Itar-Tass Russia and CIS news summary for Saturday, Sunday: 2

Itar-Tass Russia and CIS news summary for Saturday, Sunday: 2

April 12, 2004 Monday 1:47 AM Eastern Time

TBILISI – Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and Secretary of the
Georgian Security Council Vano Merabishili will come to Batumi on
Tuesday, April 13, for “a new round of negotiations on the settlement
of relations between the central and republican authorities,”
Adzharian leader Aslan Abashidze said on the republican television on

He said they would discuss the implementation of agreements reached at
his meeting with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Batumi on
March 18.

The sides will consider a draft law on the division of powers between
Tbilisi and Batumi, which has been urged by the Georgian central
authorities, the Adzharian administration and the Council of Europe.

BATUMI – The Russian base in Batumi, Adzharia, will remain neutral if
tension in the relations between the Georgian central authorities and
the autonomous republic escalates. “The Russian servicemen in Georgia
were and will be neutral. They will not interfere in internal affairs
of this nation,” sources in the Batumi base told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

“The base in Adzharia tightened security as soon as the confrontation
between Batumi and Tbilisi had begun,” the sources said. “Protection
of the base infrastructure was reinforced, and the security of
checkpoints was tightened. The base has self-defense plans in case of
the worst developments.”

Russia has two military bases in Georgia, one in Batumi and another in
Akhalkalaki, near the Georgian-Turkish border.

KIEV – Ukraine’s nuclear power plants have cut their output due to the
excess of electricity in the country because of warm weather.

The situation forced the management of the Zaporozhye nuclear power
plant to stop reactor No. 4 for planned repairs last night ahead of

In addition, reactor No. 1 at the Rovno atomic power station was
deenergised for repairs on Saturday. Repairs on both reactors will be
completed in the second half of May.

KRASNOYARSK – The head of Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency,
Alexander Rumyantsev, said he was “very optimistic” about reforms in
the industry.

He believes that the reforms “will make it possible to concentrate on
the resolution of problems facing our industry in regions”.

In his words, the Agency’s central staff will be cut from 623 to 500
people and his three deputies will be named on Monday.

Rumyantsev also called for “continuity in forging an open and
constructive dialogue with environmental organisations, including
radical ones.”

YEREVAN – The Armenian opposition threatened on Saturday to fight till
President Robert Kocharyan resigned.

The head of the Republic party and parliament member Albert Bazeyan
said at an opposition rally on Saturday, “Armenian authorities
outlawed themselves by refusing to hold a referendum on the
president’s credibility.”

The head of the opposition Justice faction in the parliament, Stepan
Demirchyan, held authorities responsible for the consequences of the
opposition’s actions.

“The regime is doomed and no steps will save it,” he warned.

BAKU – The Azerbaijan leadership does not examine the question on
pulling out Azerbaijan peacekeepers from Iraq or slashing their
numerical strength, Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov said
in an exclusive interview with Tass on Sunday.

There are now in Iraq 150 Azeri servicemen who perform their mission
in the country’s south as part of the international coalition
force. Mamedyarov emphasized that Azerbaijan joined the anti-terrorist
coalition, mindful of the fact what threat terror represents for the

DONETSK – The first unit of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was
disconnected from the power network last night for planned
repairs. The repairs will last for more than two months, sources in
the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant’s information center told

The fourth unit of the nuclear power plant was disconnected from the
power network a day before. It will be idle till May 15.

At present four of six VVER-1000 units of the Zaporozhye nuclear power
plant are functioning and their total produce is 3,535 megawatt.

Only 9 of 13 units of Ukrainian nuclear power plants are currently at
work. Their output has been limited since March 20 because of the
overproduction of electricity.