Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 118

Georgia’s defense minister, Lt. General Vardiko Nadibaidze yesterday publicly thanked President Eduard Shevardnadze for accepting his assurances that he had nothing to do with an alleged plot to keep Pavel Grachev in the post of Russia’s defense minister, as charged by Aleksandr Lebed following Grachev’s May 17 forced resignation. "Shevardnadze understood me as a human being and will not dismiss me," Nadibaidze said. But he also vowed "never to disown my friendship with Pavel Grachev." According to recent Georgian press reports, their long-standing friendship culminated in March of this year when Nadibaidze served as godfather at Grachev’s Christian baptism in a Georgian church. (Interfax, Western agencies, June 20) Shevardnadze has had differences with the pro-Moscow Nadibaidze over Georgian-Russian military and security relations. It would be logical for the president to use Grachev’s demise in Moscow in order to rid himself of Grachev’s protege in Tbilisi.

Russian Broom in Tajikistan Too.