An officer from the Russian navy has been named to head Georgia’s embryonic Navy, the second person to hold the post since Rear Adm. Aleksandr Javakhishvili was fired last December. Capt. Otar Chkhartishvili, 47, had been serving as a deputy chief of staff of the submarine missile cruiser component in RussiaÕs Northern Fleet.
Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze has also reiterated Georgia’s demand for part of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet. In a radio broadcast yesterday, he said that Georgia must get "at least a symbolic share" of the fleet — which has been tentatively divided between Russia and Ukraine. The Georgian ports of Poti and Ochamchira were bases for the Soviet fleet and Georgia has been voicing its claim to share in the division since early 1992. Russia has thus far ignored or cold shouldered Georgia’s claim. Ukraine last year endorsed it and is currently in the process of turning a warship over to Tbilisi and training the ship’s Georgian crew. (Interfax, March 10)
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