At a news conference yesterday,Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze accused Russian “peacekeeping” forcesof having loaned fourteen tanks and armored vehicles to the Abkhaz for usein the recent fighting in Gali district. Similar charges, also mentioningartillery, were leveled yesterday by Georgia’s delegate to the meeting ofInternal Affairs Ministry of CIS countries, which is underway in Tashkent.
Shevardnadze cited this and other examples of what he termed Moscow’s”double game” in Abkhazia. Noting the Russian Foreign Ministry’s lateststatements which rejected Georgian proposals for peace enforcement (see theMonitor, March 25), Shevardnadze predicted that Russia will block anydecision by the UN Security Council to authorize peace enforcement inAbkhazia. Shevardnadze welcomed UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s recentproposal to send a 300-strong UN military contingent to protect the existinggroup of UN observers. He termed the proposal “an interim step” towardinternationalizing the Russian “peacekeeping” operation.
Meanwhile in Gali district, six Abkhaz troopers were killed when theirvehicle hit a mine yesterday. (Russian agencies, June 2)
AZERBAIJAN SIGNS ANOTHER BIG OFFSHORE OIL CONTRACT…