that the Poti seaport is located far beyond the area envisaged in the ceasefire agreement brokered by the President of France; as a matter of fact, the above facility is situated approximately 30 kilometers away from the administrative border of Abkhazian region and 160 kilometers away from the administrative border of so-called South Ossetia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia strongly demands the Russian side to immediately release the illegally imprisoned Georgian military servicemen.

White House urges Russia to Return Stolen Equipment

White House urges Russia to return the Hammer vehicles which the aggressors took away from Senaki military base and the Poti port yesterday. At the daily press briefing White House official Gordon Johndroe said the whereabouts of the stolen equipment are unknown but they hoped that Russia would return them immediately.

Orthodox Church Marks Transfiguration of Jesus

Orthodox Church marked Transfiguration of Jesus yesterday. As InterpressNews was reported in the Patriarchate of Georgia, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II conducted a mass regarding the date in St Sameba (Trinity) church at 01:00 am. The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported by the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus was transfigured upon a mountain. The original Greek term in the Gospels is metamorphothe, describing Jesus as having undergone metamorphosis. The Gospels state that Jesus led three of his apostles - Peter, John the Apostle, and James the Great - to pray at the top of a mountain. Once at the top, Jesus became transfigured, his face shining like the sun, and his clothes a brilliant white. They claim that Elijah and Moses suddenly appeared with Jesus and talked with him; Matthew and Mark do not say what the conversation was about, but Luke states that it was about Jesus' future death. Once they had spoken with each other, the Gospels state that a bright cloud appeared overhead, and a voice from Heaven proclaimed, ‘This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased,’ paralleling a similar event during the Baptism of Jesus.In the narrative, after the cloud dissipates, Elijah and Moses disappear, and Jesus and the three Apostles head down the mountain, Jesus telling his Apostles to keep the event a secret until a/the Son of Man had risen from the dead. The Apostles are described as questioning among themselves as to what Jesus meant by ‘risen from the dead’ (Mark 9:9-10). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Feast of the Transfigurationcommemorates this event. It is one of the twelve Great Feasts in the liturgical year of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is observed by it on August 6. Traditionally, fruit is brought to church to be blessed on this day. The Transfiguration falls during the Dormition Lent, but fish, wine and oil are allowed to be consumed on this day in recognition of the feast.The Roman Catholic Church also observes the feast on August 6, as do the churches of the Anglican Communion.Some Protestant churches observe Transfiguration Sunday on the last Sundayafter the Epiphany (January 6), which places it somewhere in February or March.

GEL Equals 1.4130 against USD

USD 1 equaled GEL GEL1.4130 after trading at the Tbilisi inter-bank currency exchange today, August 20.As the National Bank of Georgia reported InterpressNews, two Georgian commercial banks as purchasers and the NBG as a seller took part in the trading session of the Tbilisi Interbank Currency Exchange (TICEX), where two new stock deals were concluded. The total trade turnover amounted to USD 8,000,000. The opening exchange rate was 1 USD – 1.4130 USD. The initial demand of commercial banks on the currency was USD 1.600.000, while supply amounted to USD 1.500.000. The official exchange rate from August 21 is 1 USD - GEL1.4130.

International Action ‘Let’s Sing for Georgia’ to Be Held

International Action ‘Let’s Sing for Georgia’ to Be Held August 20 By organization of the Machinery of State Minister for Diaspora Issues, an international action ‘Let’s Sing for Georgia’ will be held on august 20. As the Machinery of the State Minister reported InterpressNews, aim of the international action ’Let’s Sing for Georgia’ is to demonstrate Russian military barbarism against dignity of Georgian people and Georgian culture. All chorus of Georgian song (including amateurs), who wants to support Georgia by this action, will sing together around the world, at 7.00pm.

‘Aldagi BCI’ to Provide Medical Check-up for Children – IDPs from South Ossetia

Insurance Company ‘Aldagi BCI’ will provide a medical check-up for children-IDPs from South Ossetia.As the company reported InterpressNews, 120 children-IDPs from the conflict zone will pass through medical prophylactic check-up at ‘My Family’s Clinics’ owned by ‘Aldagi BCI’.

