Shevaradnadze is loosing control over situation in Georgia. The closing of a private TV channel provoked a wave of mass protests that finally caused the Georgian government to resign. The president who was dreaming about a military leader’s fame, able to subjugate small Abkhazia, has found himself in a complicated situation. While going to the conflict with Russia, he hoped for US help; however, unfortunately, the “old fox” did not choose the right time for his military games. America is completely concentrated on Afghanistan, and it would not be suitable for it to quarrel with Russia, whose help it needs. As an experienced supreme functionary, Shevardnadze is right while staking on a small victorious war, though he did not take into account one thing. If Georgian troops had turned to active military actions and had occupied at least one settlement on Abkhaz territory, everything could have turn out in another way. In Georgia, nationalist spirits are very strong, and many people want to play the Abkhaz card one more time. However, the situation started to develop according to another scenario. Shevardnadze, after losing control over Civil Union party created by him, lost influence upon the parliament, which suited well the young reformers with Zurab Zhvania at the head. The young reformers once tried to remove law-enforcers loyal to Shevardnadze from office during the political opposition connected with journalist Georgi Sanaya’s murder. At that time, they did not manage to do it, though that was just an attempt of the opposition. What did not happen at that time has happened now. After two days of opposition, Shevardnadze gave up his people. The opposition celebrates victory, while predicting Zurab Zhvania will be president. In this situation, many people suppose Shevardnadze should send in his resignation as an atonement for his sins. The poor country, split up with ethnic conflicts, a huge state debt, and unprecedented corruption. Of course, not all of the above-mentioned things are on Shevardnadze’s conscience; however, there is no doubt he is implicated in them. Shevardnadze hardly will resign himself; however he made such a statement. Shevardnadze came to power as a result of a military coup, and he is ready to agree with anybody and with any conditions to stay in power. Shevardnadze visited Adzharia, where while talking to Adzhar leader Ruslan Abashidzde, he managed to enlist his support. As is well known, Abashidze supported the late President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who had many adherents in Georgia. Now, Shevardnadze will try to cut the ground out from under the opposing parliament. By introducing a new parliament staff, he will put them under his control. They cannot refuse, because it would mean the end of their career, and besides, people would not understand them if in such hard times, they remain aside. For Russia, the changing of the Georgian leader is not desired, as was announced before. It is not known how this new president will behave toward Russia, while with Shevardnadze, Russia always has managed to agree. The economical component of these relations should not be forgotten as well. Russia is against building of oil pipe line that would go through Georgian territory. The new leadership could consider this issue in another way. In other words, “an old friend is better than two new ones," as a Russian proverb says.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/05/33426.html