Russia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday released a statement that "strongly condemned the irresponsible and obviously deliberate anti-Russian campaign, aimed at casting Russia as the external enemy of Georgia." Arguing that the suspicions of Russian involvement in terrorist acts in Georgia had been disproved, the statement targeted unnamed parliamentarians of Georgia’s governing party for "keeping up the wave of absurd accusations," a anti-Russian "spy-mania" and a "witch-hunt" in Georgia. (Russian agencies, April 7)
Parliament Chairman Zurab Zhvania, a leader of the governing Union of Citizens of Georgia, is one likely target of this statement. Last week, Zhvania urged the United States to support Georgia’s independence against a possible re-absorption by Russia. He also recounted how Russia’s Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov had publicly derided the notion of an assassination attempt against Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. (See Monitor, April 6)
Tbilisi Says Moscow Owes Multibillion-Dollar Debt.