American Company Hands Over 10 Breathing Equipments to Georgian Healthcare Ministry

American company ‘General Electronics’ have handed over 10 breathing equipments to the Georgian Healthcare Ministry.According to Levan Bakanidze, Georgian representative of ‘General Electronics’, respiration equipments cost USD 100,000 and they are in deficit in Georgia. The company will deliver humanitarian load in the nearest future, namely two mobile and two surgical equipments, which cost USD 200,000.According to Levan Bakanidze, ‘General Electronics’ is going to hand over resuscitation equipments to Georgia.

Actions of Russia Abrogated International Principles

Danis Miliband, the foreign minister of Great Britain declared that the actions of Russia during the last 10 years were the abrogation of the international principles.Danis Miliband stated the following in the joint press conference held after his meeting with Mikheil Saakashvili.The British diplomat underlined the British people backs Georgia. As the foreign minister stated he reported Mikheil Saakashvili over the meeting of NATO Ministerial held today.The Mikheil Saakashvili thanked the EU and the foreign minister for support.

Fire in Borjomi Forests

Main hearths of fire have been already localized in Borjomi-Kharagauli wood, though several hearths of fire still are broken in distance places. Dying of the fire takes place by mechanical means. Minister of Environment Protection and Natural Resources Irakli Ghvaladze stated radio ‘Palitra’ that they are waiting for special aircrafts from Turkey.According to him, liquidation of the fire, presumably, will take place on August 22. According to the Minister, fire has negative influence over micro-climate of the forest reserve. According to the existing information, about 300-hecter territory has been already burnt.

Russia Prepared to Recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia

The upper house of Russia’s parliament, the Federation Council, is ready to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Fed Council Speaker Sergei Mironov announced.
''The Federation Council is ready to recognize the independent status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia should the nations of these republics wish so and provided there is a respective resolution of Russia’s president,'' Fed Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said to reporters.
Peaceful life in South Ossetia will be restored for ever, said the speaker, who has arrived in North Ossetia. Mironov accompanies the humanitarian cargo prepared by the RF Fed Council.

1 Million Assistance to Georgia

Ukrainian government will allocate 11 million dollar assistance to Georgia. Under the request of president Yushchenko, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko quit her vacations and summoned a special session of the government, which made a decision to allocate 11 millions from the government's reserve funds for assisting Georgian regions damaged during Russian aggression.Ukraine's Foreign Ministry appeals to Georgian embassy to provide unbiased distribution of the money.

WHO to Assist Georgia

The World Health Organization will assist Georgia to overcome the crisis post-Georgia-Russia conflict. Marc Danzon, the Regional Director of the World Health Organization for Europe and Georgian Minister of Health and Social Care, Sandro Kvitashvili were discussing humanitarian crisis Georgia and ways out of this crisis.
Marc Danzon pledged technical assistance to Georgia.
At the meeting held in Tbilisi today Georgian Minister and the Regional Director of the WHO discussed the issues of the WHO regional committee assembly, which will be held in Tbilisi in September.

Humaniratian Aid Arrested at Gori Entrance

The representative of president in Shida Qartli region, Lado Vardzelashvili was arrested at the gate of Gori. Russian generals did not clarify the reason, although did not let him to enter the city for a while. The MPs Gigi Tsereteli, Lasha Zvania and Petre Tsiskarishvili left for Gori to monitor the situation on spot. They will report later over humanitarian situation in the city.
Meanwhile, the union of techers of Georgia organized the protest rally near Igoeti, demanding immediate wiothdrawal of the Russian occupational forces from the territory of Georgia.

Eorsi Temporarily Arreseted

Representatives of the Council of Europe, Matyas Eorsi was arrested on his way to city Gori. Iorsi and his escort was blocked for 40 minutes at the entrance checkpiont of the city. Russian forces declared that they were investigating whether Eorsi had the right to enter the city. As Eorsi commented: "International society supports Georgia and it is unbeareble that Russian forces block ways on the territory of sovereign state." Eorsi was also surprised with the restriction on free movement of journalists in the city. The escort of Eorsi also came across the Russian military cars, marching towards Gori, rather then moving back to Tskinvali. Eorsi termed the situation as "the occupation of Georgia by Russia", being unimaginable case, when one member state of EU Council is found to be occupied by enother.

