Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 133

. Describing Yeltsin’s reelection as "a victory for world democracy," Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze pronounced himself relieved that "Russia has, thank God, made the right choice." Russia’s choice was not between individuals but between political systems, Shevardnadze stressed as he paid tribute to Yeltsin’s "heroism in putting Russia on the road to fundamental reforms." The Georgian president expressed confidence that Yeltsin’s reelection will facilitate the settlement of conflicts in the Transcaucasus and that "a peaceful Georgia, a peaceful Caucasus will become reality."

But statements by other Georgian officials did not support Shevardnadze’s optimism. They complained that Russian troops decline to implement the trade measures against Abkhazia agreed upon at the January CIS summit, and that Moscow conditions implementation of that agreement on Tbilisi’s ratification of the status of Russian forces in Georgia and the grant of bases. In recent days Tbilisi has also initiated direct contacts with the Abkhaz leadership, bypassing Moscow’s mediation which has tended to encourage Abkhaz intransigence. (Interfax, July 4 and 5)

Armenia Sees Closer Ties with Russia.