|Other News - Georgia
Georgia to Build New City of Half-a-Million Inhabitants
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Sunday at a meeting with residents of Zugdidi announced construction of a new city of half-a-million inhabitants called Lazika, which will become the main trade and economic center in Georgia. The state leader also announced the building of a new seaport.
`We decided to base a new city between Anaklia and Kulevi and call it Lazika. After 10 years, there will be at least half a million people living in this city. It will become the country's second largest city after Tbilisi. It will be the main commercial and economic center in western Georgia, as well as Georgia's main center on the Black Sea,' he said.
Saakashvili added that large-scale construction will begin next year.
Saakashvili: Georgia has no alternative to Europe
Georgia has no alternative to Europe, according to President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Speaking at the European People's Party's 20th congress in Marseille, France, the Georgian leader said Europe is the only best option for Eastern Partnership member states.
As for integration to Eurasian Union, a plan proposed by Russian PM Vladimir Putin early in October, Saakashvili said it is unlikely to prove its value.
"What would be the alternative, once again? The Eurasian Union – as proposed by some nostalgic leaders in Moscow? If European Union is the future, Eurasian Union is the past. And this is why it will fail," he said.
Russia says Georgia's entry to NATO could lead to war
/DEC 8/ RIA Novosti/
Russia warns of `2008 war repetition' over Georgia's NATO entry bid Russia's foreign minister has warned of a repetition of its 2008 war with Georgia if the South Caucasus state joins NATO.
Speaking at a news conference after the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he had warned NATO foreign ministers against `pushing the current Georgian regime towards a repetition of their August 2008 gamble.'
Georgia has been pursuing NATO membership but the five-day war in 2008 over Georgia's breakaway territory of South Ossetia has made the alliance wary of taking it on.
Speaking during a visit to Georgia last month, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the country had `come a lot closer' to joining, but added that Tbilisi should pursue reforms.
`Further reforms will be Georgia's ticket to membership and NATO is here to help,' Rasmussen told Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
South-Ossetia's president-elect resigns
The winner of South Ossetia's presidential run-off, Alla Jioeva, has said President elect Edward Kokoiti has agreed to resign from post.
According to the Georgian news website Aspny.ge, Kookoity and Jioeva have agreed to sign a compromise deal amid the current crisis in the country.
At a recent rally in capital Tskhinvali, Jioeva told her supporters that Kokoity was quitting office and called upon the crowd that had been protesting in the city's central part for several days to go home.
South Ossetian Prime Minister Vadim Brovtsev will be reportedly the country's acting president.
Jioeva will have a chance to contest the new presidential run-off on March 25.