International Society Stays Active

International society stays active over developments in Georgia and the process of withdrawal of the Russian formations. The General Secretary of UN Ban Ki Moon stressed the need to pass the resolution regarding the recent situation in Georgia in his telephone conversation with President Medvedev. Before the conversation, Ban Ki Moon voiced necessity of the new resolution on CNN, TV Rustavi2 reports.

Eorsi Visited the City Gori

Representatives of the Council of Europe, Castrio Islam and Matyas Eorsi went to the 'Town of Tents' outside Tbilisi where thousands of IDPs have been given shelter for some period before they return home.
The CoE envoys talked with the IDPs personally and listened to the stories how the women and the children flee their homes and villages as Cossacks and Ossetian gunmen chased and fired them.
''It's horrible when people have to stay in tents. In the 21-st century people must not be evicted from their homes. We are collecting material to make a report about Georgia developments to the Council of Europe. Georgia deserves to become a member of the NATO'' -Mr. Eorsi told journalists.
From the settlement the CoE envoyes went to the city of Gori.
U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband was the next to meet the IDPs. He said ''I heard horrible histories today from all relyable sources.''

Situation Remains Tense in Western Georgia

Situation has also worsened in other parts of the western Georgia, where the Russian occupants have blown up the Reservist Base of Osiauri. The MIA has confirmed the fact, although stated that military equipments and formations had already been dislocated. Port of Poti remains to be another hot spot, being occupied by Russian military forces, taking Georgian soldiers as hostage. At least 21 Georgian military policemen were arrested by the Russian forces in Poti, the Georgian officials said. Captured and blindfold Georgian servicemen are seen on this screenshot from CNN on the Russian armored vehicles.
The White House issued the special statement over Russian activities in the Port of Porti. The special representative Gordon Jondro expressed his hope that Russia will return back those US Hammers and other military equipments, being taken away the port.

Russian Army Devastated the Country

In parallel of heavy contention on international arena over withdrawal of the Russian forces from Georgia and claims from Russian side over the course of action, Russian military formations continue the process of devastation of country’s infrastructure. Although the four illegal checkpoints were dismantled in Gori (in the group of enterprise, near railway station, and the rest in the center of the city), Russian militaries still pose problems for the free movement on highways.

Russians have occupied village Perevi, the Sachxere region, near the Tskinvali conflict zone, connecting the Sachxere region to the settlement of Djava. They demanded population to leave houses and vacate the whole village. The head of the region Zurab Tsertsvadze stated that Russian militaries are extremely aggressive, although asked the local population not to panic and stay in. The local administration was assembled in the village Chala, monitoring the situation. According to the recent information, Russian occupants do not intend to enter in Sachxere properly, although local police is mobilized to take the situation at control.

Saakashvili on Withdrawal of Russian Forces

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili responded at the joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband in Tbilisi, late on August 19, over the statement of Medvevde, admitting that “He [Sarkozy] again, urged Russian withdrawal from Georgia,” Civil Georgia reports.

Medvedev on Russian Peacekeepers

President Medvedev reiterated that the portion of the Russian military formations, as peacekeepers, comprised up to 500 personals, will be temporarily placed in the conflict zones of Georgia as soon as the special places of dislocation are organized at designated areas, meanwhile the rest will move to the North Ossetia and the Russian Federation, TV Rustavi2 reports.

Russian Forces will Leave Soon

Russian military formations will leave Georgia by August 22 reportedly President of the Russian Federation Dimitry Medvedev confirmed the fact in his telephone conversation with his French counterpart Nikola Sarkozy on August 19. Meanwhile, under the pretext of preparing for withdrawal from Georgia, Russian military formations and heavy artillery constantly relocates all across the country, bringing damage not only to the Georgian property but to the foreign investments as well.