Georgian police yesterday found two anti-personnel mines that had been planted two meters apart on the road between Tbilisi and the suburb of Tskhneti where Georgia’s leaders and senior officials have homes. President Eduard Shevardnadze, parliament chairman Zurab Zhvania, and other officials sometimes use that road for commuting to their Tbilisi offices.
Shevardnadze’s spokesman, Vahtang Abashidze, linked the discovery to impending policy decisions on possible termination of the Russian "peacekeeping" operation in Abkhazia and on building the trans-Georgia pipeline for Caspian oil. In that context, "the Georgian leadership experiences serious pressures from Russian reactionary circles and internal opposition," he said.
Zhvania, for his part, described the case as "clearly a continuation of the August 1995 assassination attempt against Shevardnadze". (Interfax, AP, May 8) Former state security chief Igor Giorgadze, who fled afterward to Russia, is accused of having organized that attempt, which wounded Shevardnadze. Last week Giorgadze was appointed as the official Moscow representative of a Georgian leftist and pro-Russian group.
Moscow Assails Shevardnadze and Georgian Foreign Policy Concept.