Monday, August 25, 2008

Government quantifies recovery period

President Saakashvili stated at the special governmental session held in Gori, that the 18 months long reconstruction programme will be launched by the government. Previously planned projects will be fulfilled, but their time span will differ due to the recent developments. The first three months will be critical, while the next fifteen will be sufficient to ensure the final recovery and ongoing prosperity of the country.

The amount of financial damage the country has suffered as a result of occupation is not clear yet, but the whole national financial resources, both internal budget sums and external donations, would be allocated for the reconstruction of the country.

Saakashvili: special council to facilitate negation of results of Russian aggression

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has initiated the creation of a special public council. Under this initiative, members of the parliament and representatives of non-governmental organizations will join together in a formal body to monitor the postwar rehabilitation process and the flow of humanitarian aid, working in close cooperation with the government.

Sergey Bagapsh asks Moscow to conclude military cooperation pact

The leader of the Abkhazian separatists Sergey Bagapsh has asked Russia to conclude a military cooperation pact with the de facto Republic. “Concluding a military cooperation agreement with Russia is very important”, Bagapsh stated at the Russian Federation Council emergency session on August 25. A danger from Georgia still exists for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he stressed, concluding that “an agreement with Russia would significantly reduce this risk”.

Koba Davitashvili responds to Saakashvili

Koba Davitashvili, the leader of the People’s Party, has responded to President Saakashvili’s statement at the Parliamentary Bureau meeting on August 24 that an attempt to assassinate Davitashvili, in which connection a Georgian citizen of Ossetian origin was detained in Moscow, has been aimed at causing the destabilization in Georgia. Davitashvili asks “whether his murder on November 7, 2007, when he was severely beaten and was in Gori hospital, would also have caused destabilization”. According to Davitashvili, this crime has not been investigated yet.

Russia started thinking about military intervention in Georgia in 2007

Russia started to think about military intervention in Georgia in 2007, Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, stated at a meeting with members of the Parliament Bureau held late on the evening of August 24. Mikheil Saakashvili said that Russia withdrew from the agreement placing a limitation on conventional arms in 2007, and thereby discharged itself from any obligation regarding locating heavy equipment in the Caucasus. Active preparation for the invasion must have been launched several months ago, otherwise such a rapid intervention would not have been possible, the President of Georgia said.

At the same meeting the President outlined the chronology of Georgian-Russian relations over the last five years. He recalled that he chose to make his first official visit as President to Moscow. “It was a felicitous meeting with Putin. We talked honestly. The Russian side’s first request implied control over our borders. We launched joint monitoring. We assisted them to regulate the situation in the North Caucasus”, Mikheil Saakashvili stressed. As for developments in Adjara, the President of Georgia remarked that Russia did not support him in this regard. “After Aslan Abashidze escaped from Adjara, I had a phone conversation with Putin. He stated that Russia had not interfered in the developments in Adjara, but stressed that it would not refuse to get involved in South Ossetia and Abkhazia”, Saakashvili stated.

Russian Duma intends to appeal to UN Member States to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

The Russian Duma intends to address UN member states’ Parliamentarians and international organizations, asking them to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “The escalation of the conflict is the tragic result of the centuries’ long controversy over these regions’ peoples, which could not be resolved by either the present nor previous authorities”, the appeal drafted by the Duma says.

Gas supply resumes in Gori

The Minister of Energy of Georgia, Alexander Khetaguri, has visited the city of Gori to monitor the resumption of the gas supply. According to his statement gas will be supplied to each apartment block separately, after a complete check of the buildings and pipelines, to avoid any possible accidents.

Government session held in Gori

A session of the Georgian Government was held in Gori on August 25. The session discussed the rehabilitation of the city infrastructure and how to aid the population. It was lead by President Saakashvili.

11 families in Gori receive financial aid

Lado Vardzelashvili, the President’s representative in Shida Kartli, has distributed state financial assistance to 11 families of persons deceased due to the Russian aggression. Each family has received GEL 10,000.

The overall number of war fatalities in Gori is 25. All of their families will eventually receive financial assistance from the state.

Russian occupiers still in Poti, abusing journalists

Russian soldiers are not allowing Poti shipyard personnel to enter the port facility. Illegal checkpoints are still present in the city. The Russian army is positioned at the entrance to Poti and in Nabada.

Russian occupiers treat journalists with particularly bad grace. They do not let media representatives take photos or carry video equipment and threaten to open fire on those who disobey them. The occupiers are asking all journalists to present accreditation from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Georgian soldiers back at Senaki military base

Georgian soldiers have returned to Senaki military base. The Second and Fourth Brigades entered the base on the night of August 24. The base was ravaged by the Russian aggressors, but Georgian soldiers will restore the destroyed buildings.

Russian mines have been partially removed from the base, but minesweeping is still going on.

German Chancellor demands that Russia follows the agreement

The German Chancellor has demanded that Russia follow the ceasefire agreement it signed. Russia has not complied with the agreement about the withdrawal of forces and the Russian Army has to leave Georgia immediately, Angela Merkel stated.

According to the Chancellor’s statement, if Russia keeps violating the agreement, Germany will have to seriously review its relations with Russia. Angela Merkel also stressed that Ukraine and Georgia would definitely become members of NATO.