Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 49

During his press conference, Shevardnadze announced his intention to propose a representative of Georgia, or of some country other than Russia, for the post of CIS Executive Secretary. But he predicted that Russia would “block any candidate not nominated by Moscow.” Defending the formation of GUAM–the grouping of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova–Shevardnadze insisted that “it poses no threat to the CIS.” GUAM’s primary aim is to coordinate these countries’ positions in the negotiations on “adapting” the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, Shevardnadze explained. Three of these countries have Russian forces and arsenals on their territory, while the fourth (Azerbaijan) objects to Russian deployments in neighboring countries.

The Georgian president went on to imply that Russian intelligence services had eavesdropped on his telephone conversations. He described Moscow’s recent conduct in the CIS as “reminiscent of the style and working methods of the CPSU Central Committee.” Shevardnadze was speaking only hours after having taken a telephone call from Yeltsin–a real one this time (Russian agencies, March 10).