Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 1

In a televised New Year address to the country, Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze reaffirmed Georgia’s adherence to peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but warned that Georgia’s army was ready to carry out the mission of restoring the country’s integrity should those efforts fail. (13)

The Georgian leader’s statement is intended to increase pressure on Abkhazia and Moscow prior to the CIS summit scheduled for January 19. The meeting will discuss renewal of the mandate of CIS "peacekeeping" troops (in fact, Russian troops) in Abkhazia that expired December 31, 1995. Georgia has conditioned the renewal on requiring the peacekeeping forces to protect Georgian refugees who repatriate to Abkhazia. Georgia’s hopes for a Moscow-mediated compromise with Abkhazia within a federal framework have been dimmed by Moscow’s apparent condonement of Abkhazia’s separate statehood.

Turkmenistan Legislates Permanent Neutrality.