Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 121

Interviewed in the June 18 Izvestia, Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze said that Russia’s troop contingent "protects the [Abkhaz] separatist regime by maintaining the division of Georgia along the Inguri river… The existing peacekeeping mechanism consolidates the outcome of ethnic purges and of the unlawful seizure of territory." Shevardnadze said that he had done his utmost "to have UN peacekeepers introduced in Abkhazia, but I failed, and a Russian contingent was introduced under CIS aegis."

Shevardnadze expressed astonishment over Moscow’s recent accusation that he was seeking to "squeeze Russia out of the Caucasus in favor of the West," and that Georgia was "blackmailing" Russia by asking that the "peacekeepers’" mandate be changed as a condition for its prolongation. (The charges were recently made, respectively, by the Russian Foreign Ministry and by presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, whom Shevardnadze did not name.) Shevardnadze pointed out that the September, 1992, and March, 1997, agreements guaranteeing Georgia’s territorial integrity, which he stressed had been signed and guaranteed by Yeltsin, remained a dead letter. And he complained that Russia was "harboring terrorists" — an allusion to Georgia’s former security chief Igor Giorgadze, suspected of having organized the 1995 assassination attempt against Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze imputed these policies to "certain men" in Moscow who, he said, are in fact responsible for Russia losing its positions in the Caucasus.

Kazakstan-Georgia Pipeline under Active Consideration.