Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 100

Georgian Prime Minister Otar Patsatsia warned a UN representative in Tbilisi September 21 that his country has lost all confidence in Russian (officially CIS) peacekeeping troops and the UN military mission in Abkhazia. Georgia may refuse to prolong their mandate, because of the inability of either Russia or the UN to take any real steps toward restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity or repatriating the ethnic Georgians expelled from Abkhazia. Continued Russian and UN inaction could result in a "spontaneous" action to repatriate the refugees and restore Georgia’s integrity, Patsatsia warned in an apparent allusion to military action. Georgian head of state Eduard Shevardnadze also warned of possible Georgian military action in Abkhazia in his September 18 radio address. Opposition leader Nodar Natadze, chairman of the parliament’s military and security affairs commission, in turn warned September 20 that further dialogue with the unpersuadable separatists had become pointless and that Georgia must use force to regain not only Abkhazia but also South Ossetia. (11)

The warnings stem not only from Georgian exasperation with Abkhaz and South Ossetian rigid insistence on secession, but also from assurances that Shevardnadze and other Georgian leaders apparently think they received during Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin’s visit last week, as a quid-pro-quo for Georgia’s grant of military basing rights to Russia.

… While European Union Calls for Restraint