Georgian prime ministerOtari Patstsiya has begun discussions with Russia’s BlackSea Fleet commander, Adm. Eduard Baltin, on closer militarycooperation between the two countries, including thestationing of Russian ships and land forces in Georgia’sport of Poti, Segodnya reported June 21. Baltin said thatMoscow wanted to increase its presence there to prevent theChechens from entering Abkhazia, to stop alleged armsdeliveries to Abkhazia from Turkey, and to increaseinspections in the Batumi-Novorossiisk shipping lanes. Butlocal leaders believe that Russia has broader goals as well:On June 25, Abkhazia’s leader Vladislav Ardzinba said thatsome in Moscow want to use Russian troops to replace thecurrent Abkhaz government, and to force Abkhazia to acceptback more Georgian refugees. Ardzinba said these plansreflected a new tilt toward Tbilisi.
Armenian Situation Deteriorating.