Weekly digest
KARS-TBILISI-BAKU CONSTRUCTION SLOWS DOWN
21 October, 2010

Kars-Tbilisi-Baku – a regional railway link to connect Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan that was originally planned to be completed in 2010, was rescheduled to be finished by 2012.
Out of USD 200 million, Azerbaijani side has provided only 27,1 million Azerbaijani manats, Executive Director of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, Shahmar Movsumov confirmed.
“The small amount of the transfer is conditioned by the slackened construction speed,” he said and added that the works should be intensified in the near future.

Georgian officials make no comment over the issue.


= Georgian police units fully control village Perevi in Sackhere District (Western Georgia).
As the MIA officials inform, all Russian troops left the village by 18:00 on October 18.
Russians moved to village Kardzmani and hoisted Russian and Ossetian flags there. Perevi is the only Georgian village, the Russian occupants left after the 2008 occupation. Georgian villages of Big and Little Liakhvi, Prone Gorge and Akhalgori region are fully occupied by Russian troops after the 2008 war.
= “Withdrawal of Russian troops from Perevi village is a result of pressure on the part of international community”, Manana Manjgaladze, Spokesperson for the President of Georgia stated at a briefing and added that Georgian side hopes the pressure will continue.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regards Russia’s withdrawal from Perevi as a step made in the right direction. The de-occupation of each village is of outmost importance for Georgia and especially for the population residing in those villages, the Ministry officials say.


However, 20% of Georgian territory still remains occupied; some paragraphs, including de-occupation, of Sarkozy-Medvedev treaty is still unfulfilled; human rights of inhabitants of occupied territories are violated; thousands of IDPs are not allowed to return to their homes.
=Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia stated that the issue on non-fulfillment of Sarkozy-Medvedev treaty was over with the withdrawal of Russian border guards from Perevi village.
Besides, Moscow hopes the Russia’s ‘good will’, aimed at easing the tension at the Georgian-South Ossetian border, will be followed by an adequate and constructive reaction of the Georgian side as well as of international community.
The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia will take care of preventing provocations on the part of Tbilisi after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Perevi.
= Moscow accuses Georgia of attempting to destabilize situation in the North Caucasus, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs.
The statement reads that Georgian decision to unilaterally abolish visa regime for the citizens of North Caucasian republics is a provocation.
Russian Ministry considers that attempt to divide Russian population into the categories does not fit the civilized relations between the states.


The new regime of crossing the Georgian state border came into force on October 13, implying 90 day visa-free stay for the residents of following autonomous republics of the Russian Federation – Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Dagestan, Kabardo-Balkaria, Karachai-Cherkezia and Adige Republics’.
=Georgia will not obstruct Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) if Moscow adheres to all WTO’s rules and procedures, Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said.
‘If Russia observes all WTO rules, if Russia is ready to respect all WTO procedures, Georgia will have no objection [with Russia’s accession to the global trade body],’ he said.
Relations between Russia and Georgia have been sour since the five-day war between the two former Soviet states in August 2008.
Georgian Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri said on October 7, that his country would not support Russia’s WTO bid unless the two states agreed on customs’ procedures for former Georgian autonomous republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent states after the war.
= Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he would attend the NATO summit in Lisbon on November 20.
‘I would like to declare that I will attend the Russia-NATO summit which will be held on November 20 in Lisbon,’ Medvedev said at a joint press-conference after the talks with the leaders of France and Germany in Deauville, France.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the said decision of Russian President was a good message. ‘All dangers in the world originate from our common danger’, Merkel said.
= Jewish businessmen Ze Frenkel and Roni Fooks have been detained on the charge of offering a bribe of USD 7 million to Deputy Finance Minister Avtandil Kharaidze.
The suspects offered Kharaidze a bribe instead of persuading the government not to appeal against the court decision, according to which the government was to pay USD 98 million to the businessmen.
The Jewish businessmen launched business in Georgia by founding Tramex Company in 1991, the Prosecutor’s Office stated.
Later, President Shimon Peres phoned Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili and asked him to make sure the two Israeli businessmen were treated well.
Peres asked Saakashvili to make sure the authorities conducted a fair investigation of the case of two detainees and that they have a fair trial.

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