The President of the republic of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, released several statements that could be considered sensational. First of all, the president of the republic accepted that there are Chechen gunmen waging war on the territory of the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia. Secondly, he stated that the authorities of the Russian peacemakers in Abkhazia could be prolonged if Ukrainian and, possibly, American peacemakers would join them. Shevardnadze said that Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Anatoly Zlenko, was on the way to Georgia to discuss the conditions.
According to today’s speech made by the Georgian president, a gang of Chechen guerrillas could really penetrate into Abkhazia’a territory from the Pankissky gorge of the republic of Georgia.
It became possible to say these things after Russia acknowledged that the events going on in Abkhazia were the internal affairs of Georgia. However, Shevardnadze denied any connection of the Georgian special services being involved in dispatching the Chechen militants on Abkhazia’a territory. One should apparently bear in mind that they made their way to Georgia themselves, crawling at night, carrying guns and no one saw them. However, the president did not use the word “guerrilla." Speaking about the Chechens that penetrated into Abkhazia, Shevardnadze stated that Georgia gave shelter to over 10 thousand Chechen refugees. Probably, some of them participated in the military actions in Abkhazia, he claimed.
As far as the Russian peacemakers in Abkhazia are concerned (who were openly asked to leave the territory of the republic), Shevardnadze found a sly way out. The president believed that the authorities of the Russian military contingent could be prolonged if Ukraine’s and, possibly, the USA’s peacekeeping units could be deployed in Abkhazia.
Georgia repeatedly accused Russia of having pro-Abkhazian sentiments. Now, Georgia is trying to find a good opposition for Russia in the region: Ukraine and the USA. Will these countries take a pro-Georgian position? Ukraine is not supposed to be “out there” after the recent events with the downed Russian plane. America will surely have objectives of its own, as usual – being far away from Shevardnadze’s position.
BBC photo: Location of Abkhazia republic