Wednesday, September 10, 2008

US Trade Minister to postpone visit to Nicaragua

US Minister of Trade Carlos Gutierrez has postponed a visit to Nicaragua. “The Minister has postponed the visit planned for September 28-30, because of the changing situation in Nicaragua”, the US Ambassador to Nicaragua, Robert Callahan, has declared.

Callahan refrained from answering the question whether postponing the visit was connected with Nicaragua’s recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He confirmed however that the US State Department’s position is that recognition of the independence of these regions was an abrogation of several UN Security Council resolutions.

Georgia to rescind its agreement to another CIS decree

Georgia is to withdraw from another of the agreements it entered into as a member of the CIS. The Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament is to discuss a resolution that the terms of the “Independent Commonwealth Parliamentarian Assembly Agreement of March 27, 1992” will have no apply in Georgia.
The Georgian Parliament passed a resolution to leave the CIS on August 14, 2008.

Energo Pro Georgia negotiates with Armenia to import electricity

Energo Pro Georgia is holding negotiations with Armenia about electricity imports, Radoslav Dudolensky, its Deputy General Director, has declared at press conference. Dudolensky says that if electricity imports are needed, Energo-Pro Georgia will continue to try and conclude agreements to receive them.

A reciprocal agreement with the Turkish State Energy Company, which envisages the import of Turkish electricity in winter in return for Georgia supplying electricity to Turkey during the summer, is already in place, and Georgia will receive 200-250mln kWh electricity if needed. 100-150mln kWh of electricity from Armenia is already available.

US hails Russian pullout

The US State Department has welcomed Russia's agreement to “some firm dates” for withdrawing its troops from Georgia proper, but said it must live up to its commitment to a full pullout.

At a summit with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev late on Monday, French President Sarkozy received assurances that Moscow would pull troops out of Georgia proper in a month but got no guarantees that they would leave the disputed Georgian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“We fully support President Sarkozy in trying to get Russia to live up to its original agreement back in August”, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters, in a first reaction to the Sarkozy-Medvedev meeting. “We welcome the fact that Russia has agreed to some firm dates for withdrawing their troops from Georgia”, he said.

McCormack also welcomed the commitment by the European Union, whose rotating Presidency is currently held by France, to deploy 200 monitors in Georgia which he said is “linked to the full withdrawal” of the Russian troops. “What Russia needs to do now is to live up to its agreements. It has not done so in the past”, McCormack said.

US vetoes Russian draft on Georgia

The United States of America has rejected Russia's proposal, made in a UN Security Council draft resolution, to impose an international ban on arms supplies to Georgia.

The Russian resolution was introduced at the UN Security Council on Tuesday. It indicated that all countries should take measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of arms to Georgia, as well as the provision of any assistance, consultations, or training related to military activities. However Ben Chang, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said: “We do not believe that this affirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia which is for us the bottom line of any Security Council action on Georgia.

“We see this as an attempt by Russia to divert attention from the situation on the ground, specifically, that they have not lived up to their own obligations under the ceasefire to withdraw their forces from the territory of Georgia, and continue to block humanitarian access,” he added.

The US Department of Defense has announced that it is sending a special mission to Georgia to assess the country's military strength and what is needed to restore it.

House of Representatives assists Georgia

Members of the US House of Representatives have been presented with a draft law which will transfer $500 million from the federal budget to Georgia. According to a report from the Governmental Commission for Security and Co-operation, these funds will be designated for the support of the Georgian economy, which was seriously damaged during the Russian invasion. The funds must be allocated within 180 days after the law is brought into force.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried and Georgian Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze were invited to Congress yesterday and observed the discussion of the draft law.