Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Victor Yushchenko – what happened in Georgia cannot be repeated in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has stated that the recent events in Georgia cannot be repeated in Ukraine. “I cannot imagine the Georgian scenario repeating itself in the Ukraine. Ukraine is not Georgia,” Yushchenko stated during his visit to the US. The Ukrainian President is cautious about the possibility of restoring Russian gas provision. “I’m not afraid, merely cautious about it,” Yushchenko stated. Russia ceased the provision of gas to Ukraine at the beginning of 2006.

EU Observers already in Shida Kartli

EU observers arrived in the Shida Kartli region early on September 24 and held a first meeting with the regional Governor, Lado Vardzelashvili. They will familiarise themselves with the current situation in Shida Kartli and decide before October 1 exactly where the full contingent of observers should be deployed.

At present 22 EU observers from Italy are in Georgia. The full mission will comprise a minimum of 200 observers. It will have so-called ‘rapid reaction bases’ in Tbilisi but have a brief to operate throughout Georgia, including in those territories occupied by Russia.

One of the main tasks of the European mission will be to ensure the full implementation of the Sarkozy six point ceasefire agreement.

David Bakradze declares Nicolas Sarkozy’s UN speech a “natural reaction”

David Bakradze, Chair of the Parliament of Georgia, assessed the acute speech of Nicolas Sarkozy at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly as a “natural reaction” to the conduct of the Russians. He stated the President of France mediated the ceasefire agreement which ended the Russian-Georgian war and his reaction was a natural response to Russia continually breaching its commitments under that agreement. Bakradze expressed the hope that the EU and its leadership will remain true to their principles and ensure the fulfilment of all the points of the agreement.

Georgian soldiers receive posthumous Orders

Georgian soldiers who died during the Russian aggression this August have been awarded Vakhtang Gorgasali Orders posthumously.

Giorgi Ghvianiashvili was awarded a Vakhtang Gorgasali second order and Leri Lagurashvili a first. The Chief of the General Staff of the Georgian armed forces Zaza Gogava presented the awards to the families of the war heroes and said that the Government would assist their families.

UNDP allocates 1,200,000 for rehabilitation works

The United Nations Development Programme has allocated USD 1,200,000 for rehabilitation works in the Shida Kartli Region. The money will be spent on the reconstruction of irrigation canals and communications systems.

An agreement has also been signed under which the Shida Kartli local authorities will prepare packages of social assistance. The State Minister for Regional Issues and representatives of UNDP signed the agreement in Gori on September 23.

PACE delegation meets Duma Speaker in Moscow

On September 23, a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held a meeting with the Speaker of the Russian Duma concerning the Russia-Georgia conflict. The delegation is drafting a report on the August developments in Georgia which will be presented in Strasbourg next week.

From Moscow the delegation plans to visit Tbilisi and then Tskhinvali, though Russian officials offered the Euro MPs the opportunity to travel direct to Tskhinvali via the Roki tunnel.

John McCain and Sarah Palin meet Mikheil Saakashvili and Victor Yushchenko

Presidential candidate John McCain and US Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin met Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko on September 24 at the UN General Assembly. The Assembly gave Palin her first opportunity to meet world leaders. She also met the Colombian, Afghan, Iraqi and Pakistani Presidents and the Prime Minister of India.