Addressing a San Francisco audience, Georgian Parliament Chairman Zurab Zhvania expressed the hope that the United States would use its influence to ensure that the main export pipeline for Caspian oil is routed via Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey rather than through Russian territory. "We expect not only economic advantages from the pipeline. Our main goal is to have a firm place as a country on the world map, to make Georgia safe from any possible repeat of the year 1921." In that year, Georgia was absorbed by Soviet Russia.
Zhvania recounted a recent public appearance in Bosnia by Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who openly derided the notion that Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had been the target of an assassination attempt. Zhvania commented that "such cynicism is often displayed not only toward Georgia but toward other former Soviet states. All we demand from Russia is to be truly recognized as an independent country." (Prime-News, April 3)
Clashes in Abkhazia.