President Eduard Shevardnadze told the country by radio yesterday that the recent attempt against his life cannot stop international projects to make Georgia a transit country for Caspian oil and the Central Asia-Caucasus-Europe corridor. He went on to remind Moscow that "Georgia can be have friendly relations with Russia only on the basis of equality; only then can Russia’s interests in the Caucasus be taken into account." Shevardnadze thus continued implicitly to draw a link between the assassination attempt against him and presumed Russian opposition to the projects he mentioned. He further implied — as he and other officials had done in the preceding day’s announcement — that several supporters of the late president Zviad Gamsakhurdia had been arrested as suspects in the assassination attempt. But, Shevardnadze indicated, they were apparently acting at the behest of outside forces, as had Igor Giorgadze’s group in the 1995 attempt against the president’s life. (Radio Tbilisi, February 15)
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