SHEVARDNADZE SAYS GEORGIAN LEADERSHIP WAS TARGETED BECAUSE OF ITS WESTERN ORIENTATION.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 101
In a news conference and an interview, both broadcast yesterday, President Eduard Shevardnadze commented on the terrorist conspiracy uncovered the preceding day in Georgia (see the Monitor, May 24). He cited findings which suggest that the conspiracy had targeted not only the him but the other state leaders as well, due to their pursuit of national independence and Western orientation. Shevardnadze traced the conspiracy to “patrons and sponsors across the border, specifically in Russia.” As in similar situations in the recent past, Shevardnadze stopped short of blaming the Russian government, incriminating instead Russia’s “reactionary forces.” Acknowledging Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s stated willingness to cooperate with Georgia in resisting terrorism, Shevardnadze remarked that “Georgia’s relations with Russia will not suffer if both sides adhere to that principle” (AP, Radio Tbilisi, Reuters, May 24).
Tbilisi has traced this and past conspiracies to two Georgian groups–one led by former state security chief Igor Giorgadze, the other a Zviadist faction–both of which are being harbored in Russia by that country’s secret services, in spite of Tbilisi’s numerous protests since 1995. Moscow has extradited a few small fry but not the individuals whom Tbilisi regards as the most dangerous. Shevardnadze’s comment about Yeltsin’s willingness to cooperate would seem to imply that Yeltsin is either unable or unwilling to progress from words to deeds.
SIGNIFICANT ADVANCE IN MILITARY CONTACTS BETWEEN TURKMENISTAN AND NATO.