Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 12

Georgia’s parliament yesterday voted overwhelmingly to ratify the 1993 treaty of friendship and cooperation with Russia. The timing of the ratification appears related to the impending CIS summit, where Georgia plans to force the Abkhaz issue to a head and needs Russian support. The Russian Duma itself has not ratified the treaty, largely due to pro-Abkhaz and anti-Shevardnadze attitudes among nationalist-communist deputies. The ruling Union of Georgia’s Citizens, which dominates the Georgian parliament, claimed the treaty would provide a legal basis for Georgian-Russian relations. The opposition National-Democratic party voted against ratification, primarily because it could lead to ratification of the 1995 treaty on Russian military bases in Georgia. However, the majority party provided assurances that the treaty on military bases would be ratified only if Russia cooperates in restoring Georgian sovereignty in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. (19)