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    THE GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT TO DISCUSS FOOD SUPPLIES TO ADZHARIA

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    TBILISI, March 18, 2004 - RIA Novosti's Marina Kvaratskheliya. On Thursday the Georgian government will discuss issues of food supplies to the population of Adzharia in conditions of economic sanctions. This was disclosed to RIA Novosti in the press service of President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili.

    The economic sanctions imposed on Adzharia by Saakashvili's decree on March 15 have led to the shortage of foodstuffs and price rises on essential commodities there.

    The port of Batumi was declared closed for foreign ships, the Sarpi checkpoint on the border with Turkey was closed for freight carriage and the railway connecting the autonomy with the rest of the republic was blockaded.

    The National Bank of Georgia revoked a license of the Marine Bank of Adzharia, closed the accounts of the National Bank in the autonomy and instructed all affiliates of the commercial banks to suspend currency cash payments in Adzharia.. The accounts of the legal entities of the autonomy were frozen in the banks of Georgia and abroad.

    The sanctions of the National Bank of Georgia against Adzharia have led to the deficit of currency cash there.

    On March 17, the anti-crisis center headed by Georgian Premier Zurab Zhvania took a decision on transfer of wages and pensions for citizens of Adzharia to the affiliate of the National Bank of Georgia in Poti, which is situated in the immediate proximity to the autonomy.

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