In his annual state-of-the-country address to parliament yesterday, Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze made a broad overture to Abkhazia. Shevardnadze held out: "the highest possible level of autonomy" for Abkhazia within a federalized Georgia; a "gradual" approach to the return of Georgian expellees; joint Georgian-Abkhaz law enforcement in Abkhazia; cessation of Georgian guerrilla raids there; general amnesty to "all" participants in the 1992-93 war; a review of the recent measure to reroute Abkhazia’s telecommunications through Georgia; a larger Abkhaz share in electricity produced by the Inguri hydropower complex; and the allocation to Abkhazia of a substantial portion of international assistance to Georgia. Shevardnadze disclosed that he has recently discussed by telephone with Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba a possible renewal of negotiations.
Appealing to the West, Shevardnadze proposed calling a UN-sponsored international peace conference on Georgia with the participation of Russia, the "Friends of Georgia" group of countries — which includes the U.S., Germany, and Britain — and OSCE representatives. And he warned again that Tbilisi would terminate the mandate of Russian "peacekeeping" troops, which expires on July 31, if Moscow continues to refuse implementing the March 28 CIS summit resolutions on Abkhazia and on ensuring Georgia’s territorial integrity. (Interfax, May 27)
The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected], by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions