Latest Articles about The Caucasus

Georgia Offers Political Settlements

Speaking at a rally and a news conference on the occasion of Georgia's National Day (May 26), President Mikheil Saakashvili reached out to Abkhazia and South Ossetia with proposals for mutually acceptable political arrangements between the central government and the two breakaway areas. "We propose... MORE

South Ossetian Elections Follow Moscow’s Script

Elections for the 34-seat Parliament of the self-proclaimed South Ossetian Republic were held on May 23. The Ossetian party claims that 70% of voters participated in the elections. Local laws consider the elections valid when over 50% of voters participate. According to Zaira Gagloeva, who... MORE

Change Expected In Abkhazia

Talks held by Georgia's State Minister for Conflict Settlement Giorgi Khaindrava on May 20-21 in Sukhumi with Abkhaz leaders indicate that changes are expected in Abkhazia, possibly in relations between Sukhumi and Tbilisi. Vladislav Ardzinba, president of the unrecognized republic for more than a decade... MORE

Ajaria Before Elections

The "Hand of Tbilisi" will be a greater presence in post-Abashidze Ajaria. On May 18, the Georgian Parliament overwhelmingly (117/5) voted for a resolution, which allows for a one-month public discussion on a bill concerning Ajarian autonomy. A special commission is expected to analyze what... MORE

Scandals Plague Saakashvili’s Party

The arrest of a 33-year old member of Georgia's Parliament on May 19 has seriously damaged the Saakashvili government's reputation. MP Giorgi Kenchadze, an activist in the National-Democrats ruling party, has been charged with influence peddling by extorting some US$100,000 from Ajarian businessmen.According to an... MORE

Georgian Troops Introduced In Tsalka

Georgia's Internal Affairs Ministry has deployed a 200-strong troop unit to the town of Tsalka, after at least 10 local residents were injured in clashes between ethnic Armenians and Georgians. The ministry plans to send in police reinforcements as well. Tensions and incidents of low-level... MORE

Council Of Europe Stumbles Over Ajaria

Georgia has requested the Council of Europe (CE) to recall its Tbilisi representative, and has severely criticized the CE's Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer in the wake of the events in Ajaria that resulted in the peaceful removal of local despot Aslan Abashidze. During those events, Schwimmer... MORE

The Scent Of Revolution Drifts To South Ossetia

Secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov paid an urgent visit to Tbilisi on May 17 to negotiate with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and other top officials on the position of the Georgian breakaway regions. Symptomatically, Ivanov's visit followed shortly after U.S. National Security... MORE

Abashidze Falls, Power Shifts In The South Caucasus

In the early hours on May 6, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili announced that Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze had fled the region and that the central government had restored control over the renegade republic. A long and potentially violent stand-off between the Saakashvili administration and Ajaria's... MORE