Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze announced yesterday that he will not request at the October 23 CIS summit a prolongation of the Russian troops’ "peacekeeping" operation in Abkhazia, unless Moscow provides "absolute guarantees of the unconditional and prompt implementation of the decisions on Abkhazia taken at [the previous] CIS summit." Shevardnadze’s foreign policy adviser, Levan Aleksidze, added also yesterday that Georgia will ask Russia at the CIS summit in Chisinau "to explain its failure to implement those CIS decisions." Georgia will propose two options to Russia at the summit: either to implement those decisions "within a reasonable term," whereupon its peacekeeping mandate can be prolonged; or, alternatively, to withdraw its troops immediately. (Russian agencies, October 20)
At the CIS summit of March 28, 1997, Moscow obtained Tbilisi’s consent to the continuation of its "peacekeeping" operation provided that Russia introduces its troops in Abkhazia’s Gali raion in order to enforce the repatriation of Georgians expellees. That decision, which Moscow pledged to carry out, represents a diluted version of decisions reached at the January 1996 CIS summit. In each case Moscow claimed subsequently that the implementation of the decisions was subject to Abkhazia’s consent.
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