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    NEWLY-ELECTED GEORGIAN PRESIDENT WANTS TO EMBARK ON RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA FROM CLEAN SHEET

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    TBILISI, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - Speaking at a press-conference Friday, newly-elected Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is prepared to open a new page in relations with Russia, that is to make them more friendly and closer.

    Mikhail Saakashvili mentioned the arrest in Adjaria of Akaky Chkhaidze, the former director-general of the Georgian Railways association, noting that it was an unprecedented case in Georgia's modern history, with the interior ministry having enforced legal action on the entire territory of the country. (One of ex-president Eduard Shevardnadze's closest ally, Akaky Chkhaidze, was arrested in the capital of the Geogian autonomous republic of Adjaria, Batumi, to be charged with embezzlement).

    "I reaffirm my readiness to cooperate with the leadership of the Adjar autonomy but not at the expense of Georgia's law and constitution," said the president.

    He promised that the new leadership would never reconcile with corruption in Georgia and would do everything possible to detain corrupters of any manner and to retrieve the money stolen from the nation. "This also applies to Kvemo Kartli's former governor Levan Mamaladze who is in Moscow now. We shall soon apply to Russia with the request to extradite Mamaladze to Georgia," reported Saakashvili.

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