Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 163

Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma and foreign minister Hennady Udovenko received in Kiev a special envoy of Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze to discuss cooperation among the two countries within the CIS. The Ukrainians assured the envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Malkhaz Kakabadze, that Kiev supports Georgia’s policy on Abkhazia, envisaging the region’s autonomy within Georgia. Kuchma and Udovenko also discussed with the Georgian envoy the possible implications of efforts by "leftist" political forces in Russia and Ukraine to rescind the December 1991 accords which ended the existence of the USSR and created the CIS. (12) Georgia has asked that a discussion of the Abkhazia problem be put on the agenda of the CIS summit scheduled for January 19, in an effort to extract an unambiguous Russian pledge to maintain Georgia’s territorial integrity. Ukraine, itself preoccupied with Crimea, is certain to back Georgia. In a case which bears resemblance to Abkhazia, Ukrainian defense minister Valery Shmarov yesterday expressed support for Moldova’s policy on the Transdniester problem ("next door to us") in meetings with officials in Chisinau. If these conflicts are discussed at the upcoming CIS summit, the meeting will probably witness a common Ukrainian-Georgian-Moldovan front urging disavowal of externally-inspired secessions.

Estonian Interim Army Commander Appointed.