Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze announced yesterday that he has decided to attend the CIS summit in Moscow, now postponed until April, following assurances that it would discuss his proposal to repatriate Georgian refugees to their homes in Abkhazia. Shevardnadze’s current proposal would turn the Abkhaz-controlled Gali district into an internationally administered safe zone for the return of refugees. According to Shevardnadze, an equally important consideration behind his decision to attend the summit is the need to "pool efforts with other presidents of CIS heads of state in order to ensure the independence and stability of our countries"–that is, jointly counterbalance Russian preponderance.
Shevardnadze at the same time voiced "astonishment and grief" over the "silence of Russia’s top leadership regarding the fact that persons involved in criminal actions in Georgia are being sheltered in Moscow." Referring to organizers of the August 1995 and February 1998 assassination attempts against him, Shevardnadze cautioned Russia and Moscow that they "risk acquiring the image of a country and a capital city which protect international terrorism." (Tbilisi Radio, Russian agencies, March 16)
Tajik Government Troops Still Yielding Ground to Opposition Forces.