Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 108

Russia’s Foreign Ministry can not support Georgia’s proposal for a demarche to the U.N. Security Council calling for economic sanctions against Abkhazia as a "self-proclaimed separatist regime." Georgian Foreign Minister Alexander Chikvaidze submitted this proposal in Moscow. The Russian diplomats commented that Russia acts as a mediator in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and must therefore maintain "neutrality," rather than side with one party. The Abkhaz legislature responded instantly by introducing obligatory military service for all residents aged 18 to 27 and obligatory reserve service for residents aged 16 to 60. (17)

Moscow’s claim to neutrality looks disingenuous given that the Russian military waged Abkhazia’s war of secession against Georgia. Shevardnadze and other Georgian officials have made no secret of their hopes that granting Russia military basing rights and supporting the intervention in Chechnya would earn them Russian support for consolidating internal stability in Georgia and regaining Abkhazia. Moscow’s conduct thus far in the Georgadze case and on the Abkhaz issue thus far must come as a disappointment to Tbilisi.

Another South Ossetian Leader Targeted.