On April 25 Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused Georgia of condoning and even encouraging the “use of force” and “terrorist attacks” against Russian troops in Abkhazia. Complaining of “gross anti-Russian sallies in the Georgian media and on the part of Georgian officials,” the Russian note demanded that Georgian authorities undertake “urgent and effective measures to stop the terrorist activities that are being staged in the conflict zone from Georgian-controlled territory.” The document warned that Tbilisi would “bear full responsibility” if full-scale fighting resumes in Abkhazia. It also noted that the Russian side reserves the right to inform the upcoming CIS summit that Georgia thwarts the mission of “CIS peacekeeping troops.” (Russian agencies, April 25; see also The Monitor, April 16.)
The note constitutes the third–and most severe–warning of this type issued by Russia’s Foreign Ministry since April 7. The series of notes appears designed to build a counter argument to Georgian remonstrations regarding the Russian operation (labeled “CIS peacekeeping”) in Abkhazia at the April 29 CIS summit. The warnings and their style suggest that Moscow plans to continue stonewalling Georgia’s proposals on changes to the Russian troops’ mandate at this summit.
TRIPARTITE SUMMIT DISCUSSES ENERGY SUPPLIES IN THE SOUTH CAUCASUS.