Georgia’s defense minister, Lt. General Vardiko Nadibaidze told a Tbilisi briefing that he welcomed Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s idea of forming a military alliance of CIS member states. Regarding cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace program, Nadibaidze claimed that he "did not understand the program." He further declared that Georgia’s army is currently capable of regaining Abkhazia. (14)
Nadibaidze is known for his links with the Russian military. His support for a Russian-led military bloc contrasts with head of state Eduard Shevardnadze’s implied but unmistakable disagreement. Parliamentary opposition parties have criticized Shevardnadze for appointing Nadibaidze under Russian pressure. The prospect, however illusory, of regaining Abkhazia militarily with Russian support is one of Moscow’s means for pressure on Tbilisi.
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