Georgia to review deals signed by previous government

TBILISI Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:58am EST

TBILISI Dec 24 (Reuters) - Georgia's new government will review some investment projects and deals brokered by its predecessor because they go against the interests of the country, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Monday.

Ivanishvili became prime minister after his opposition coalition deprived President Mikheil Saakashvili's party of a parliamentary majority in an Oct. 1 election, ending his nine-year dominance of the Caucasus nation of 4.5 million.

Speaking at a press conference, Ivanishvili said the government would move cautiously to avoid frightening investors away from the ex-Soviet republic.

"There are projects and contracts that were signed by the previous government and are ... not beneficial for our country. We plan to review these projects, but we want to do it without scaring business and spoiling relations with other countries," he said.

Among the projects Ivanishvili cited was a power station in southern Georgia's Gardabani region that involved the participation of Turkish company Mimsan Group and Russia's InterRao.

Hydropower projects and some deals that gave control of natural resources to investors could also be reviewed, he said.

Ivanishvili indicated the government had questions about the funding of the $600 million Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that would link Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, including a 29-kilometre stretch of track in Georgia.

"It's a very interesting project from a geopolitical point of view, but there are some economic questions about it," Ivanishvili said, adding that the government would discuss the railway with Azerbaijan. He is slated to visit Baku on Wednesday.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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