President Eduard Shevardnadze told a news conference yesterday that Russia is failing to reciprocate Georgia’s wish for “equitable cooperation.” Moscow “continues an imperialist policy, at variance with civilized world standards,” Shevardnadze said. The president reproached Moscow for: (1) failing to ratify the interstate treaty which recognizes Georgia’s territorial integrity; (2) demanding, as a price for ratification, that Georgia ratify a bilateral treaty on the stationing of Russian troops and bases in the country; (3) “flooding Georgia with contraband goods at dumping prices in order to dominate the Georgian market;” (4) harboring in Russia the Zviadist “Coordinating Center, which aims to overthrow the Georgian government;” and (5) protecting Georgia’s former state security chief Igor Giorgadze, presumed organizer of the 1995 assassination attempt against Shevardnadze. “What would Russia’s reaction be if Georgia harbored terrorists, bandits and killers plotting to overthrow the Russian government?” Shevardnadze wondered aloud.
Shevardnadze pointed out that the CIS Collective Security Treaty “brought Georgia no good” and that his country had, in any case, refrained from participating in activities related to that document. He seemed to imply that Georgia would follow the example of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan in quitting the treaty at the upcoming CIS summit (Radio Tbilisi, Itar-Tass, February 22).
TURKMENISTAN-TURKEY PIPELINE CONTRACT SIGNED.