Weekly digest
04 November, 2010

The Ministry of Interior Affairs of Georgia detained 20 spies of Russia, Reuters said.

The anonymous source stated that all the detainees were citizens of Georgia suspected of creating a spy network and were providing secret information to Russia. As reliable source informed InterPressNews, the suspect spies worked for Russian foreign intelligence service. They tried to get information about purchases of Georgian MIA and MOD and personal data on top officials.
InterPressNews immediately contacted Shota Utiashvili, Head

of the analytical department of the Ministry of Interior Affairs. However, Mr. Utiashvili said the Ministry could not make comment on the issue

Later official Moscow stated that the events had taken place in Georgia but did not inform about the arrest of 20 spy suspects.
‘We have learnt about spy arrest in Georgia, on the initative of official Tbilisi  but we don’t have diplomatic relations, and it’s impossible to ascertain what has really happened. The most important item we have heard is that all of them are citizens of Georgia. You must address the government of Georgia to determine the case,’ Kommersant was told by Russian MFA.
Briefing regarding the issue will be held on 5 November.

*Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, discussed economic crisis with CNBC.
President said that Georgia has achieved a 6% economic growth this year according to the data of International Monetary Fund and he hopes the index will be increased to 7.9% by the next year. Saakashvili stated that though Georgia is not a large country, its strategic location enables it to attract investments in tourist, energy and agricultural fields.
‘We have many investors who feel comfortable doing business in our country. According to the World Bank we are the top country for starting business in Central Europe and post-Soviet space. There is any and every opportunity for investors in our country. According to EBRD, Georgia is the least corrupt place in Europe,’ Saakashvili noted.
Saakashvili told CNBC that Georgia had overcome its economic crisis.
Georgia’s President attended the World Economic Forum in Morocco. Over a thousand businessmen from 62 countries took part in the Forum.

* Russian and U.S. drug control services have carried out their first joint anti-narcotics operation in Afghanistan, destroying four major drug laboratories, the head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service said on Friday.
Viktor Ivanov, Head of Russia’s Federal Anti-Narcotics Committee said that 932 kilograms of high-quality heroin and 156 kilograms of opium was seized, or 200 million doses with an estimated value of $250 million.

* The President’s Administration is concerned about the detention of Georgian women in Malaysia. Manana Manjgaladze, spokesperson for the President of Georgia, made an official announcement at a briefing.
It is important for the Georgian government to protect the life of each and every Georgian citizen, Manjgaladze said. ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is conducting negotiation with Ukraine concerning the case. A lot of questions still remain unanswered. We must find out how the Georgian women were detained’, Manjgaladze said. According to her, the Foreign Ministry will provide updated information on this matter.
Two Georgian women were detained on the charge of drug smuggling in Malaysia. As per the Malaysian legislation, the detainees face the death penalty.

* National Security Council in Ankara decided to remove Syria, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia from the list of countries that pose threat.
The Turkish National Security Council approved a few days ago significant changes in the document which contains threats against Turkey, claiming that Israel is now a major threat to the country. Israel was redefined as a ‘major threat’ in the document called ‘The Red Book.’
The document also stated that Israel’s actions may cause countries in the region to begin an ‘arms race.’ Iran, which was previously a major threat to Ankara, was also removed from the list of dangerous countries.
The document is valid for five years.
Greece is still defined as a threat to Turkey; however, Turkey’s neighbor is considered an external threat. ‘
The document also states that the Middle East should be free of nuclear weapons.

* Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze held a meeting with the Chairman of Military Committee of NATO Admiral Gianpaolo di Paola.
The sides discussed the issue of Georgia’s involvement in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Gianpaolo di Paola expressed his gratitude to Georgia for its significant contribution to the ISAF operation and pointed out the high professionalism of Georgian military personnel. The Chairman of the Military Committee expressed his deep regret over the death of Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan.
In addition, the sides discussed the dynamics of NATO-Georgia cooperation and preparation for the NATO Lisbon Summit.

* Japan will temporarily recall its Ambassador to Russia in connection with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to a disputed Kuril Islands, Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted the country’s Foreign Minister.
Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara voiced the decision to recall the Ambassador at a press conference in Tokyo, Kyodo reported.
Medvedev sparked a diplomatic row with Japan when he visited Kunashir Island, near Japan’s northernmost Hokkaido Island, on Monday.
The visit was the first trip by the head of state of Russia or the former Soviet Union to the South Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union seized four of the Kuril Islands (Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and Habomai) from Japan at the end of World War II and Tokyo has demanded their return ever since. The dispute has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal peace treaty.
Japan said the move was ‘regrettable,’ and had ‘hurt the Japanese people’s sentiments.’